Document Generation Software for Home Builders, Part 1
Using Answer Files within Document Generation Software
When I purchased my first home, one thing I will never forget is how long it took the home builder to generate the necessary documents. My wife takes 30-40 minutes just to choose which type of shampoo to purchase at the grocery store, but she decided on the lot, the house, the flooring, the cabinets, and the paint for our new home all in less time than it took to fill out the documents with the home builder. If the home builder had been using HotDocs document generation software, I could have stopped by their office after work to complete the paperwork and then made it home in time for dinner and a football game.
HotDocs has many features that can speed up the document generation process. The first feature that I will talk about is called an answer file. An answer file is how HotDocs stores client data.
Once we decided to buy the home, the home builder asked us to meet him at a model home in order to fill out some paperwork. The process was exhausting and took hours, even with a sales agent coaching us on which sections we needed to complete and which ones we could skip. It took so long that I started feeling light-headed and dizzy because I hadn’t eaten in a while. I am convinced that there should be some moral code that states that if you keep a client in one room for more than two meals, you are required to give them a beverage and some snacks. Luckily, I was given an ice cold lemonade near the end of the process (which was much appreciated), but when we finally finished, the sales agent politely invited us to visit the loan office the next day to fill out more paperwork! I was flabbergasted, and in my shock, I knocked my lemonade off the table, drenching the poor sales agent.
The next day we repeated the same process with the loan officer. I would guess that 90% of the information was exactly the same as what I had filled out the day before. When using HotDocs software to generate a document, there is an automatic prompt to save data in an answer file. This answer file can then be reused to generate document after document.
Basically, when buying my home, I could have entered my information just once in the purchase agreement, using HotDocs software. The data would have been saved to answer files, which then could have been used to generate the loan agreement, the title report, the deed, and anything else that was required. That would have saved the home builder and me a bunch of time. But on the downside, I wouldn’t have been able to drink 128 ounces of Minute Maid Lemonade.