The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

Why It Took Me So Long To Get You the Paperwork

Reasons why I write this blog:

1.       I love to write.

2.       So you will read my stuff and because of my humorously comfortable and conversational writing style feel like we are BFFs and when you have a housing need you will call me to help you handle it because please, we’re BFFs.

3.       So that when ridiculous or humiliating things happen to me and no one is around to see them I have a place to go and complain/confess. Because if a tree gets wedding bridesmaid makeup that makes her look like a hooker-clown and then falls down in a forest and no one is around to see it, did it really happen?

Just so as we’re clear. Onto my latest complaint.

I’m really happy so far at my new brokerage. The people are really fun and nice and the distinct lack of rules and red tape simply for the sake of rules and red tape makes me giddy. Plus the heftier paychecks without ridiculous ‘franchise fees’ do not suck either.

The switch is not without its drawbacks, however. (I’m not saying the drawbacks aren’t worth it; but drawbacks they remain.)

I’ve written before about my hate/hate relationship with my fax machine. I’m not going to recap that here, but let’s just say it’s been contentious from the start. Now that I’m with a brokerage that is only ‘virtual’ in an office sense, I am completely on my own with regard to office supplies and equipment. My office at my other brokerage was a good 35 miles from my home, so I didn’t visit there very often anyway, but I still had it as a back-up if I absolutely needed it. Now my only backup is Kinkos. Which charges $1/page or something ridiculous for scanning and faxing.

Here’s my latest battle: Getting the listing paperwork scanned into the computer.

You’d think this wouldn’t be that big of an issue because:

1.       I use Docusign, which lets me have people sign documents on the computer with eSignatures.

2.       My fax machine is also a scanner.

You’d be wrong because:

1.       My esigned contracts are being rejected more and more often by idiot banks and government institutions, who hate trees and the environment and want to kill baby dolphins. In 1 out of 2 transactions I’ve tried to use esigs on recently I’ve been forced to print the docs and have my clients resign with real signatures (because those are totally impossible to fake, you know).

2.       My fax machine is actually just a giant paperweight that does nothing else productive in the slightest.

Saturday morning I got up with the intention of getting my new listing all gussied up and online and the paperwork disbursed to the various people who needed it (copies to the owner of the house, to my broker, etc).

I immediately hit a brick wall when I tried to feed my 19 pages through my scanner and only have them spit out an error. After 3 attempts I got my husband (AKA: the technical mind in our family) involved. He then proceeded to spend 4 hours (yes, I exaggerate often, but I swear here I am not. FOUR HOURS.) locked in the office with only occasional eruptions of, ‘Damn it!’ and ‘Stupid scanner!’ (which prompted the Bad Word Police to announce, “Daddy said a bad word. He said, ‘stupid’. It’s a bad word.” Jonas doesn’t yet know that ‘shit’ is a bad word, though, so we’re free to use it without reprimand. ‘Stupid’ and ‘shut up’ however, are on the list, even when used ironically or simply for emphasis like Elaine on Seinfeld.). Jason eventually emerged after having gleaned that our internet provider has made some security changes that no longer allow the scanner to send multiple page documents to my email. I can, however, send a single page scan to myself. No one knows why this works and not 2 pages. It’s one of the great mysteries of life.

Apparently what I have to do is scan each of my 19 pages individually and then reassemble them into one PDF once they are emailed to me. The process will take approximately 8 times as long, but it’s still doable.

Of course after Jason had spent infinity messing with the stupid (BAD WORD) thing the settings were all screwed up and the first three people who tried to call us after that were interrupted by the screeching of the fax machine in their ear. Plus, when I went to try to scan my 19 pages individually I couldn’t even get one to work anymore due to a different error.

Finally, as of this morning the whole system was back to where it had been before I tried anything Saturday morning and I was ready to scan individual pages. So at 8:02 AM I began the process. With each page I fed it in, pushed the Scan to Email button, selected the correct email address, hit start button, fed the sheet through and waited for the little ‘COMPLETED!’ message to pop up. This took almost 20 minutes.

After completing this already laborious task, I sat down at my computer and hit the Send/Receive button to get my 19 emails with my 19 individual PDFs to begin assembling the complete PDF to disburse. Sadly, I did not recieve 19 emails. No, I received THREE EMAILS: page 2, page 5 and page 7.

Apparently when you scan multiple docs in one right after another, they arrive in your inbox at random times over the next several hours in a totally non-sequential order. It’s like a real-estate themed time-sucking puzzle you have to put together with every document. It’s 10:03 AM now and I have approximately 60% of the document pieced together. Oh look, page 17 just made its way into my inbox.

Maybe Kinko’s is worth the $19.

16 Responses to Why It Took Me So Long To Get You the Paperwork

  1. You need a NeatDesk. I am in love with mine. It scans receipts, business cards, and kid’s artwork so I don’t feel guilty about throwing away the 27 pictures Cecilia colored today. But most importantly paperwork zips through in less than a minute and it can hold like 100 pages or something.

  2. this made me laugh out loud (“tree gets wedding bridesmaid makeup”) and then almost cry (scanner horror story).

    *Now* I know what we should have gotten you for Christmas.

  3. LIZ!!! where have you been all my life? Please email me info on that equipment. We’ve been looking for a replacement that doesn’t make me want to ram my face through a plate glass window and couldn’t find anything.

    Dad, thanks, as always, for reading. 😀

  4. I highly recommend Software995 which is a free PDF maker. Had all 19 emails arrived with 1 PDF attached to each, Software995 would have helped you turn it all into 1 neat PDF attachment. HatTip my biz partner Chris Butterworth on that one!

  5. The NeatDesk is cool, but pretty darn pricey (though their NeatReceipts thingamabob is probably worth it). I’d go with one of the HP Officejet/Deskjet/Photosmart All In One machines. They even come wireless, now, which came in handy when we finally got to move into a home that took more than 10 steps to cross from end to end :-)

  6. Does the fax part of the machine still work? Because AAR has this free service for members that blogger Evan Fuchs wrote about: “Turn Your Ordinary Fax Machine into a Scanner for Free” (http://blog.aaronline.com/2010/04/turn-your-ordinary-fax-machine-into-a-scanner-for-free/). Maybe it would work for this situation?

    Sage

  7. I am so glad I wrote this post! So many solutions better than giving myself a concussion with the wall! thanks Heather, Dawn and Sage!

  8. Liz

    I second the HP suggestion — I have an old HP all-in-one that still scans and faxes beautifully. Have to admit, I’ve never scanned 19 documents at once, but have done several with no problem.

    And I’m still laughing at the thought of the wedding bridesmaid made up to look like a hooker-clown!

    Ann

  9. Your new brokerage has a scanner/printer/fax machine and it’s less than 35 miles away.

    If you can fax from your fax machine you can also fax the paper work to the office efax. It turnes it into a PDF and sends it to our email. We’ll forward the email to you :)

  10. I am glad everyone provided good suggestions. I just was going to recommend that you budget for maintenance so poor Jason didn’t have to go to work every Saturday just to avoid frustration. :-)

  11. Whenever you are at RETT East, there is a scanner right next door. And it will scan multiple pages…

    Awesome post Liz!

  12. Elizabeth,

    Smartest Girl in the Room, here. I feel your pain, and here are my suggestions.

    1. PDF995 is awesome (we ask all of our agents to have it) but, alas, it only plays nice with Windows. :(
    2. Get a ScanSnap. I love it more than my dog, my cat and one of my children (not naming names) combined. It is a jippy little affordable pdf scanner that has changed my life. (Note: No money has changed hands for this endorsement.)
    3. If your fax works, and assuming you have an eFax number, fax to yourself and — voila! PDF in your inbox like magic. I think Francy said that, but it sounded better when I did.

  13. And by “jippy” I meant “zippy,” but at 6:00 AM, what’s the difference?

  14. Yeesh! shounds like a rough day! This is a great post for sure, is it too soon to laugh at your misfortune? :) I’m really interested in what you say about esigs,
    “My esigned contracts are being rejected more and more often by idiot banks and government institutions, who hate trees and the environment and want to kill baby dolphins. In 1 out of 2 transactions I’ve tried to use esigs on recently I’ve been forced to print the docs and have my clients resign with real signatures (because those are totally impossible to fake, you know).”
    I recently wrote a blog article about the hesitation people still seem to have towards esigs:
    http://www.aspensquare.com/blog/archive/2011/01/07/e-sign-on-the-dotted-line-ndash-do-you-trust-an.aspx
    What reasoning have you been running into from these banks/institutions? I’d love to hear more about this!
    Thanks!

  15. Francy, good to know!

    Bill, yeah, I was going to do that, but I was trying to get all of this done on the weekend when you’re closed.

    Kris, thanks for the clarification! I read your first comment to my husband and said, ‘I don’t know what ‘jippy’ means.’ anyway, I do not have an efax account because the crappy scanner/fax was supposed to eliminate the need for one. It receives faxes to email also (when working properly). In theory, it’s exactly what I need, but we’ve had more problems with the stupid thing than it’s worth.

    I’m going to take all of these suggestions under advisement! Love the help!

  16. And when all else fails (or well before that), I am open on weekends and approximately 4.2 minutes away. More than happy to scan/email/fax/bedazzle things for you as long as you don’t judge my messy house. Seriously, you know you can call anytime you need! We’re co-workers and BFF’s after all.

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