Correct names are as important as signatures

What’s in a name? Everything.

We all know our own name. But during the settlement process, the simple requirement to write each party’s name(s) leads to a surprising amount of mistakes.

As a reminder, the full legal name of the buyer and seller needs to be included on the offer and acceptance.

But, quite commonly, the names on one or more of these documents don’t exactly match the individuals’ legal name. Common mistakes include:

  • Nicknames – such as Fred Smith instead of Frederick Smith,
  • Confirmation names being included as middle names,
  • Names in the wrong order (particularly with names from other cultures), or
  • A simple misspelling of the name.

While these seem trivial, if the names on the offer acceptance don’t match those on the individual’s ID or other documents, important institutions such as banks, Landgate, or the Office of State Revenue won’t accept them – and settlement may be delayed.

To aid a smooth and timely settlement, treat the writing of correct names on paperwork as non-negotiable as signatures on a contract.

Image by Marc Roberts via Flickr.