Drafting Tips to Consider for Real Estate Documents

by | Published on Dec 15, 2017 | Real Estate Transcription

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Real Estate DocumentsReal estate contracts or documents range from residential leases or commercial leases to mortgage financing documents, contract review, negotiation, letter of intent and asset purchase agreements. Along with specifying the terms of a transaction, these documents also indicate how disputes will be resolved, who bears financial responsibility for property defects and losses, what happens in cases of financial default, and more. For this main reason, drafting real estate documents is a critical process. Affordable transcription solutions are available to document the draft content in the required format.

When it comes to commercial real estate transaction, a letter of intent will be often recommended even before the final sales agreement or lease is signed. Non-lawyers handling these agreements should seek the advice of a licensed attorney in legal matters.

Consider these tips to improve the overall quality of the document.

Prepare the Layout to Serve As a Guide to the Reader

Reduce long grammatical paragraphs into shorter portions. Prevent overuse of headings in short documents. For large documents,

  • include headings describing the contents of each section and subsections
  • provide an index or table of contents with page references that automatically update

Make sure that your word processing program updates such references before circulating a draft or printing it for execution.

Make Sure Cross-references Are Correct

There are chances for cross-references to become incorrect as a document is updated and sections are added, deleted, or moved. Before submitting the document, check that the cross-referenced section actually exists and it is up to date.

Consider using automatically updating cross-references in the initial draft. Automatic cross-referencing in the word processing program,

  • avoids the need of manual search for individual cross-reference, thus saving time and reducing risk
  • eliminates the need to clutter a document with distracting references
  • helps the reader to turn to the referred section for a complete understanding
  • provides a handy cross-reference between an exhibit and its location within a document
  • allows for additions and deletions of exhibits to the document without renumbering numerous other exhibits

Words in the Document Matter

Real Estate DocumentsConsider using defined terms to improve understanding of any contract. For instance, a strongly worded document regarding the binding or non-binding intent of the parties is crucial in the letter of intent.

It is recommended to use

  • “Buyer” instead of “Purchaser”
  • “Borrower” and “Lender”, rather than “Mortgagor” and “Mortgagee,”
  • “Landlord” and “Tenant” rather than “Lessor” and “Lessee”

Such defined terms will help the readers instantly understand the defined party’s role. Formatting features can be used to make it easy for a reader to find the definition for defined terms.

Better Execution of Exhibits

Exhibit is a standalone document that’s to be effective sometime after signing.

  • Instead of coloring exhibits, use some methods like dashed lines so that it will be easily reproduced when copied in black and white.
  • Prevent clients from signing the other agreements attached as exhibits by removing the signature blocks from these documents.

Follow these tips throughout the drafting process to create documents that help the process of drafting, negotiating, and implementing the terms of the parties’ agreement. Attorneys can benefit from reliable real estate transcription services offered by an experienced legal transcription firm.

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