Selling your home? There’s a form for that, and many more!

Lawrence Juntti
Lawrence Juntti
Published on February 21, 2018

Years ago we were told that we would be a “paperless society” in the near future?  Well, somebody forgot to tell the real estate industry.  There must be a form for every single step in the selling process.  In all fairness, real estate is fully in the 21st century with online document signing and other tech wizardry.  Still, the amount of paperwork you’ll sign (digitally or in hard form) from listing to close, is amazing.  One thing is for sure, you’ll never, ever forget how to sign your name afterward! While every form put in front of you for your signature is important, lets’ take a look at those that most of my selling clients have questions about.

Is it an addendum or an amendment – and why should I care?

Even some real estate professionals get confused over the difference between an “addendum” and an “amendment”. An addendum, is something that is added to the purchase agreement (the contract) before it becomes officially valid (known as “ratification”).  For instance, if you were performing a short sale, we would provide the buyer with a Short Sale Addendum before we accept their offer.  Although a separate form, it will become part of the contract. An amendment, on the other hand, is something that is added to the contract after it is signed and accepted.  It is an addition to, or change in, the contract.  Amendments are not uncommon and they are used for everything from a request for payment for repairs (after the home inspection results come in) to changing the closing date.

It’s easy to remember the difference if you think about our Constitution

All those “Constitutional Amendments” we know and love were items added AFTER the Constitution was ratified, right?  They are not called Constitutional Addendums. Addendums, are separate forms that are part of the contract before it is ratified and amendments come after it’s ratified.

Contingency Release Form

A contingency is, simply, a condition.  Think of the buyer as saying “I will buy your home – if X comes to pass by THIS DATE.”  The “X” can be anything from loan approval, an acceptable home inspection results to the home appraising for the agreed-upon sale price.  There is always a date attached to a contingency; a time limit under which the contingency must be removed or the buyer is in violation of the contract’s terms. There are seller contingencies too.  The most common has to do with supplying the buyer with the homeowner association documents by a certain date. The “Contingency Release Form” is a form that will officially acknowledge that a contingency has been performed and the buyer or seller is released from the responsibility to perform.

Disclosure Statements

Although, at first glance they may not seem like it, disclosures are your friend.  As always, in this web site we will be concerned with Michigan real estate and law. By law you must disclose certain things about your home to the buyer – even the agency relationship that you have with your Realtor®.  For instance, the “Disclosure Regarding Agency Relationship” form.  This form simply discloses (makes known) our relationship and discloses to both you and the buyer that I am working for you.  The buyer’s agent will also submit an agency disclosure telling us that he or she represents the buyer. Although all disclosures are important, the most important disclosure forms are; the “Seller’s Disclosure” and Lead Based Paint Disclosure” forms.  These are typically filled out by the homeowner when the home is listed.  It details just about everything that could be wrong with the home.  You are required to disclose everything you know to be a defect about the home. It may seem like you are sabotaging your sale by telling the buyers negative things about the house, but you are actually protecting yourself from costly litigation in the future. If you have any questions about disclosure requirements in our state, please ask. NOTE: Although I am not an attorney and cannot give you legal advice, I’m happy to walk you through them.  And, you are always welcome to run everything by your lawyer. Now, let’s get that home sold!


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