In this ever-increasing fast-paced world we have an insatiable desire for speed. Blazing speed: internet, driving, conversations, no more than 7 seconds of a video, a 250 character tweet, text abbreviations, etc. It’s all based around being brief instead of being clear. This directly affects every aspect of real estate too. Today’s biggest example is homeowners who want their home’s value instantly by typing in their address online.
Other areas of concern that are affected during the transaction are: paperwork isn’t handled correctly, negotiating is too vague, the details within the transaction are missed or aren’t taken seriously, bad organization and communication, etc. It affects it all. This can get you into rocky situations if the sale of your home is handled with such a reckless loyalty to short attention spans and setting brevity as a priority over clarity.
Why do we have lengthy contracts and addenda for the buying and selling of homes? Couldn’t you just type up a one or two page document that lays out the main terms of agreement and call it a day? It was done that way at one point in time but it’s not sufficient anymore. These transactions require thorough details in order to properly protect and inform both the buyer and seller. Text and email negotiations can cause problems if you aren’t careful. These forms of communication are considered to be in writing and can incriminate you. I love how one of my continuing education teachers, Lloyd Hampton, puts this:
“Texts or emails will never have the detail necessary to cover all the issues that need to be addressed for the benefit of the buyers and sellers.” – Lloyd Hampton, Licensed Real Estate Educator
No one can put together a few text messages and emails and claim to be representing their clients in the way they deserve. That’s why we have decades’ worth of contracts being written, revised, and refined each year to give our clients the protection and information they deserve to have. Is it okay and acceptable to use texting and emails to have conversations about the details? Absolutely. Just make it clear to the other party that you’re simply having a discussion. After all, negotiating is having a discussion about a possible contract. Trouble comes when people get lazy with the formality that’s necessary in order to form the contract.
When a buyer makes even what seems to be a perfect offer, I always take a step back and ask a few questions: Can I verify with their lender that they’re approved? How strong is their financial situation? Is the contract filled out correctly? Again, this is the time to be clear, not brief. It doesn’t mean that you can’t get things done fast when you need to but certain steps and procedures should be followed in order to protect yourself the way you deserve to be protected. You can act fast and be efficient but make sure the details are clear.