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Red-tape can tarnish the joy of buying a home 

Many transactions we encounter are fraught with opportunity for misunderstanding.

It’s like Christmas morning when you unwrap a box taller than you, only to discover the four “C” batteries needed to operate your shiny bright toy are not included. Your desire for immediate gratification is dashed to pieces on the living room floor.

So it can be when you buy a home.

Instead of rushing over and setting up your new life in your new home, you first encounter a stack of reports and disclosures that act as a giant buzzkill. There are more than 89 pages of documents typically required in a residential transaction.

But there’s a reason. The paperwork is designed to prevent misunderstandings and the subsequent retribution on what is, in fact, a major financial transaction. Misunderstandings might range from missed expectations and disappointments to lawsuits with significant monetary implications.

Oh sure, I’ve heard stories how purchase contracts back in the good old days were just two pages long. But, over the years, buyers and sellers discovered misunderstandings that those two pages did not cover, leading to mediation, arbitration, litigation or a fistfight.

And not every agent and broker sees things eye to eye when it comes to which forms to use. The California Association of Realtors provides standard forms and an ongoing stream of new and updated forms, to prevent misunderstandings that have occurred or are about to occur. CAR recommends certain basic forms be used in every situation, and others as the situation dictates.

However, some brokers add nuisances based on their own risk aversions and tactics, which is totally their prerogative. For instance, while it is not illegal for an agent to list their own personal property for sale, some brokers do not allow this because their errors and omissions insurance will not cover this situation.

Likewise, it is not illegal for two agents from different brokerages to “co-list” the same property. This can occur when the buyer or seller has a friend or relative they want to include in the process, and maybe share a part of the commission. But she may work for a different firm than your primary listing agent. Some brokerages allow an outside broker to share the listing. Others do not.

Some brokerages make sure all 89 or so documents are fully executed and uploaded into a company storage application before they pay an agent’s commission. This may cause clients to get bombarded with signature requests at the last minute, even though the loan has been funded and the title change has been recorded.

All this to suggest that there are folks who have experience with misunderstanding, lack of clarity and disappointment and who will go to great lengths to make sure they never have their hopes and dreams dashed to pieces again.

Leslie Sargent Eskildsen is an agent with RealtyOne Group West and a member of the California Association of Realtors’ board of directors.  She can be reached at 949-678-3373 or leslie@leslieeskildsen.com.


Source: Orange County Register

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