90 percent of realtors report challenges with client documents — Here’s how Acrobat can help

Image of 4 houses with red roofs. Image source: Adobe Stock

The process of purchasing a home can be daunting and complex. From understanding intricate legalities to organizing and collecting numerous documents, it can often feel overwhelming.

To help future homeowners navigate the complexities of buying a home, Adobe surveyed real estate professionals in the US to gather their insight, tips, and current housing market struggles with buyers this year.

Key findings:

The biggest struggles for homebuyers, according to realtors

From finding the perfect property within their budget to navigating the complexities of financing and overcoming unexpected setbacks, the struggles of home buying are diverse and require the expertise of real estate professionals to provide guidance and support. By understanding these challenges, realtors can tailor their services to meet the specific needs of homebuyers and ensure a smoother home buying process.

Infographic about navigating the mortgage maze: The struggle of homebuyers in todays market.

Managing client expectations of the housing market is a top challenge reported by 58 percent of real estate professionals. Even after 10+ years in the industry, 53 percent of realtors reported managing expectations as their biggest struggle. The current housing market is characterized by high demand and limited inventory, making finding a property that aligns with your specific criteria can be challenging. This means it's essential to clearly understand your requirements, have all of your documents handy, and work with a realtor who can help you navigate the competitive landscape.

According to the findings, the top challenges reported by homebuyers include finding properties that meet their criteria (58 percent), securing financing (45 percent), dealing with unexpected property issues or setbacks (39 percent), facing multiple offers and competition (36 percent), and negotiating offers and counteroffers effectively (34 percent).

90 percent of realtors encounter challenges with clients’ documents

In real estate, the significance of solid document organization cannot be overstated, as it directly impacts the success and smoothness of your home buying journey.

Infographic about the consequenceds of poor documentaion during the home buying process.

The top struggles faced by home buyers with poor document organization include delayed or stalled transactions (59 percent), financial loss or unexpected expenses (47 percent), increased stress and frustration for all parties involved (46 percent), contractual disputes, and legal issues (36 percent), and missed opportunities or advantages (35 percent).

Realtors play a crucial role in helping clients navigate these struggles, being aware of the common administrative challenges, and ensuring proper documentation is organized and understood. 90 percent of realtors report encountering challenges related to clients' administrative documents and contracts. By emphasizing the importance of clear and organized documentation, professionals and decision-makers in the real estate industry can help mitigate the risks and challenges associated with the current housing market.

1 in 4 realtors reveal their clients' lack document importance knowledge

From being realistic about property prices to understanding the complexities of the buying/selling process, these secrets from real estate professionals are essential for homebuyers seeking a smooth and successful journey.

Infographic sign, seal, deliver: Realtors' secrets to stremlined home purchases.

One particularly notable finding is that 1 in 4 realtors reported that their clients do not understand the importance of administrative documents and contracts during a real estate transaction. Moreover, real estate professionals revealed that 46 percent of their clients don't have a clear understanding of their financial capabilities and limitations before starting the home buying process. Homebuyers need to be realistic about their budget and ensure they can afford the ongoing costs of owning a home, from mortgage payments to utilities and other expenses.

Being more prepared in your document organization could be more beneficial than you think. One in five real estate professionals stress the importance of document organization, and 47 percent report that their clients experience financial loss or unexpected expenses due to neglecting document organization.

Here are the top actions realtors recommend homebuyers take with their documents to help them save money during the home buying process:

  1. Review all documents thoroughly — 58 percent
  2. Ensure all paperwork is completed accurately and promptly — 47 percent
  3. Organize and compile all necessary documents in advance — 39 percent
  4. Seek clarification on any terms or clauses that are unclear — 38 percent
  5. Consult with legal or financial professionals — 29 percent

PDFs: The preferred home buying document format

PDFs have emerged as the favored format for real estate professionals, providing numerous benefits that facilitate seamless transactions. In today's dynamic housing market, where efficiency and accuracy are paramount, leveraging PDFs as the preferred document format can significantly streamline the home buying process for realtors and their clients.

Inforgraph saying, "Don't Let papers pile up! The importance of organized documentation in home buying".

Due to their versatility and compatibility, PDFs have become the go-to format for real estate professionals. This format enables realtors to create documents that preserve the original formatting and layout across different devices and operating systems, ensuring a consistent viewing experience for clients. Furthermore, PDFs offer enhanced security features protecting sensitive information shared during home buying. With password encryption and digital signatures, realtors can ensure the confidentiality and integrity of client documents, instilling trust and peace of mind for both parties involved.

Adobe guide to ensure you have all your documents ready for the homebuying process

Gather all relevant documents

Before starting the homebuying process, ensure you have all the necessary documents. This typically includes, but is not limited to:

Scan and convert physical documents to PDFs

If you have physical documents, scan them using Adobe Scan to easily convert them into PDF files. Adobe Acrobat's various online tools also allow you to easily convert documents, including converting images, to PDF format, ensuring compatibility and easy sharing with others involved in the homebuying process.

Create a digital folder

Organize your documents by creating a dedicated digital folder for your home buying process. This will help you stay organized and easily locate specific files when needed.

Edit and sign documents electronically

Numerous documents require signatures when buying a home. Adobe Acrobat's online sign tool can significantly simplify this aspect of the process. With Adobe Acrobat, you can sign all the necessary documents, eliminating the need for printing and signing by hand. This streamlines the signing process, saves time, and reduces paper waste.

Share and collaborate with others

Collaboration is crucial during the homebuying process. Adobe Acrobat allows you to securely share your documents with lenders, agents, and anyone involved. You can set permissions and track document activity to ensure everyone has the latest version and can effortlessly provide feedback.

Safeguard your documents with security features

Protecting sensitive information is crucial when dealing with homebuying paperwork as these documents have highly sensitive personal information on them. Adobe Acrobat provides robust security features such as password protecting PDFs. Utilize these features to safeguard your documents and maintain data privacy.

By following these tips and utilizing the Adobe Acrobat online tools, you can ensure that all your documents are ready and organized for a smooth homebuying process this year.

Benefits of document organization using Adobe Acrobat

When it comes to home buying, leveraging a tool like Adobe Acrobat can be a game changer. With its diverse range of features for document editing and organization, Adobe Acrobat proves highly advantageous in managing essential home buying paperwork. Potential homebuyers can save valuable time and alleviate stress by effortlessly editing and merging files and easily adding comments and annotations. Additionally, this tool enhances overall organization, ensuring homebuyers can quickly locate and access the necessary documents.


Adobe conducted a survey of 516 realtors in the United States to reveal insight into the home buying market in 2024.

The data is based on self-reported answers, meaning respondents may have had biases or discrepancies between their own reported ability and their actual abilities. To ensure respondents answered accurately, they were required to correctly answer an attention-check question. Survey data have certain limitations related to self-reporting.

Fair Use Statement:

Now that you know more insight into the homebuying world — feel free to share this data. We ask that you do so for non-commercial use and provide a link to this original study page so that your audience can explore the research in its entirety.