Invariably, buyers or sellers are faced with important decisions at the most inconvenient times. They may be on vacation or on a business trip. Even if you’re in town, you may be tied up in meetings and unable to take time to drive to your real estate agent’s office.
There are ways to deal with this that will minimize the hassle and enable you to respond in a timely fashion. Timing is essential in the home-sale business. If sellers have to wait too long for a response, their enthusiasm might wane. Buyers, on the other hand, could find themselves bidding against another buyer if they make an offer on a hot new listing and can’t respond to a counteroffer in time.
Often negotiations are handled verbally when buyers or sellers can’t be present to sign a purchase contract or counteroffer. But oral agreements to buy and sell real estate are not binding. That’s why it’s important to have a procedure in place that enables you to sign any pertinent documents as soon as possible, no matter where you happen to be. If you’re leaving town, let your agent know the dates you’ll be gone and how best to reach you.
HOUSE HUNTING TIP: Many homes are bought and sold using a combination of phone, e-mail and fax. Recently, electronic signatures have become popular. In order to use an electronic signature, you need to sign up with a company that is equipped to provide e-signatures on documents. Use your search engine to find an online provider, or ask your real estate agent, attorney or closing agent for a recommendation. Then, your agent can send you documents; you sign with your e-signature and e-mail the documents back.
Most lenders won’t start processing the buyers’ loan until they have a signed purchase contract. However, they will start the process if the contract is signed with e-signatures. They are likely to require that you add wet signatures to the contract before closing. The buyers or sellers might also request this.
A downside to e-signatures is that anyone who has access to your computer might hit your designated e-signature key on your keyboard. Keep this information confidential. …CONTINUED