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Twice a year the C.A.R revises our contracts, whether they need to or not.  They are touting how much the new version will be changing in November, but from what I can tell it is only a word here and a sentence or two there:

http://www.car.org/media/pdf/legal/standard-forms/rpadraft22/

Even though electronic signatures have been used for years, they haven’t figured out that we need more room for the initials and signatures!  And there is still no disclosure to the buyer about how much commission their agent is receiving – that amount will never be divulged.

They are adding this whopper though – the Scope of Duty, which you would think covers what we do as agents.  But instead, it covers what we don’t do:

SCOPE OF DUTY: Buyer and Seller acknowledge and agree that Broker: (i) Does not decide what price Buyer should pay or Seller should accept; (ii) Does not guarantee the condition of the Property; (iii) Does not guarantee the performance, adequacy or completeness of inspections, services, products or repairs provided or made by Seller or others; (iv) Does not have an obligation to conduct an inspection of common areas or areas off the site of the Property; (v) Shall not be responsible for identifying defects on the Property, in common areas, or offsite unless such defects are visually observable by an inspection of reasonably accessible areas of the Property or are known to Broker; (vi) Shall not be responsible for inspecting public records or permits concerning the title or use of Property; (vii) Shall not be responsible for identifying the location of boundary lines or other items affecting title; (viii) Shall not be responsible for verifying square footage, representations of others or information contained on Investigation reports, Multiple Listing Service, advertisements, flyers or other promotional material; (ix) Shall not be responsible for determining the fair market value of the Property or any personal property included in the sale; (x) Shall not be responsible for providing other advice or information that exceeds the knowledge, education, and experience required to perform real estate licensed activity.  Buyer and Seller agree to seek legal, tax, insurance, title and other desired assistance from appropriate professionals.

The worst item is (viii), which states that we aren’t responsible for accurate data on our own flyers or listings. If not the agent, then who is responsible?

Thankfully nobody reads the contract (consumers or agents), but if you did read it, would you have faith and confidence in your agent?  And good luck trying to sue us now!

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