Forms are a key part of real estate, but they are complex documents often written in legal jargon that can baffle consumers.
To help you and your clients understand the purpose of various commonly used real estate forms, the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) has posted a resource to help you.
Forms Explained features a series of simple explanations – in plain English – that help you to understand and convey the intent of many clauses in real estate forms. These summaries can be found on the Forms Explained (link) page of the OREA web site in the Members’ section under Standard Forms.
Chris Somerfield, a REALTOR® in Niagara, says Forms Explained is “a hidden gem. I’m relatively new to real estate, so I find the Forms Explained resource very helpful. I like the fact that you can go down through the forms quickly and spot the red text that explains different clauses. It gives concise information so that I can explain things well and clearly to my buyers and sellers if they ask me what something means. It’s great to have this at our fingertips and I encourage other Realtors to take advantage of this great resource.”
Red text highlighted in the body of various documents in the Forms Explained series aims to help you grasp the meaning of the wording and ensure that your consumers also understand what the language means. Currently, 26 forms are posted. The information is meant to be for educational purposes only and to supply a general overview.
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“This resource aims to build awareness of the forms and enhance our members’ understanding of them,” says Cassandra Agnew Walker, OREA senior manager, standard forms. “That in turn will help members to develop greater confidence in working with these forms when they are providing their services to consumers.”
“Some of our members may not be aware that this resource is here for them to use. The information also makes details available to save members time so they don’t have to start from scratch in explaining things to their consumers when situations arise in transactions.”
“Members need to know the standard forms very well, and most importantly, they need to feel confident in explaining them to consumers,” she says. “This resource adds integrity to your members’ trading activities and fulfills contractual obligations, bringing people together to discuss, negotiate and understand the process of buying and selling one of the biggest assets of peoples’ lives. This is one of the ways that a REALTOR® brings value to a transaction.”
For example, there is a line of red text in Form 108 – Entry/Access to Property Acknowledgement, which a seller is asked to sign. The explanatory line asks the sellers to initial and acknowledge that they are aware of and agree to the fact that certain individuals are allowed to enter the property as it relates to the transaction, including people who may deal with home inspections, appraisals, contractors, lenders, etc. This acknowledgement and permission to allow specific visitors into a property is required by the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). The line in Forms Explained reads: “Who is to attend at the property and any special details of their attendance is noted in the following section…” The actual form provides space to insert information about who is permitted to enter.
The following files are posted with red explanations in straightforward language in the Forms Explained series:
100 – Agreement of Purchase & Sale
101 – Agreement of Purchase & Sale – Condominium Resale
108 – Entry/Access to Property Acknowledgement
109 – Offer Presentation – Acknowledgement
120 – Amendment to Agreement of Purchase and Sale
121 – Notice to Remove Condition(s)
122 – Mutual Release
127 – Condition(s) in Offer – Acknowledgement
145 – Assignment of Agreement of Purchase and Sale
150 – Assignment of Agreement of Purchase and Sale Condominium
200 – Listing Agreement – Authority to Offer for Sale
201 – Seller Customer Service Agreement
225 – Seller Property Information Statement – Important Information for Sellers
244 – Seller’s Direction re: Property/Offers
300 – Buyer Representation Agreement – Authority for Purchase or Lease
310 – Buyer Customer Service Agreement
320 – Confirmation of Co-operation and Representation
500 – Agreement of Purchase and Sale – Commercial
501 – Agreement of Purchase and Sale Condominium Resale – Commercial
502 – Agreement of Purchase and Sale for Business in Leased Premises
520 – Listing Agreement – Commercial – Authority to Offer for Sale
525 – Listing Agreement – Commercial – Authority to Offer for Lease
610 – Disclosure of Benefit/Payment to Registrant
641 – Referral Agreement
801 – Offer Summary Document
810 – Working with a REALTOR®.
“This section is regularly updated and the forms within it are living documents that are revised and improved on an ongoing basis,” Walker adds. “We welcome input from OREA members so if you have feedback or suggestions on this or on any other standard forms resource, we encourage you to contact us.” Members can send an email to email@example.com.
Find all the forms in the 2016 OREA Forms Explained section, here.
Story by Mary Ann Gratton
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