Jim Valentine: New Year new forms
January of a new year and as many of you know, it’s the time of year when the Board of Realtors modifies its standardized forms that most agents use. Sometimes there are changes during the course of the year when circumstances call for it, i.e.- COVID-19 forms in 2020, but generally speaking, the January changes are what is new for the year. You can see the form date on the bottom right of the pages to know which one you are using.
This year the Listing Contract form has seen a number of changes. The first change identifies the nature of the listed property, i.e.- Residential, Vacant Land, or Multifamily (4 Units or Less) by a check. Minor item, but it does help orient the reader as to what type of property they are dealing with. Likely most appreciated by office Brokers and Transaction Coordinators.
There is a very interesting new clause pertaining to Security Devices that says, “If property is equipped with security cameras or similar devices that are capable of audio recordings or broadcasts, Seller must notify any prospective buyer, broker, or other party touring the property. If Seller has any questions about the requirements of NRS 200.650, Seller is advised to seek legal counsel.” Many houses have Ring doorbells that record audio and video. Others have devices inside. We’ve seen them during our showings and know that we are on “Candid Camera,” but have never seen their presence disclosed … until now. There have been noted oops slips of the lips when Buyers have discussed their thoughts and intentions with their Agent while being observed, heard, and or recorded. Not sure if a Ring doorbell requires the noticing, but when in doubt … disclose.
The residential offer and acceptance form is pretty much static except for a new clause controlling the assignment of the contract, “Buyer may not assign any of Buyer’s rights in this Agreement without prior written consent of Seller, which consent shall not be unreasonably withheld, conditioned, or delayed. Any purported assignment in violation of this Section shall be null and void. No assignment shall relieve the assigning party of any of its obligations in this Agreement.” Assignment in residential real estate isn’t too common, but it is important to know about this if you intend to add people to your title, transfer it to another entity, i.e.- trust, LLC, etc.
There are many details in the contracts that can have an impact on your desired outcome. Read each contract for accuracy so you are sure that it memorializes your intentions and desires. You are dealing with money, and in many cases the party’s biggest financial and/or emotional investment. Such a sizeable commitment may cause people to do goofy things, contract or not, so be sure that the contract is what you think it is. If you have specific concerns ask your Agent to show you where it is addressed in the contract. While your Agent isn’t an Attorney, she can certainly ballpark you on most things contained in the standardized boilerplate fill in the blank offer. If it goes beyond that be sure to seek proper legal counsel, use a real estate proficient attorney.
Agents get used to using the same form over and over, but it is important to understand that those “same ole” forms change. Sometimes the changes are in the boiler plate, the fine print, the area where the Devil lurks per the old expression, “The Devil is in the details.” It doesn’t hurt to read the contract for content once in a while to make sure that it does what you want it to do. You might find it necessary to write in additional terms and conditions to achieve the veracity of your contract that you are desiring.
So we go forth writing 2021 in the date, and using new forms. Another new year. Here we go! Dream about what you want to achieve with real estate this year and get a good Agent to help you make your dreams a reality.
When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your Real Estate needs… Experience is Priceless! Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-3704. firstname.lastname@example.org.