When an agent shoves paper under your nose to sign, seal and deliver on your next real estate contract, remember, it’s because Aunt Virginia or Uncle Tex(as) is requiring your John Hancock, not the agent. There are 50 ways to do real estate in the United States, because real estclickheredrawingate licensing and practices are governed by state law (even though there is an overlay national standard as well).

Trust me – when we have a contract in Northern Virginia of 16 pages, and 250 blanks and boxes to fill out – we’re not looking for some creative means of getting our clients to sign in one more spot for our health or amusement.

Signatures are required by state commissions to make sure YOU are informed and understand what it is you’re signing. You will have three classes of documents to sign along the way to buying or selling your next home. 

1- Disclosures. Do you know if the house you’re interested in is next to a pig farm? States have various levels of disclosures and forms that inform consumers. The disclosure is not a binding document, just a disclosure. Some of them provide buyers opportunity to cancel a contract after a certain number of days if they don’t like what is being disclosed, some don’t. 

2- Agreements. These are between you and your agency. The agreement to list your home, work in a buyer agency relationship, etc. these are binding, and will have various ways to be enforced and/or cancelled. 

3- Contracts. These are the big documents. You’re deciding to sell your house to another person and what you’re signing puts you on a track to turn over the keys in exchange for thousands of dollars. These documents are loaded with promises, accountability and legal requirements for all parties on the contract. 

While electronic signatures have simplified the process of signing, box checking and initialing – be sure you know what you’re “clicking” through – don’t be so quick to click when you don’t understand the contract or addenda that is managing the exchange of what is for most people – the most expensive transaction in their lives.

Until next time…

Anthony Carr started in the real estate industry as a real estate editor, and finally switched over to working in the business in 1995. He quickly built his business through a close-knit group of advocates of friends, past clients and business associates. To this day he works by referral to help people sell, buy and invest in real estate

He’s the author of “Real Estate Investing Made Simple: A commonsense approach to building wealth”; (take a look at chapter one right here) and he was a contributing writer to Donald Trump’s book, “The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received.