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Realtors updating contract for home purchases – Daily News

In some states, agents and clients rely on attorneys to wrangle home sales through the purchase process.

But in California, residential real estate transactions are based predominantly on a suite of forms provided by the California Association of Realtors, which CAR members have access to. CAR employs a fleet of lawyers to create and update these forms to leave the transactions in the hands of the agents, escrow and title professionals.

As a result, your agent is the beneficiary of this huge brain trust that monitors trending issues and keeps their suite of forms up to date. The uniform transaction forms make salient deal points clear, make transactions smoother and prevent misunderstandings.

The most frequently used form in this suite of tools is the Residential Purchase Agreement.

This December, state Realtors are expected to unveil an extensive overhaul of this document. This should make transactions even smoother for prospective buyers and sellers. However, change always comes with some consequences. Here are just a few things that might happen once this new form is implemented.

For starters, agents need to get up to speed on this new form, beginning with buyers’ agents. Since buyers are the ones who get the ball rolling, their agent will be the first to use the new purchase contract. Hopefully, they will take advantage of a bevy of training that’s expected from CAR, their brokerage and other resources.

Agents, please take note. You do not want to sit down with your buyer without at least taking a look at the new form first. The form has gone from 14 to 18 pages. Items that used to be on pages 6 or 7 are now on pages 1 and 2. There are new items that need to be discussed and decided to complete the form.

For listing agents, you’ll want to look over the new form as well so you’re familiar with it before getting multiple offers for your clients’ house. Familiarity with the form will help you compare the terms in the various offers you get.

For escrow officers, understanding the new form will be crucial to translating details of a deal into escrow instructions.

We all need to be aware of how the new form is intended to be used. This will take time and effort on everyone’s part.  So expect some bumps in the road while everyone gets on board.

Leslie Sargent Eskildsen is an agent with RealtyOne Group West and a member of the California Association of Realtors’ board of directors.  She can be reached at 949-678-3373 or leslie@leslieeskildsen.com.

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