Does the contract say what everyone thinks it says?

A surprisingly high percentage of the “Broker Calls” I receive have to do with improper execution of legal documents.

The one thing I remember most from my pre-license training was the undercurrent tone that we REALTORS should NEVER dabble in “Practicing Law” . . . We should not “make up legal terms” or alter the pre-written contracts provided by our Brokers and/or Associations.

Here in the state of Tennessee, our State association has us covered quite well when it comes to having the appropriate forms for virtually any circumstance we might encounter in a real estate transaction.

The only 2 times I see REALTORS and Brokers get themselves into trouble are:

  • When they don’t fully understand the terms in the prescribed forms (This is easy to correct with appropriate study and training)
  • When they decide that they can write the documents better than the Association’s Attorneys and Forms Committee, and start using “Home-Cooked Documents”.

Bad stuff happens in both of these scenarios.

It’s particularly bad news for an agent who get creative (and the client) to discover that the contract they patched together isn’t even a binding contract . . . It’s just unsound . . . Legally flawed.

Just as bad are “assumptions” about what the “standard” contract says about things.

  • What items are required to remain?
  • Who pays for what?
  • WHEN must certain things be done?
  • What happens when someone misses a deadline?
  • Can a party to the contract quit the deal?
  • How can the parties “police” each other?
  • What’s an “Amendment” and how is it different from an “Addendum” and a “Notification?”
  • What documents are attachments to the agreement, and how are they enforceable?
  • Can an “Outside Party” review this paperwork and understand the intentions and agreements between the Buyer and the Seller?

THIS is the stuff that separates the “men from the boys” and the “women from the girls”

The job of a Real Estate Sales Professional is difficult enough without adding the need to have a law degree . . . thus the reason for “Standard Forms”

Daily, I beg of REALTORS:

  • KNOW the “Standard Forms” frontwards, backwards, and inside out even if it means you have to read them every night before night-night.
  • Don’t rush the process of building an offer – You’ll miss details
  • If you’ve gotta create terms that aren’t covered in the standard language, go STRAIGHT to your Principal Broker – Do NOT pass “Go” and DO NOT collect $200 . . . Explain the scenario to your Broker and TOGETHER build the right language and assemblage of forms.

These are the things that keep Principal Real Estate Brokers awake at night.

As Principal Broker of Pareto Realty, I make myself infinitely available to my affiliate brokers as they transact business (write deals) such that I can support them through the rough spots . . . which, in the end, saves the home Buyers and Sellers an incalculable amount of angst, Time, Energy, and MONEY.

THIS is how WE roll 🙂

(Yet another reason to hire a “Vital Few” Real Estate Professional affiliated with Pareto Realty for Home Purchase or Sale in Middle Tennessee)



Published by Barry Owen

Strategist-CEO of Pareto Realty Real estate sales Professional Inviter-Facilitator-Practicer of Open Space Technology Opening safe space for people & organizations to self-organize around issues & opportunities BarryOwen.US Invite-Listen-Love

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