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2021 NCAR Contract Form Changes

Each year the Forms Committee of the North Carolina Association of Realtors (NCAR) makes changes to the standard contract forms that we agents use routinely in our day-to-day business. Most of the time these changes are small, but sometimes they are big. Obviously, it is important to stay on top of these changes and to be sure that you are using the most up-to-date forms.


This article will go over some large changes made to the Residential Offer to Purchase and Contract (Form 2-T) and the Exclusive Right to Sell Listing Agreement (Form 101) that went into effect July 1, 2021.


Delay in Settlement Time Reduced

Form 2-T. Paragraph 12.

After many complaints of abuse of the 14 day delay in settlement provision, it has been reduced to 7 days. This means that a delaying party, whether seller or buyer, now only has 7 days to delay a settlement past the original agreed-upon settlement date. In order to delay a settlement more than 7 days, both parties must agree to and sign an Agreement to Amend Contract form to extend the settlement date.


Buyer and Seller Must Agree to Form of Due Diligence Payment in Contract

Form 2-T. Paragraph 1(d).

Due to the growing popularity of person-to-person electronic payments (PayPal, Cashapp, etc.) a box was added to the form for buyers to indicate if they intend to pay a Due Diligence Payment using an electronic transfer. This gives sellers who would rather not receive such payments the option to evaluate this when reviewing an offer. Buyers who elect to send a Due Diligence Payment via electronic transfer are responsible for covering any fees incurred by the seller in order to receive the funds.


Seller No Longer Required to Make Representations Regarding Special Assessments

Form 2-T. Paragraph 1(n).

Sellers are often barely aware of approved special assessments, let alone proposed ones. To eliminate confusion, sellers are no longer required to make representations regarding their knowledge of approved or proposed special assessments. Even though this disclosure has been removed from the form, sellers are still responsible for paying for any special assessments that are approved while they own the property. Language has been added to Paragraph 4(b) to encourage the buyer to discover any proposed special assessments during their due diligence process.


It is important to note that the knowledge of a proposed special assessment by an agent would be considered a material fact that must be disclosed to all parties to the transaction even though the seller is no longer asked to discover and disclose this information.


Buyer Love Letters

Form 101. Paragraph 9.

In today's competitive market, "buyer love letters" have become increasingly popular. These letters, which often include pictures of the buyers and/or their families, detail how much getting the house would mean to them and/or their family. While endearing, these letters have been problematic because they can lead sellers to, whether consciously or unconsciously, exercise bias which violates Fair Housing Laws.


This new warning paragraph advises the seller and listing agent of potential Fair Housing problems that may arise from accepting these letters from buyers and advises the seller and listing agent to discuss how such letters will be handled before putting the property on the market.


While this list is by no means comprehensive, this is a highlight of what we felt were some of the more important changes made this year. At Skyline, we keep up with things like this, so you don't have to. Take advantage of our expertise and experience and sign up for a class today!

 

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