New and Improved Residential Property Purchase Agreement Form Makes Life Easier. The California Association of Realtors® (CAR) released revisions to its California Residential Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions form in December. It’s consistent with the best practices in real property contract drafting and should make buying and selling easier.
The form was revised to include new guidelines, and agreement revisions try to make transactions smoother and more consumer-friendly. The move also makes essential points clearer for everyone involved in the transaction. The document details situations with impacts on the buyer or seller. Parties to the sale need to understand the form because it impacts the transaction and could make or break the deal.
The form was last updated in 2018. Some significant changes were made:
- Listing and summarizing critical terms at the start of the contract
- A new three-page table with all key terms impacting the transaction, including price, financing terms, deadlines/contingency periods, and cost allocation. Each row includes a cross-reference to the relevant paragraph where the reader can find the more detailed terms
- It’s gone from ten to 16 pages
While the new terms table and other formatting changes and revisions increased the form’s length, the contract is more manageable and easier to navigate. Some of the benefits of the new form include preventing problems from the old one:
- Missing or hidden obligations or deadlines: When terms are buried in a contract, they’re easy to miss. If commitments or deadlines are missed, the parties need to work it out, or it may kill the deal
- Unreasonable or unworkable timelines: You don’t see the whole transaction when there’s no listed timeline and dates are all over a document. If you change one date, but not others, timelines are impractical or impossible to meet
- Essential terms are misunderstood: If key terms are summarized at the contract’s beginning, the parties should better understand them. Attorneys can also go through them to make sure their clients understand the terms
- Too many internal documents: With a detailed terms table, an attorney won’t need a separate summary to track deadlines and obligations
If you have any questions or need any help with a real estate purchase, give us a call. We are an established and growing law firm helping clients with a wide range of real estate needs. We’re available at (714) 415-2007 or reserve your spot by clicking here.