One of the many things I respect about Oregon Realty Company, our brokerage, is that management makes every effort to protect our clients. One of the ways they do this is by conducting an annual forms review training session with our brokers. Laws and regulations, like in any industry, are always subject to change. As concerns arise, the regulations evolve. This year’s Annual Forms Review was presented by Richard Mario of Buckley Law P.C. Mr. Mario has been with Buckley Law since 1989. Admitted to both state of Arizona and Oregon State Bars, he practices from his Lake Oswego office. If anyone knows real estate disputes, it’s Richard Mario.
If you’ve ever purchased a home, you know there is an extensive, detailed, 11-page sales contract. With my track record of almost 15 years of real estate experience, I have helped clients navigate the wordy waters of contracts. Most recently, I had a situation where a buyer made an offer, then withdrew it, and because the buying party’s broker (not affiliated with my company) was not up to speed on latest contract laws, the buyers lost their earnest money when a deadline was not met. I encouraged the other agent to provide a timely response, but I discovered the agent was not aware of the new law. We all want sales and purchases to happen seamlessly, so it is in everyone’s interests to work cooperatively.
1. OREF 093 FIRPTA
One example of a recent law change pertains to FIRPTA. The Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 is a tax law that imposes a 10-15% gross sales tax on foreign persons disposing of US real property interests. For instance, if you’re my client, and regardless of whether you are an American citizen or not, and you are selling the property you own, you would need to fill out the form and submit it to a title company. The law states I can only provide you with the form, but not help fill it out. My next step is to confirm the form has been submitted to the title company, so that the buyer may proceed with writing an offer. Two additional documents are required for submittal to be compliant with federal law.
2. OREF 011 Condo Sale Agreement
There is now a hard date for the delivery and review period for buyers and sellers. Previously, there was a flexible deadline. Extensions to the review period must be written and agreed to. Condo documents should be gathered by the seller prior to the agreement to maximize the time for review. If the buyer does not have ample time to review documents, the sale could be postponed and then the process would need to start all over again. It is recommended to state which documents were provided and that no other documents are available. When a hard deadline is set and the deadline is missed, your broker will need to submit a new offer. This is reflected due to a change in 2018 with regards to the offer deadlines as stated in OREF 001 Residential Sale Agreement.
3. OREF 083 Contingent Right to Purchase
“…buyer may not accept an offer contingent on the sale of the Offeror’s property without written permission of the Seller”
This wording in the agreement prevents contingency chains of sale. Previously, for example, Bob could sell his home to Sally, as long as Sally could sell her home to Joe, as long as Joe could sell his home to Alicia, and so on. The new language prevents this situation from happening.
4. OREF 070 Investment Property Addendum
A few lines were reformatted for readability and ease of understanding. Three sections were removed and combined in the Document Review period (note the hard date where a written extension is required).
5. OREF 007 Commercial Sales Agreement
There are numerous nuanced changes in this section, but perhaps most notable is the section where personal property transfers require the use of a Bill of Sale. There are tax implications. For example, if you were to buy a fully-stocked grocery store, you would need a Bill of Sale to transfer the contents of the store to your ownership. Otherwise, you only own the building.
These changes are five of over 25 sections we learned about. I am not a real estate attorney, so I cannot provide legal advice. However, I have the resources to call upon the experts whenever a situation may be in question. I advocate for you, so you may focus on enjoying your new home and prosper.