If you are a real estate agent in California you may have heard that there will be a new Residential Purchase Agreement (RPA) on November 24, 2014. What does this mean to agents? First of all, it means you will need to learn how the new contract will affect your sales. Since many agents don’t bother to ready through the RPA on a regular basis, this is a chance to start off fresh and really understand how the document works and protects your buyers and sellers.
Here are some of the highlights of the new RPA.
1. Extended buyer contingency period. The standard contingency period of 17 days will be extended to 21 days. This offers more protection for the buyer, but may have the sellers biting their nails for 4 extra days. Nevertheless, it gives the lender more time to secure the loan and provides better peace of mind for all in that respect.
2. Loan and appraisal contingencies will be separate. The current contract ties the two together, so that removal of one means removal of the other. The new RPA will separate these two contingencies, such that the buyer will still have an “out” if the home does not appraise or if the loan is denied, even if the other contingency had been removed. However, the seller is protected as well, in cases where buyers have waived or removed the appraisal contingency, as they cannot back out if the home does not appraise.
3. Buyer direct deposit added to initial deposit field. There will now be a check box allowing the buyer to select to send their initial deposit to escrow via direct deposit.
4. All cash offer added to first page. The “all cash offer” check box has been added under Finance Terms in section 3 on page one.
5. Broker scope of duty. An entire paragraph has been added (section 18 B) that outlines the broker’s scope of duty in regards to the contract – what the broker is and is not liable for in relation to the contract. This provides more protection for brokers.
It is important to take a class to understand all the changes to the RPA so that you are prepared and know the legal ramifications. Most local associations are offering free classes, so check with yours and sign up. As with all legal documents, changes usually offer further protection to the parties involved in signing them, so make sure you are able to best represent your clients and stay educated!
For a list of courses around the state click here.
For a list of online self-study courses click here.