How Contract Automation Tools Boost Accuracy for Real Estate Law Firms
November 14, 2022
The real estate world moves at lightning speed, with agents and clients constantly pushing for quicker and quicker transactions. But rushing through the closing process without the aid of contract automation can lead to careless errors.
To avoid costly mistakes that could literally cost you a deal, you need a system that prioritizes accuracy and speed. When real estate lawyers automate documents, they effortlessly generate contracts and closing packets without digging through old files or making numerous revisions. Integrated data from your practice management software, paired with industry-standard qand customized templates, makes contract automation a breeze.
Real estate document management software and contract automation tools eliminate your risk of accidentally leaving out a crucial form or misplacing documents — especially during your busiest times of the year.
The biggest challenges facing real estate law firms
While the rules vary from state to state around real property laws, real estate lawyers specialize in laws relating to real property and ensuring all parties involved are protected and satisfied. As a real estate lawyer, you handle all aspects of the transaction, from reviewing contracts and preparing necessary documents to conducting title searches and writing title insurance policies.
Real estate attorneys offer crucial guidance throughout the home purchasing process, assist in negotiations, offer advice on potential risks associated with a property, and review all documents to ensure compliance with state and federal laws.
Pairing speed with accuracy
Real estate is all about timing. Your firm reviews and answers any contract questions and has the expertise to provide valuable services such as preparing documents and conducting title searches. You’re ensuring your clients enter into fair and beneficial agreements, offering protection throughout the transaction process.
But the real estate sales process isn’t just about speed — you also need to be accurate. The last thing you want is to rush through a process and make mistakes. No client wants that either — they want to know their contracts are thoroughly reviewed and their interests protected.
Overcoming document overload
An uptick in real estate transactions also means an increase in the number of contracts you need to negotiate. You need a process for easy contract customization and the ability to insert clauses specific to each deal.
This process is not just about generating contracts and titles — your firm needs to streamline the process of negotiating and obtaining signatures. Contract automation software speeds your negotiation process and helps ensure a successful closing.
Types of documents real estate firms can automate
Property disclosure forms, titles, and contracts are all essential to most real estate transactions. By automating these forms, real estate firms save time and ensure critical details are accurately recorded and transmitted.
Your firm needs accurate data, including the sales price, financing terms, and closing date, before automating a single document. At the onset of your client relationship, you’ll also gather basic details like the legal description, the address, and the county, as well as any tenancy situations, such as tenants in common or joint tenants.
Real estate document management software allows you to enter this data once, then apply it across every piece of collateral throughout the process.
Contract to purchase
As a real estate attorney, you must ensure all aspects of your property transaction are thorough. This includes obtaining a pay-off statement for existing loans, assisting in selecting a reputable title company and coordinating necessary inspections. You will also review and pro-rate real estate taxes, prepare closing documents, and attend the closing to advise and explain the details of the transaction. In addition, you are available to assist with any potential disputes or issues that may arise during the process.
Various forms may be necessary to complete the transaction when purchasing or selling a piece of real estate. The deed is the document that officially transfers ownership from one party to another. An affidavit of title, or a seller’s affidavit, states that the seller has the right to sell the property and is unaware of any other outstanding claims. Transfer tax declarations provide information regarding taxes due on the transfer of property. In addition, various disclosures and agreements, such as a compliance agreement, might be included in the loan package if financing is needed for the transaction.
Home loan documents
Home loan documents, such as the note and deed of trust, can be filled out via an online form and electronically signed by all necessary parties. Property management agreements can also be completed electronically, allowing for a fully digital leasing process. Even inspections and maintenance requests can be streamlined through digital forms. Automating these forms saves time and ensures accuracy and efficiency in record-keeping.
Real estate title documents
A title insurance commitment, also known as the Commitment, outlines the terms and conditions for providing title insurance. An ALTA statement lists any judgments, divorces, or bankruptcies that may impact the property’s title. A compliance agreement ensures any closing mistakes will be corrected with cooperation from both parties, and a disbursement agreement allows for the proper distribution of loan proceeds. Additional disclosures, such as attorney involvement or lender affiliations, may also be included in the paperwork. Knowing and fully understanding these forms is essential for smooth and successful real estate transactions.
The value of contract management software
Implementing new processes can be tough, but when done correctly it improves the speed and quality of your firm’s work while reducing stress. Investing in real estate document management software is a wise decision for any law firm looking to meet these goals.
Decrease the back & forth
While negotiating, your team sends documents between multiple parties, multiple times a day. You need a system to improve collaboration. As you receive or mediate various offers and counter-offers, keep the most current document in rotation. You can quickly generate standardized documents to set a clear negotiation starting point. Contract automation generation and modification, both parties can easily make changes to the contract without constant communication and delays.
Save time on administrative tasks
One of the main selling points of document management software is saving time. Time is no small thing. Your team may be fast at creating documents, but with automation the process can go faster. Take back some time into your work day and use automation.
Improve your quality of work
As anyone who has used “find and replace” can attest, manually updating documents can lead to errors. Automation, however, allows for more sophisticated templates that use the correct data to ensure subject-verb agreements and pronouns are accurately utilized, improving the overall professionalism and quality of the final product.
Scale faster with automation
If you are saving time, increasing productivity, and improving the quality of your work product, it might be time to get more clients. Small changes to your workflow can make it easier to increase the volume of work.
Selling success with Smokeball
Streamlining your document management process as a real estate firm can significantly impact your bottom line. Smokeball’s contract automation tool helps you fill out forms accurately, keeping you in compliance with various real estate laws. It also simplifies the contract drafting and negotiating process, allowing you to focus more on closing deals. Take control of your business and increase your selling success with Smokeball’s real estate document management software.
Ready to learn more?
Read online or download our free e-book, Tips and Tricks for Legal Document Automation
Learn more about Smokeball
Book Your Free Demo
Ready to see how Smokeball client intake software helps you Run Your Best Firm? Schedule your free demo!