Monday, May 16, 2011

Summarizing a real estate deal in four letters: RTFD

This is a follow up to my post on why you should call me (or your real estate lawyer) first. Let's be honest, though: it isn't always going to happen.  Why? Time, money, hubris, you name it.  I get that.  I don't like it but I get it.

What really irks me, though, is a corollary to at least two of the five points I made last week; namely, this classic: "Oh, I just signed the document without reading it." And it happens more than I care to admit.

I can hear someone say, well, what about the boilerplate residential loan documents that are uniform and the same for every single deal?  Okay, I understand. But did you confirm the deal terms were correct? What about the HUD-1? Did the Truth-in-Lending Statement change? (That is a no-no these days.) Did you sign a document saying that you are going to own and occupy the house when in fact you are not?

What am I getting at? Read The Friggin' Document.  Maybe it will all make sense and you can at least be informed about what you are doing.  Maybe you will catch a mistake. And maybe, just maybe, you will realize that there are some terms in these documents that you don't understand completely.  At least then you might come to your senses and call someone who can help you. If not, then you'll be calling someone later, most likely after it is too late (or very expensive) to fix the problem.