In Texas, the contracts we use to sell real property and land are Promulgated forms created by a Broker-Lawyer Committee. That means, these are legally binding contracts when fully dated and executed by both buyer and seller.
Texas is not an attorney state, rather we use these forms provided to us, and the title companies do the title work, hold escrow, and meet with both parties to close the transactions.
This Broker-Lawyer Committee gets together every so often and they revise our contracts. Sometimes it's to add something completely new, but for the most part, it's just to use better language to explain something so there is less confusion in the forms.
There are revisions that will go into effect June 1, 2014 and I want to highlight a handful of them below, as I feel they're important changes.
One of the biggest changes made, in my opinion, is that the Termination Option Fee will now have 3 days to be delivered instead of 2. You might be thinking, "What's 1 extra day?" but in real estate terms, that extra day means a lot! Real estate uses calendar days and not "business" days, so when a contract is executed on a Friday or Saturday, it's sometimes difficult to get that Option Fee turned in over the weekend. Lots less stressful to have that extra day for delivery.
Another change is that "Satellite Dish System and equipment" was removed from the Improvements and Accessories sections. We were always having to remember to exclude the receivers and controllers as those are usually either personal property or leased from the satellite company, so there was no point in including them into a contract of "real property".
Sellers must now disclose if their property uses a community propane system. This is not that common, but has still caused a lot of issues across the state, and since propane rates are not regulated by the state, buyers should be aware when they buy into these communities.
And one last thing I find note-worthy is that Mediation is no longer an option in our contracts. Mediation is now a requirement before either party can sue another party. It's the less expensive route before going in front of a judge and spending so many man-hours on something that could be agreed to with a third party listening to both sides and helping to come to a resolution.
There are other changes to the contract, so even if you've bought and/or sold in the past couple of years, I urge you to read before you sign anything to make sure you understand what the contract says. Don't think you know it already, as you don't.
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Copyright© 2014 By Donna Harris, All Rights Reserved. You may re-blog with links back to this post.*Texas Real Estate Contract Changes - Effective June 1 2014* was first published on donnahomesblog.com.