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Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: Let Someone Else Do It for You
By: Sherri K. DeWitt, Esquire
DeWitt Law Firm, P.A.

The world is the same size as it was two hundred years ago, but it seems a lot smaller. Individuals are more mobile and business is more global. Communication is now almost immediate. No longer do we have to wait for a ship to cross the ocean to receive correspondence. It can be emailed or faxed in a matter of seconds.

The result is that we are all under much more stress. Others expect us to respond immediately to almost all of the information we are receiving. This is virtually an impossible task. In our efforts to meet these expectations, however, we place burdens upon ourselves that increase our stresses. The other day, a colleague was complaining to me about how much stress she was under lately. So I asked her, “Do you know what the opposite of stress is?” “No” she replied. I said, “The opposite of stress is death.” From the moment we are born we are bombarded with environmental, physical, social and other stresses. While death is the only was to completely remove these stresses, there are other less drastic methods we can use to decrease the daily burden of life.
One such approach is to remember, “Do not sweat the small stuff; let someone else do it for you.” What does this mean? It means that in today’s world of specialization, do not try to do everything yourself. Let the experts do it for you. It does not make sense to burden yourself with tasks you are not trained to do. There are enough other burdens you already have to deal with. Besides, if you do not do those tasks properly, then you may have to deal with unexpected problems down the road.
Many individuals and businesses think they can handle their legal matter on their own. This is often a mistake, especially if you have no legal background. While you may save some money up front, the likelihood is that unanticipated problems may arise, which could cost you substantially more in the long run. In addition, there is peace of mind in knowing that a trained professional is handling your matters.

One area where individuals and businesses often try to cut corners is when they buy or sell property. One of the most important steps in buying a piece of property is the review of the purchase and sell contract. Before signing a contract, read it carefully and discuss it with a lawyer. If you want to sign the contract immediately because you are concerned that someone else might purchase the property, make your contract contingent upon your lawyer’s review and approval within a certain time period. As a buyer, you may want to make sure that you have the right to choose the place of closing. It may save you money if you close at your attorney’s office. Again, addressing these issues up front and discussing them with an attorney may help reduce your stress level in dealing with these matters. It may also free up some of your time so that you may devote that extra time toward making more money in your business or enjoying it with friends and family — your choice. Just remember, let’s keep that stress level low: don’t sweat the small stuff.

Before you sign a contract, make sure you know:
(1) Exactly what land, buildings, furnishings and fixtures are included in your offer or in the contract. Are the stove, refrigerator, lighting fixtures, fans, pool equipment, draperies, etc. included?
(2) Exactly what is expected of you concerning payment or financing.
(3) Know when you can take possession.
(4) Know whether or not there are any easements or other instruments or documents which might affect your title to the property.
(5) Know which costs you are responsible for. Typical closing costs include examination of title and title insurance, survey, termite inspection, construction inspection, intangible tax on the mortgage, loan closing costs, repair costs if any are necessary, broker’s fees, environmental reports, due diligence costs, attorney’s fees, and other costs or expenses that might be particular to the transaction. Again, your attorney can help you understand these matters.

The best time to retain an attorney is before you enter into any transactions. Your stress level will increase if you have already entered into the transaction and then determine that there is a problem. Again, remember your aim is to reduce stress. Don’t sweat the small stuff — let someone else do it for you. The more you try to do these things yourself, the more likely it is that you will run into trouble down the road.

In today’s world it takes all of our efforts to try to make life easier. In this era of specialization it makes sense to let the specialist help you lead a more enjoyable, productive and stress free life.