What is first tuesday’s real estate forms policy? Why does the Realty Publications, Inc. (RPI) forms library not include some of the forms provided by the California Association of Realtors (CAR)?
first tuesday enforces a real estate forms policy that:
- encourages user diligence in transactions;
- provides forms appropriate for use in real estate transactions;
- conforms to legislation and regulations mandating content and format;
- promotes disclosures which mitigate the risks for brokers and principals; and
- supports unrestricted use and free access to real estate forms.
All RPI published disclosure forms are either:
- mandated for use by the state legislature or the CalBRE, such as the Agency Law Disclosure, the Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS) and the Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement (NHD) [See RPI Form 305, 304 and 314]; or
- generic forms, such as purchase agreements, net sheets and costs sheets.
Each form mandated for use by the state must have the same content – no matter who publishes it. Further, no state or private entity approves forms for use in California real estate transactions with very few exceptions for advance fees and some mortgage disclosures.
Thus, RPI forms are California-specific. Importantly, they are engineered to satisfy all state requirements, while simplifying the language and content to provide a better experience for form users.
Avoiding unnecessary forms
RPI purposefully does not publish some of the extraneous forms provided by CAR, such as the Market Conditions Advisory (MCA) and the Statewide Buyer and Seller Advisory (SBSA).
These forms are nonmandatory and entirely redundant to a transaction. They only add clutter and distract a buyer and seller from the mandated disclosures that pertain to the transaction at hand. Worse, they potentially mislead principals by referencing factual situations and practices that are mostly not of concern to the subject transaction.
RPI forms are drafted to provide maximum loss reduction protection for brokers and their agents. As policy, our forms do not contain clauses which tend to increase the risk of litigation or conflict with the best long-term interests of the buyer, seller and broker.
Deliberately excluded provisions include:
- an attorney fee provision, which tends to promote litigation and inhibit resolution;
- a time-essence clause, since future performance (closing) dates are, at best, estimates by the broker and their agents of the time needed to close, and are too often improperly used by sellers in rising pricing conditions to cancel the transaction before the buyer or broker can reasonably comply with the terms of the contract;
- a liquidated damages provision, as they create wrongful expectations of windfall profits for sellers and are always unenforceable as forfeitures; and
- an arbitration provision, since arbitration decisions are final and unappealable, without discovery procedures and any judicial oversight to assure the arbitrator’s award will be fair or correct.
RPI forms do, however, include a mandatory mediation provision to mitigate the risk of a legal battle. The mediation provision requires all disputes be submitted to mediation as a precursor to filing an action to bring about a mutually agreeable solution.
Mediation is a quick process and is the most cost effective method of dispute resolution. Further, unlike arbitration, it does not preclude parties from pursuing a resolution in a court of law and, thus, ensures parties to an agreement retain all their rights to a judge or jury trial and appellate review.