Clients Reviewing Contract Forms in Advance- Good Idea?

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Real Estate Broker/Owner with got agent? MD 636504


Anyone who knows me will tell you that I'm a big fan of no surprises for my clients- especially the negative ones that crop up at the last minute and cause your client to look at you sideways. I never want that to happen so I'm especially diligent about making sure that my clients are well-informed all the way through the transaction. One thing that I do is to send them a copy of blank offer docs in advance of going in to contract. This way, they're familiar with the various clauses and can ask me questions BEFORE we're in the middle of signing an offer or responding to one.

I know that most consumers won't take the time to read the docs when I send them, but I do encourage them to read them and then to get back to me with their questions or concerns. For example, I work the DC Metro area and depending on what contract is being used, buyers and sellers are totally unaware that there's a nasty little sentence in the "Title" clause that allows a seller up to 30 days beyond settlement to clear defects on title. That may not seem earth-shattering at first glance but it could be- depending on your client and their particular situation. Obviously, we should be aware of our client's needs when it comes to selling/buying, but some times it's not that obvious.

I work with Gaithersburg Homes and North Potomac Homes and I make sure to point that clause out to my clients before they're in contract- just in case. Needing extra time to clear those defects doesn't happen that often, but you just want to make sure that your client knows in advance the potential for a delay. If the client absolutely cannot have a delay up to 30 days, you may want to consult with your local real estate attorney about how to adjust that clause to protect your client.

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Maryland Montgomery County
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reviewing contracts with clients

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Fred Griffin, on leave of absence from ActiveRain
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

     I provide samples of contracts and forms to my clients.  They are watermarked "sample" to prevent copying or mass distribution, etc.  I confirmed with my own attorney, and with the telephone lawyers at Florida Realtors in Orlando that this is an allowable practice.

    Like you, I point out the major show-stoppers, potential delays, 15 to 45 day contingency periods, etc.  When "the real contract" appears, I can say, "remember when we discussed that?"

Aug 02, 2016 07:55 AM #1
Rainmaker
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Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Jamie, this is a good idea, especially for those "readers", and they can formulate their questions.

Aug 04, 2016 10:08 AM #2
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Jamie Flournoy

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