Ask George & Chuck: Online completion of contracts is OK
Published 6:50 pm, Friday, January 3, 2014
Q: My Realtor sent me a contract to sign online through DocuSign.
I've never heard of DocuSign. This makes me nervous. Do you think it is OK?
A: Yes, it is OK to sign. In the first place, your Realtor would not have sent you a contract to sign online unless it was OK. Shame on him or her for not making sure you had no questions about it.
There are a few programs such as DocuSign and SureClose that facilitate the online completion of contracts.
Q: I am selling my house without using a Realtor. The Realtors seem to be charging too much.
However, it has been on the market for two months now, and I don't have any offers.
I have a "For Sale" sign in my front yard. My wife and I both work, so we can only show after we get home from work or on weekends.
Please tell me what I am doing wrong.
A: The only thing you are not doing wrong is the "for sale" sign in your yard. Hire a Realtor who is familiar with your neighborhood.
Follow his or her advice, including the price to ask as indicated by the competitive market analysis he or she prepares.
Q: I purchased a note from a bank and subsequently foreclosed on the property. The property was sold at foreclosure, but the deed was not filed for six weeks.
The property owner who was foreclosed on sold the property three weeks after the foreclosure sale and that deed was recorded immediately, so that deed was filed three weeks before the foreclosure deed. Legally speaking what happens now?
A: Whoever bought from the current owner has superior title. You did not record your deed timely, so the other owner wins. They recorded first.
Unless the other owner knew of your transaction (which I seriously doubt) they bought the property with no notice of your interest. Why wasn't your deed recorded immediately? Check with whoever held the foreclosure sale. They have some explaining to do.
Q: My sponsoring broker recently told me I cannot pay a finder's fee to a person for introducing me to the client from whom I made a commission.
I already told this person I would pay him a commission.
What can I do?
A: Whatever you do, don't pay the commission to the person who introduced you.
The Rules of the Texas Real Estate Commission state in pertinent part (§535.3. Compensation to or paid by a Salesperson.), "…A salesperson may not pay a commission or other fee to another person except with the written consent of the salesperson's sponsoring broker."
Additionally, if the person is not a licensed real estate agent, you are prohibited by law from paying a monetary fee at all - even with your broker's permission, without the risk of losing your license. Strict rules apply.
We suggest you explain as best you can that you made a mistake.
You might even consider setting up a meeting with your sponsoring broker to help you explain.
To send us a question visit www.AskGeorge.net and select the "Ask A Question" button. Our answers to questions do not contain legal advice. If you wish to obtain legal advice, you should consult your own attorney. George Stephens is the broker of Stephens Properties. Charles J. Jacobus, J.D. is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Residential and Commercial Real Estate Law.