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New and Revised California Forms are in the Works

The Standard Forms Advisory Committee of the California Association of Realtors® (CAR) releases new and revised forms twice a year. (It is a never-ending process.) The next scheduled release will be in December of this year. What interested and involved agents ought to know is that (a) drafts of the new forms are currently available on the CAR website, and (b) comments and suggestions are being solicited until 12 p.m., Thursday, October 11.

In the scheduled release there are four new forms and eleven revised ones. In some cases, revisions are quite minor; in others, they are substantial. In what follows here we will address three of the new forms.

1. Pre-Occupancy Storage Addendum. This form addresses a situation that has been around for years. The house in escrow may be substantially or completely vacant. The buyer is already or about to be out of his previous accommodation. Comes the request: “May we store an amount of our belongings in your now-empty garage (or some other parts of the property)? If the answer is ‘yes’, the new form provides a way of spelling it out.

• It lists a period of time for the storage, and provides for a time extension if there is mutual agreement.
• It provides for monetary consideration.
• It specifies the area(s) where items may be stored.
• It specifies that the buyer’s property is not insured by the seller.
• And, perhaps most importantly, it spells out in bold print that the brokers do not recommend this, and that the parties should seek advice from legal counsel.

2. Summary of Offer This form borrows from the well-received recent form that allows for comparisons of offers. On one page, in a simple and clear format, the salient terms of an offer may be conveniently summarized. It is clear on the form that this is a summary; it is not the offer itself.

3. Seller Common Interest and Homeowners Association (HOA) Questionnaire. This is something like the now-familiar Seller Property Questionnaire, except that its questions are confined to items related to the HOA and rules related thereto. If there is more than one HOA involved, a separate questionnaire is to be provided for each of the others. Many of the questions are framed, like the Transfer Disclosure Statement, in terms of the seller’s awareness. For example: Are you aware of a pending or anticipated change in dues? However, not all questions appear in such a format.
In its current draft form, this questionnaire is four pages in length. It will not be something that most sellers could just breeze through. And it’s certainly not something that the agent should volunteer to do.

California Realtors® can take a look at these draft forms on the CAR website. Comments and suggestions will be taken until 12 pm, Thursday, October 11. Questions may be directed to Cecilia Matias, REBS (Real Estate Business Services) Coordinator, at ceciliam@car.org.

Written by Bob Hunt for www.RealtyTimes.com Copyright © 2016 Realty Times All Rights Reserved. Hunt is a director of the California Association of Realtors®. He is the author of Real Estate the Ethical Way. His email address is scbhunt@aol.com.