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Don’t take shortcuts with real estate contracts

Realtor Notebook

I torture myself every September by attending a legal forms class. Once a year a lawyer with the state association of Realtors holds a class to update us on the real estate forms, which are changed every August to reflect the new laws made that take effect every July. They keep passing laws and adding more pages to the contracts. The class itself isn't torture, and I usually enjoy it. Understanding the purchase agreement and listing contract are critical parts of my job and I like to know what I am talking about when I go through them, line by line, with my clients. They are legal contracts, and buying real estate is a big deal. Understanding the contracts and using them correctly can cause conflicts, though, and in some instances I have found myself defending the language in my contracts when challenged by others. Some agents and brokers have told me that they have always filled out the contracts a certain way, and that is how they should be filled out. Some of the tradit...

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