The Importance of Document Review in Real Estate

Anyone who has ever gone through the process of buying a home, whether as a real estate professional, a seller or a buyer, realizes that there is a mountain of paperwork that requires signatures from all parties. In the interest of clarity, most professionals take the time to explain to the client the information that is included in each document in advance of the closing, but this should not be misunderstood as an action that eliminates the need for the client to read the document for themselves. Instead, real estate professionals should take the time to thoroughly explain the document and then encourage the client to review the documents on their own before signing.

This is a critical step, but many professionals tend to overlook its importance. It is almost never the case that a real estate professional is trying to intentionally mislead a client regarding the contents of a legal document, and it is often just assumed that the client will read the document regardless of how thoroughly it was explained to them. Though this is a fair assumption for professionals to make, it is one they must avoid for a variety of reasons.

As David Kravitz might point out, it is not always easy to recognize the circumstances in which a misunderstanding may occur. A legal document relating to a sizable investment is the last place anyone would want such a misunderstanding to occur, so real estate professionals must protect themselves and their clients by encouraging a close reading of the documentation so every last detail is clearly understood. If there is any question or concern regarding some portion of the document, then the agent should ensure they are available to field those questions before any paperwork is signed and ultimately finalized. Doing this will make it far more likely that the process is smooth from start to finish for all of the parties involved.