Real Estate Commission Form
Updated: Sep 19, 2022
Is that a Real Estate Commission Form contract for a residential purchase or should you call your lawyer?
The Statute of Frauds requires contracts for the sale of land, or any interest in land, to be in writing. (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 22-2). In North Carolina, the most common and used way for the sale of land is for a real estate agent to use “‘the Offer to Purchase and Contract’ (Standard form 2-T; or Standard form 12-T for vacant lots/land) for a residential real property transaction. This contract is jointly approved by the NC REALTORS and the NC Bar Association and is widely used across the State of North Carolina.” (ncrealtors.org).
An “Offer to Purchase and Contract” is a home-selling contract and a legally binding document. However, it does not become a legally binding document until both parties come to an agreement, and the buyer and seller each sign the form. Another type of residential purchase is when the real estate transaction involves a new construction home, and most builders use their own sale contract. One of the biggest differences between the “Offer to Purchase and Contract” and a builder’s contract is that the builder’s contract will add additional information designed to protect the builder/seller. Therefore, it is best to have an attorney look over your new construction home contract from a builder, notably because each builder’s contract is unique to the builder.
In North Carolina, if a real estate agent is drafting any legal agreement in a real estate transaction, they shouldn’t be because that is an unlawful practice of law. According to N.C. Gen. Stat § 84-2.1, the drafting of a sales contract for others is generally construed as an act for which a law license is required. Further, the Real Estate License Law prohibits the unauthorized practice of law by real estate brokers, specifically, drafting legal instruments. (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 93A-6(a)(12); 21 N.C. Admin Code 58A 0.111). For example, a real estate agent cannot draft offers, sales contracts, options, or other legal documents.
The North Carolina Real Estate Commission states that “brokers are advised always to refer parties to an attorney to have a contract, addendum or special provision drafted when an appropriate form is not available.” (www.bullteins.nrcec.gov). However, real estate agents are free to use pre-printed offers, options contracts, sales contracts, or lease forms in a real estate transaction when authorized or directed to do so by the parties. (Rule A.0111 of the Real Estate Commission Rules). In addition, while agents are permitted to fill in the blanks on standard pre-printed contract forms if their client has any questions about the legal consequences of the language that was used, they should be advised to consult with their attorney.
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