Question: Are California real estate brokers and agents only allowed to use real estate forms published by trade unions?
Answer: Many brokers erroneously believe they must use forms published by their trade union. However, the Department of Real Estate (DRE) clearly states that listing agents, to fulfill their fiduciary duty to the sellers they represent, must present all offers received regardless of the form on which the offer is written. [See “Being an agent means never having to say you’re sorry,” DRE Real Estate Bulletin, Fall 2001, Page 12]
It is a reportable offense to fail to submit all offers.
No one approves forms; not the State Bar, the DRE, or trade unions such as C.A.R. Each publisher is responsible for its own forms. All published disclosure forms are either:
- mandated for use by dictate of the state legislature or the DRE, such as the Agency Law Disclosure – Disclosure Regarding Real Estate Agency Relationships [ft Form 305], Condition of Property Disclosure – Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS) (first tuesday Form 304) and the Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement (first tuesday Form 314); or
- generic forms, such as net sheets, costs sheets, etc. Each form mandated for use by the state must have the same content – no matter who publishes it.
A broker may use any form he chooses. Other brokers, trade union associations, insurers and the MLS may not and do not require a broker to use a particular form. A sales agent who is employed by a broker who chooses to require his agents to use C.A.R. forms must do so. The rest of the sales agent’s listing or acceptance package can be comprised of forms published by others, such as first tuesday.
Compare as equal or better the real estate forms available through first tuesday. Find information at the first tuesday Forms-on-CD website.