Organizing Important Documents for Real Estate Transactions
Conducting a real estate transaction is both an exciting and sensitive process. Whether you are buying or selling, many documents are involved, and it’s imperative to keep them organized — even if you hire a real estate agent. Keeping track of contracts, information about tax and sale histories, personal finance information, and other related documents is important to avoid confusion, miscommunication, or other issues down the line. Here are some tips and resources from The Vineyard District to help you get started.
Organizing Documents Digitally
In this age, using paper documents exclusively for real estate will only make things difficult. Most brokerages rely on faxing or emailing documents for speed and convenience. Delivering a physical contract can be tedious and may jeopardize the chance of your offer being accepted before another. It’s safer to use digital documents for security reasons as well since losing physical documents can result in identity theft.
If you’re updating important documents, consider working in Word, as you’ll be able to make more significant text edits than with a PDF file. For more minor edits, PDF editors are also available. Be sure to keep your documents stored on an external hard drive or a secure cloud drive to protect them from being lost or corrupted. Digitizing your files is a great way to stay organized, and if you combine them into a single PDF but need to split it into multiple files later, you can do this online easily, using this free tool.
These days, transferring digital documents is a lot easier than using physical ones, and many real estate brokerages have switched to online-based fax machine services anyway. Digital documents also make it easier to correspond with an agent and make changes on the fly. You can even get your agent to make changes for you if you’re away and can’t handle them yourself. Just be sure that any documents sent are emailed on a secure network and through a private email account. Having information stolen is a big risk with improperly secured or sent documents.
Reviewing Digital Documents
When you find an error on the offer, the actual contract, or in your personal information documents, fixing that error is much easier in digital form. Either way, be sure to properly vet any documents before sending them to ensure they align with your intentions, don’t misrepresent what you intend to say, or include any false information. The convenience of digital documents is that you can use spell check functions and adjust the size of whatever you’d like to.
Keeping Everything Up to Date
Keeping documents current is typically easier to do in digital form. Since you will probably need to prove your identity at some point, it’s imperative that you digitize your ID and your social security card in some form. Even if you wait until the point of closing to provide these things, they’ll still likely be digitized for record and security purposes.
Digital Records Provide Crucial Convenience
There’s no reason to struggle with updating, sending, or reproducing records. Digitize them to maintain organization and make everything easier, from coordination with your agent to sending in contracts to handling errors.
The Vineyard District is located northeast of Bryan around Messina Hof Winery and Resort. Call 979-505-3077.
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