Real Estate Contracts

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In the blink of an eye, the summer break is almost over!  In a few more weeks schools will start back up again.  We hope you fully enjoy the beautiful (and hot) month of August.

This month, let’s talk about residential real estate contracts.  When we are buying and selling homes, the written agreement is the sales contract.  The contract governs the transaction and provides for the rights and obligations of the buyer and seller.  It is legally binding once signed by both parties.  The understanding of the details is crucial for the success of a transaction.

Real estate agents do not have the training or the license to draft contracts.  Only licensed attorneys can do that.  What we real estate agents use are standard contracts created by trade groups, then approved by the Florida Supreme Court for use by non-lawyers.

In Central Florida, the prevailing contract is the FR/BAR contract Version 3.   This contract is created by the joint efforts of the Florida Realtors Association and the Florida Bar Association and named accordingly.

There is also the CRSP contract Version 13.  CRSP stands for Contract for Residential Sale and Purchase.
These contracts have important differences throughout.  Here is a simple example: in the CRSP contract, washer and dryer are included in the sale.  In the FR/BAR contract, they are not.

The contracts are revised every time there are law changes or transactional updates.  For example, the FR/BAR contract version 4 is in the works now to (hopefully) comply with and reflect the consequences of the implementation of the new federal TRID rules.

If you work with real estate agents, make sure they understand these contracts and keep up with the latest revisions.  They are your representatives in contract negotiation and contract management.  Your rights and obligations are governed by these documents that you sign.  It’s important you understand the details and nuances so you are not surprised later.

If you are thinking about buying or selling a home and would like to talk about these matters, please give us a call. We love to talk about real estate!

Until next month, take care!

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