Dot the I’s, cross the T’s; read and follow through!

Posted on: March 22nd, 2021 by RAGC Team No Comments

Contracts and forms that are provided for use in real estate transactions must be completed with care.  It is important that all parties who will be signing the forms read them, ask questions (to either their agent or legal counsel) pertaining to anything that isn’t completely understood and review the documents prior to signing and sending to the other party.

When filling in the blanks, it is important to go over each item with your client and to make sure that each space is completed accurately to reflect the intent of the party who will be signing the document.  An incomplete form or incorrectly completed form can create problems down the road. A simple typo can result in an agreement that was not intended.  Mistakes regarding price, timeframes, closing date and everything in between can jeopardize the position of your client.  Make sure the objective of the party you represent is clearly indicated in the document, that the timeframes entered are reasonable and that you follow up to make sure they are met.  When unsure about how to address something, ask your manager or broker.

Keep in mind that Article 1 of the Code of Ethics states that “When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or other client as an agent, REALTORS® pledge themselves to protect and promote the interest of their client”.  Taking care to ensure accuracy in contracts and forms is part of that obligation.

Article 9 of the Code of Ethics requires that all agreements related to real estate transactions be in writing in clear and understandable language expressing the specific terms, conditions, obligations and commitments of the parties.  So, if the parties want/need something to happen….put it in writing for all parties to sign it.  Article 9 also requires that a copy of each agreement be furnished to each party upon their signing or initialing.  So, be prepared to do so.

If you haven’t heard back from the listing broker after submitting an offer to purchase a property and want to know the status, inquire with the listing broker as to whether the offer has been presented to the seller – in writing.  Article 1 requires the listing broker to respond, in writing, to written inquiries pertaining to the presentation of the offer to the seller.  “Upon the written request of a cooperating broker who submits an offer to the listing broker, the listing broker shall provide, as soon as practical, a written affirmation to the cooperating broker stating that the offer has been submitted to the seller/landlord, or a written notification that the seller/landlord has waived the obligation to have the offer presented.”

Talk about each section of the contract with your client, take your time in completing the documents, review and follow through.  Doing so will protect you and your client and will alleviate problems later.