Real Estate & Insurance Goes Digital

Who?

the picture of some woman

Cunningham and Associates is located in San Angelo, Texas, but serves a large rural market with clients all over Texas and some even scattered outside state lines. Despite having to work with customers across a large region, Cunningham and Associates is a small business, consisting of four team members, including Debbie Cunningham herself.
Cunningham and Associates Real Estate and Insurance provides selling, purchasing, and insurance services and advice. They help individual customers find the ideal property or insurance solution.
Debbie Cunningham found PDFfiller through an online search — “I did a trial and I was like wow, this is really pretty easy,” Cunningham said. PDFfiller “just opened up a whole world of usability to access all those documents that we use over and over and over and once I tried it, I was pretty much like, I love it, I wouldn’t go anywhere else.”

Four people in front sitting on chairs probably the human resources department

The Problem

Send and Sign Documents

Cunningham and Associates was facing a number of problems with document transmission before they started using PDFfiller.

With customers scattered across the region, document management and distribution was a serious problem. Texas is a large state and in many cases, real estate deals happen quickly or insurance documents need to be signed promptly. Distance, however, was making this process more difficult – due to the logistics associated with mobile workforces, getting a simple signature could be problematic.

“One [company] I’m working with right now is a trucking company and they have employees that could be anywhere at any time,” Cunningham said, “so getting a paper document to those folks is difficult sometimes.” People would have to come into the office or documents would have to be sent by post.

Double quotes

“When customers hand-write out forms, sometimes it’s legible, but 90% of the time, it’s not, If that document isn’t legible, there’s room for mistakes, errors in judgement, reading the wrong thing.”

– Debbie Cunningham, Real Estate & Insurance Broker

Before using PDFfiller, documents would come back slowly and were often illegible. “When [customers] hand-write out forms, sometimes it’s legible, but 90% of the time, it’s not,” Cunningham claimed. “If that document isn’t legible, there’s room for mistakes, errors in judgement, reading the wrong thing.” These problems with legibility is endemic with handwritten forms.

Transferring sensitive insurance and medical documents also carries risk; this liability is exacerbated by the fact that sensitive medical documents were normally passed through the hands of administrators before reaching employees before Cunningham and Associates started using PDFfiller. “When [or if a form] goes back to the employer, they’re privy to information that it is generally best they do not see,” said Cunningham. “If an employer sees that an employee has any major medical condition condition that they might not have been aware of otherwise… it has the potential for creating a situation where an employee claims discrimination if, for any reason, that affected employee is disciplined for any unrelated cause.”

Double quotes

“We were having to do everything manually by pen and paper and send it to whomever. We didn’t have anything that would do online form-filling.”

– Debbie Cunningham, Real Estate & Insurance Broker

Handling hundreds of documents daily with only a few members of staff was a difficult process. Before PDFfiller, Cunningham and her employees “were having to do everything manually by pen and paper and send it to whomever. We didn’t have anything that would do online form-filling.” They were hoping to save their staff time and energy and free them each from the burden of filling out paperwork for ten hours a week.

Cunningham and Associates needed an electronic solution that was easy for the company’s employees and customers to use; Debbie Cunningham found it in PDFfiller.

The Solution

Send and Sign Documents

Debbie Cunningham and her colleagues use PDFfiller everyday to improve their workflow. “Everybody uses it multiple times a day,” Cunningham said. And for good reason: PDFfiller solves all of the problems Cunningham and Associates had with document distribution. Documents are sent directly to clients and returned legibly in a quick and secure manner. Moreover, Cunningham and Associates forms are transferred to partners, including banks, insurance agents, and the government, efficiently and completely electronically with PDFfiller’s online service. When dealing with documents like insurance claims or purchase agreements, it is critical to be able to distribute, sign, and process documents quickly and, crucially, because much of this information is sensitive, this has to be done in a safe and secure manner. PDFfiller ensures that this is possible, even across large distances.

Fig A. Creating a filliable contract form with PDFfiller

Fig A. Creating a filliable contract form with PDFfiller

Many of Cunningham and Associates’ engagements with clients are “paper intensive and our clients tend to be everywhere, so discovering the fill and sign aspects was a ‘wow moment.’ ” PDFfiller enables users to annotate, edit, fill-in PDF forms and even make PDF forms easily fillable for others. PDFfiller also allows users to send and sign PDF documents completely electronically using its safe, secure, and instantaneous ‘DigiSign’ technology. PDFfiller “saves people from coming into the office,” said Cunningham. Electronic document completion and signing means that “we can collaborate over the phone if [clients] have a question but then they can form fill [important documents] from their computer and it’s been amazing.”

Fig B. Filling and sending contract form by the user with PDFfiller.

Fig B. Filling and sending contract form by the user with PDFfiller.

Documents, such as contracts and insurance claim forms, are fillable by anyone, anytime, and on any device and moreover, they come back legible. Before, Cunningham and her employees would have to manually transcribe illegible handwriting or call to clarify information before they could pass documents on to insurers. “When the underwriters get it, it has to be legible, they want to be able to read it, they want to be able to not spend hours trying to decipher somebody’s hand-scratching, so that’s been great [that with PDFfiller’s electronic document completion, documents are legible].”

Importantly, PDFfiller is easy to use. It’s simple user interface means that anybody can use it. Because it’s completely online, forms can be edited, filled and signed from any internet-connected device at any time. “If it’s not easy to use, they won’t use it,” said Cunningham. “Some programs are not so user friendly [but] the reception [towards using PDFfiller to complete documents] has been really good. We get [documents] back quickly.”

Fig C. Send documents safely and securely with PDFfiller.

Fig C. Send documents safely and securely with PDFfiller.

Cunningham and Associates is responsible for transferring sensitive medical documents and as such, they need to make sure they are HIPAA compliant. Moreover, they need to protect their clients. “You don’t want your employer to see health conditions, so the ability to send directly to an employee [using PDFfiller’s electronic document signing, editing, and transmission] and get that document back without having to rely on an admin person to send and receive those documents [means] we’ve mitigated our risk for HIPAA compliance [and] if we can isolate that information and bypass the employer it protects the employee,” Cunningham said.

The Benefits of
Using PDFfiller

Return on Investment

PDFfiller is the fastest way to edit, send, and sign documents. According to Cunningham, “[Workflow] was a lot slower” before integrating PDFfiller into her business and using PDFfiller saves her firm “probably ten hours per person per week, so that’s 30 hours per week.” For Cunningham, because the man hours PDFfiller saves are significant, cost savings for the company are “considerable.”

Convenience

PDFfiller makes it easier for her clients to complete, sign and return forms. Because forms are completed completely electronically, PDFfiller also makes it easier for Cunningham and Associates to read and collect the information as well as transfer documents to businesses, individuals, government agencies, legal and medical providers, and insurance agents. Moreover, PDFfiller is simple to use and the powerful features that make document workflow so efficient are easy to apply: “It was so easy to set up and start using — we haven’t had any issues,” Cunningham said.

Security

PDFfiller is HIPAA compliant, which means that all your documents are stored and transmitted completely securely. Moreover, because PDFfiller allows Cunningham and Associates to transfer documents directly to clients, rather than work through third parties, they mitigate risk — “you also run the risk of that document getting waylaid to the wrong fax number or wrong email, so if it’s a protected document then you don’t need to worry about that possibility,” said Cunningham.

Completely Digital

Going digital doesn’t just mean it’s easier to sign and send documents. It also means that all the documents that are such an important part of Cunningham and Associates’ business workflow are stored digitally. Because everything is digital, documents are secure and searchable. Never worry about important documents being lost or accidentally destroyed and PDFfiller’s secure servers mean they’re secure as well.

Conclusion

PDFfiller offers a variety of solutions to the many document transmission problems that had plagued Cunningham and Associates. With a small team, Cunningham knew she needed to make her workflow as efficient as possible and “any kind of tool in your quiver to make that process more advantageous and save time, especially if you don’t have a team of support people behind you, [it’s a good thing],” she said. PDFfiller allowed Cunningham and Associates to send and have document signed as quickly as possible, meaning the company could spend more time focusing on their business and on relationships with their customers and less time on paperwork.

As she and her employees continue to use the software, they keep finding new ways to integrate it into their workflow and improve their business and relationships with clients. Cunningham is particularly excited about using PDFfiller on various mobile devices: “Everyday we learn different ways to use it and I’ve realized now I can use it on my phone [and iPad] too; I haven’t branched out that far yet, but that’s exciting because I do work in the field a lot,” and with PDFfiller, she can capture a client signature while at an open house or get a buyer’s representation agreement on the spot. “The sooner you can get that [signature] the better, so if you’re having that conversation with somebody and you can whip out an iPad, because you’re not always going to have a desktop… it would be awesome if I had that document loaded [and ready to give to customers and get signatures with PDFfiller].”

Double quotes

“Everything we do and everything we touch on the health side has to be HIPAA compliant and privacy is important nowadays. So with PDFfiller, we have mitigated risk — that’s a hard thing to quantify.”

– Debbie Cunningham, Real Estate & Insurance Broker

Ultimately, PDFfiller has “made our lives a whole lot simpler, for sure,” Cunningham said. The benefits of using PDFfiller are manifold: “Everything we do and everything we touch on the health side has to be HIPAA compliant and privacy is [important] nowadays. So [with PDFfiller], we have mitigated risk — that’s a hard thing to quantify,” said Cunnigham. Though PDFfiller saves the company money, the benefits go far beyond costs. “[the savings] aren’t just dollars, it’s efficiency [and] privacy,” she said.

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Suggest a reasonable price with the BPO 1092 Form

Freddie Mac 1092: Broker’s Price Opinion (BPO) Form

The real estate purchase and sale transaction can be influenced by various circumstances, from a simple desire to change one’s place of living to an inability to pay the mortgage. In the latter case, the deal is very likely to be closed as a Short Sale, which is favourable to a seller, as it helps reduce the chance of foreclosure. Therefore, a Broker’s Price Opinion (BPO) is essential as it contributes to the propriety of the price for the real estate in question. The Broker’ Price Opinion can be made in two ways: by entering the residential property or by doing a drive-by evaluation without estimating the interior of the real estate property. Therefore, the evaluation can result in either the Drive-By Broker’s Price Opinion or the Interior BPO. There is a special form that should be filled out to record the professional’s opinion of a reasonable price. In this blog post we will take a closer look at the Freddie Mac 1092 form, which helps denote the BPO.

Who needs a Broker’s Price Opinion form (Freddie Mac 1092)?

Any person interested in selling or buying real estate can order the evaluation of property they are interested in. This assessment is carried out by an appraiser using the BPO form. Also, this real estate appraisal can be performed for transactions related to obtaining credit or changing credit conditions.

What is the Broker’s Price Opinion form for?

This form gives an idea of the overall condition of the property and its value. Depending upon the type of evaluation ordered, the form may be used as the Interior or as the Drive-by Broker’s Price Opinion form. If the interior evaluation is made, all types of repairs that must be done are taken into account. Also, the interior BPO form contains reviews of a competing property and several deals closed in the area. This information allows estimation, not only of the property itself, but also of the overall situation in the real estate market in the area. The Drive-by BPO is made based on what the broker manages to evaluate from the exterior of the real property while driving by.

Is the Broker’s Price Opinion form accompanied by other forms?

There is no need to accompany the Drive-by BPO or the Interior BPO form by any other forms when they are submitted immediately after the evaluation. However, the overall transaction to be properly recorded must be documented in the package of the relevant documents.

When is the Broker’s Price Opinion form due?

The expiration term of this evaluation is six months — if the period is longer, one should consider that the assessment may not reflect the actual value or condition of the property

How do I fill out Broker’s Price Opinion form?

This fillable BPO template contains the following points to be filled out:

  • Subject property description;
  • Estimate of repairs needed for subject property;
  • Neighborhood review;
  • Value Estimation;
  • Competitive listing and closed sales.

Where do I send Broker’s Price Opinion form?

The completed Broker’s Opinion should be directed to the property owner (the seller) and the person who ordered the BPO (if it is not the same individual as the seller).

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Rental Application: How to Rent Out a Flat Safely

Rental Application Form

Let’s imagine that you own a nice flat in a good district and you want to lease your real estate. Of course, you will try to find the best renters: capable of paying, reliable and polite. If there are too many people who wish to live in your property, you may ask your possible renters to fill out the rental application so you can choose the best tenants. The rental application will be very useful for the landlord even in the future: the information provided will help to get in touch with the renters anytime. Besides this, the document specifies the amount of the rental payment and the lease term, which is very important for a tenant. You should keep in mind that different states have different variants of the rental application, so make sure you are using the correct one. It’s time to look more precisely at the most common rental application.

Who needs a Rental application?

The application is filled out by the renters. If individuals want to rent a popular apartment or house, the landlord may ask them to complete a rental application, so that he or she can see all the advantages of such a bargain.

What is the Rental application for?

The application is very useful for the landlord as it provides the most important information about the future renter. It’s highly recommended to save a copy of the application in case any disputes arise.

Is the Rental application accompanied by other forms?

If the landlord asks for additional documents, the renter can attach them to the application as well.

When is the Rental application due?

The tenants have to send the application on request or as soon as they find a suitable rental offer.

What information should be provided in the Rental application?

The rental application asks for a lot of information. Actually, it may be a problem for a landlord to obtain the personal data of the renter, such as SSN. People usually don’t want to share it with strangers. But this information is very important for the landlords and they should find a way to get it. Anyway, the renters have to add:

  • Their personal information: full legal name, SSN, phone number, driver’s license, date of birth
  • Information about their current address: current address and previous address (including landlord’s name and phone, reasons for moving, monthly rent, date of moving in and out)
  • Information about their current employment: name of the employer, position, start date, employer’s phone, monthly salary, address)
    personal history (questionnaire concerning the background)
  • Information about the vehicle (year, model, color, license plate number)
  • List of other residents who will live with the renter (each of them has to apply personally, though)
  • Contacts in case of emergency (contact address and phone number)
  • The applicant also has to sign and date the document.

The landlord fills out the rent amount, the sum of the security deposit, lease term and the date of move-in.

Where do I send the Rental application?

The completed and signed application is sent to the landlord. One copy should be kept by the renter for the personal records.

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Residential Appraisal Form: the Best Way to Know the Market Value of Your Property

Uniform Residential Appraisal Form

If you decide to sell your apartment or house and you have a problem knowing how to determine the market value of the real estate, it would be a wise choice to hire an independent appraiser. An appraiser inspects your property and fills out a special document – a Residential Appraisal Form. This appraisal report is also required for some other purposes including, for example, refinancing your house or for buying a certain estate.

Today we are going to talk about the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report, which is also called Fannie Mae Form 1004 or Freddie Mac form 70. This report is used by the above mentioned governmental organizations only for residential mortgage lending. The home owner(s) may need to take out a mortgage on the property to raise funds for different purposes such as education, medical expenses, or traveling. Before giving you a loan, however, the lender needs a completed appraisal report.

Who needs a Uniform Residential Appraisal Report?

As mentioned above, before receiving a loan, the owner of the real estate should provide the lender with an adequate appraisal of his or her property. The appraised value is very important for mortgage lending: it determines the sum of the loan.

What is the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report?

The Uniform Residential Appraisal Report is one of the basic forms utilized for real estate appraisal. It was created for analysis of conditions and evaluation of single-family dwellings or single-family dwellings with an “accessory unit” (including a unit in a planned unit development) but it should not be used for appraisals of manufactured homes or condominiums. Lenders will request the report each time a property is purchased or refinanced. All information provided in the report is used to appraise the actual market value of the property.

Is the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report accompanied by other forms?

All the necessary photos and maps of the property, location, neighboring houses must be attached to the report.

When is the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report due?

Generally, there is no expiration day for the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report, but the lenders may not accept it after 120 days from the date of appraisal, because market changes over time.

How do I fill out the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report?

There are several boxes you should fill out in the report:

  1. Property Description;
  2. Neighborhood and PUD (an overview of the history of that particular area);
  3. Site (covers the property specs);
  4. Value;
  5. Final Determination.

The report also needs an interior and exterior examination of the subject property, a street map with the location of the subject property, and an exterior building draft of the improvements that indicates the dimensions.

Where do I send the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report?

The certified report should be directed to the client/lender.

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REBNY Financial Statement: after the choice is made

REBNY financial statement

The process of buying real estate in New York city is sometimes complicated and exhausting. But finding the ideal apartment can be an exciting and rewarding, if tiring, process. This process doesn’t end once you find your new home though.

Completing the REBNY financial statement is one of the most important steps that a future buyer makes. This document helps the seller to make a decision concerning your offer. A financial statement shows your income and gives the seller confidence that you will be able to provide the amount necessary to purchase the apartment. As a rule, you don’t need this form if you will pay for the property in cash. Read more to learn how to fill out the REBYNY Financial Statement.

Who needs a REBNY financial statement and what is it for?

This financial statement is used by the real estate seller or broker to determine the paying capacity of the future buyer. Typically, the financial statement is necessary for individuals applying for a bank loan, mortgage or other credit, as they are required to provide adequate documentation so that the bank can consider the application and make a reasonable decision about its approval or rejection. That’s why the REBNY financial statement is so important in the process of selling the real estate. It should also be mentioned that if two people want to buy an apartment, the financial statement should provide information about both buyers.

Is the REBNY financial statement accompanied by other forms?

The possible buyer should show the financial statement together with a pre-approval letter for the sum of the loan. In some cases, it’s required to include other documents supporting your offer.

Does the REBNY financial statement have a validity period?

As a rule, the financial statement has to provide the financial information for the last two years.

What information should be provided in the REBNY financial statement?

The financial statement should contain the following information:

  • Name and address of the applicant and co-applicant
  • Information about the applicant’s assets (cash in banks, money market funds, contract deposit, bonds and stocks, accounts and notes, real estate, automobiles, personal property and furniture, life insurance, retirement funds, etc.)
  • Information about liabilities and contingent liabilities (notes payable to banks, relatives, and others; installment accounts for automobiles and others; real estate taxes, chattel mortgages, loans on life insurance policies, outstanding credit cards loans, other debts; alimony payments, child support, payments as endorser or co-maker on notes)
  • Information about sources of income (salary, overtime wages, bonuses, dividends and interest income, real estate income, other)
  • General financial information about the applicant (personal bank account, savings and loans accounts)
  • Information about projected monthly expenses (maintenance, apartment financing, other mortgages, bank loans, auto loans)

The applicant also should complete the schedules of bonds and stocks, real estate and notes payable. The statement must be dated and signed.

Where do I send the REBNY financial statement?

The buyer should submit the financial statement to the seller or his broker.