Read The Fine Print
I have never seen a Vendor contract that did not read like the last will and testament of a condemned to die contractor. But, unlike most wills, this one is written by the company that sent it to the contractor.
You really need to read through contracts before you sign them. In most instances in the property preservation business, you will find that your signature gives away all your rights. I will not list those rights here but I will say that there is nothing in the contracts that guarantee you anything – it is all written for the benefit of the company that wants you to sign it.
Contracts and legal agreements are written for the sole purpose of assigning legal rights to the individual or company that drafted the agreement (or liabilities to the other party). The individual or company writing the contract does not have your best interest in mind, rather they are looking out for theirs.
Read Agreements From Start to Finish
When I first started in the property preservation business, I was asked to sign a contract sent to me by a mortgage servicing company. Out of curiosity, I read through it – all of it. I faxed the contract to my attorney and asked that he call me back with his thoughts on what I would be agreeing to if I signed the contract. He called a few days later and his remark was “I thought slavery had been abolished.”
The contract also stipulated that I could not sue or even arbitrate a dispute. I could not initiate any legal action including the placement of liens. I would also be granting them the right to deposit and debit from my bank account, create any product or service from any correspondence I had with the company and use my name and company name as an unpaid “spokesperson” for their recruiting efforts.
Their attorney was looking after their interests, but it took away my rights in the process, and was unacceptable to me. If I had not had my attorney explain it to me, I might have simply signed and returned the contract.
The biggest mistake you can make when signing an agreement is not thoroughly reading and understanding the document. This may appear to be common sense, but many (if not most) people don’t fully understand the language in written contracts. If you have any questions about what a section or word means, it is up to you to figure it out. The second biggest mistake is not having an attorney read and explain the document to you.