With changes in time come changes in the way Real Estate is practiced in California.  In fact, you can expect changes to continue going forward.  When I bought my first home there was a four page contract and a limited number of disclosures.  Nowadays there’s a 16 page California Association of Realtors (CAR) purchase contract with multiple disclosures.  And that doesn’t include the Listing Agreement needed when a home is to be sold, for leasing property or for buying a home.

Frequently, in on-going efforts to protect the public and to ensure full transparency, several revisions to the contracts used and the disclosures required are made.  Both the State Legislature and CAR work together to design forms to clarify aspects of a real estate transaction to make it easier for a client to understand.  The result is a complex set of documents, some legally required and others not, that become part of nearly all real estate transactions.


These new forms affect all aspects of Real Estate.  For example, on the Seller side of a transaction are several documents regarding wildfires.  One might think only those homes in forested areas would need this form but that would be incorrect.  The potential for wildfires destroying urban communities near a forested land became very evident when we had fires in the mountains above Los Gatos just a few years ago.  Now, all residential property needs to deal with these wildfire disclosures and forms.  In fact, in some instances there’s a legal requirement for an inspection by the California Department of Forestry that needs to be determined.


The Buyer side of a transaction is undergoing a major change as I write.  There’s a new form called the “Buyer Representation Agreement” which details the duties and expectation of both a buyer and an Agent in the transaction.  This is coming about as a result of several civil suits in other states and action between the DOJ and the National Association of Realtors.  In thirteen states use of this form or similar ones is mandatory.  In California it remains optional though most of the Brokerages as well as CAR are embracing it and it will become a common document in short time.

Be Safe

While some will still insist that Real Estate is simple, it’s a wise person that understands that the drive for clarity and transparency has increased the risk involved in Real Estate.  Some of the forms used help to mitigate the risk but the best way to reduce it for a buyer or seller is to engage a Realtor.  Questioning a Realtor about these form and getting satisfying answers to them should be part of the interviewing process.  If you, or someone you care about, are considering a move in Real Estate, please call or email me at (408) 887-4731 or geneshomes@earthlink.net

I Look Forward to Hearing From You


W. Gene Hunt

"There is no one more Dedicated to your Goals" A motto earned not just a jingle made of hope. Angela D. says; "I feel you really got to know me as a person and by doing so you understood my needs and preferences."

Lisa D. had this to say; "I attempted to renegotiate my loan with my bank. Much to my dismay, the bank low-balled the value of my home…even in light of the improvements I’d made. I am glad to report that my experience with you was a much happier experience. I found my business dealings with you to be professional, efficient and courteous."

Linda R. sent this in; "Thank you for the help you provided in refinancing our house. I thought you would like to know that the "cost" of refinancing turned out better than we expected it would."