Kinda the reverse of: “I see therefore I am”
In the world of contracts and large transactions, the written document is the glue that holds things together and keeps people honest.
Without the agreement being in writing, there’s no leverage.
Any party could play fast and loose with the “rules” and excuse themselves for their aberration with the spineless “Did you have that agreement in writing?”
If the agreement IS in writing, she can claim: “I didn’t understand our agreement,” but that’s not such a defense. Why would you sign an agreement you don’t fully understand?
Without the written agreement, proving legal and/or ethical violation of laws and standards is a near impossibility . . . “Formal Discipline” and or assignment of punitive consequences won’t happen.
While Written agreements do provide the “rules” for a relationship/transaction and thus the mechanism for enforcing these rules, let’s not forget the purpose of putting the thing in writing.
This DEFINES a MUTUAL agreement between the parties and should not be fully executed until all parties understand and are satisfied with ALL of the terms.
Sometimes professionals get sloppy when it comes to written agreements. In Tennessee, and level of declared agency relationship between a Real estate Sales Professional and a client MUST be in writing . . . yet . . . often these professionals will take on customers and show houses and offer advice without having them sign a representation agreement.
These folks are acting as Fiduciary Agents, but are NOT fiduciary agents . . . and they’re cruising for a bruising.
This way works fine until something goes south in a transaction. As a seasoned Principal Broker, my first question of an agent in hot water with a client or negotiation is: “Do you have a WRITTEN agency agreement?”
If the answer is “NO!” I shake my head and announce that they haven’t a leg on which to stand . . . Some of these lessons are VERY expensive lessons to learn.
So . . . Get it in writing!
Peace – Out!