The Tennessee Association of REALTORS has supplied members with over 80 forms for use in Real Estate Transactions.
Many of these forms are multi-page documents designed to “handle” every imaginable scenario that could surface during a deal.
The savvy REALTORS amongst us know these form intimately. They know which form does what and when to use each one. When they’re not sure, they’ve got a Principal Broker who can likely steer them in the right direction.
That’s all fine and dandy (and useful), but it’s also somewhat of a “Moving Target” because the forms change (sometimes annually) as the TAR sees the need for clarification and/or new process.
With all of these carefully crafted forms, one might think that REALTORS would never run into a scenario that can’t be addressed by a form that’s in the inventory.
This indicates one of the exciting (and sometimes nail-biting) dynamics every Real Estate Sales Professional faces more frequently than most folks could imagine.
What if there’s not a form for that?
What do we do when we encounter a nuance in a deal that we’ve never seen before . . . and there’s no form that seems to cover the bases?
This is the time when the REALTOR must be very careful not to “Play Attorney.”
One tendency I’ve noticed in my 20+ years of Selling houses and managing agents is for them to “make up some good language” and write it in “Special Stipulations” or in the white space margins of the document.
Don’t DO this! (Unless you happen to be a real estate attorney)
Odds are good that if you write something “Creative” and “run it past” one of your colleagues, they’re going to love it and tell you how BRILLIANT you are.
What if what you composed isn’t so good after all?
What if your “language” compromises your client’s position and/or ends up costing your client lots of money?
Who’s going to pay THAT piper?
So here’s my advice . . .
FIRST – Take all of the paperwork to your Broker and explain the scenario. If anyone is going to create language, let it be your Broker (and odds are good, your Broker knows a form that will cover the bases)
Failing that, align yourself with a good Real Estate Attorney who will help you.
Every 6 months, I devote a training session for the agents of Pareto Realty to review the forms and troubleshoot any issues or misunderstandings. These are always interesting sessions because there are always interesting stories about the twists and turns real estate transactions take us.
Whatever you do . . . keep it clean and legal.