Contract for Buying or Selling a Home in NC Undergoes MAJOR Changes

Contract for Buying or Selling a Home in NC Undergoes MAJOR Changes

Buying and Selling a home in North Carolina is about to get a lot less confusing – well, at least that’s the intent of the major revisions in the paperwork involved.

Starting Jan 1, 2011, the North Carolina Realtor Association offer to purchase and contract and related forms will have a new approach to the buying experience.  The new and improved ‘easier’ form is only one more page than the current 8-page offer. Yes, that’s right – the new form is now a whopping 9 pages!

One of the biggest changes: Gone are the many dates in the current contract (i.e. the date before which the buyer has to have the home inspected and repair request submitted, the date by which the sellers have to respond to the request, the date by which the buyers have to respond to the sellers response, and on and on and on). Gone are the days of debating back and forth what is a ‘necessary repair,’ etc. The buyer will have the option of asking for anything they want the seller to address without limits and contrastingly the seller will have the right to decline the buyers’ request.

So what’s the new contract look like date-wise? Just 3 dates: the date the offer becomes a contract, a due diligence date, and a closing date.

The premise is the buyer will now submit not only an earnest money check but a due diligence fee as well. This due diligence fee will be paid directly to the seller and is effectively buying a negotiated amount of time. During this due diligence time period, the buyer can perform inspections, get surveys and appraisals done – anything and everything they need to do in order to decide whether or not to purchase the property. The buyer will be able to walk away from the contract prior to the end of the due diligence period and receive their earnest money refund but not the due diligence fee; they will have already received the value they paid for (the time to investigate the home). If the buyer elects to stay in the deal beyond the due diligence date, their due diligence fee will be credited to them at a successful closing, however if the buyer does not close on the home then in almost all situations the buyer will be forfeiting both their earnest money and the due diligence fee to the seller. How much will the due diligence fee be? How long will the period be? All great questions that I will address in later posts.

I’ve already attended multiple classes on the new forms and look forward to teaching this material to my fellow Realtors® next year. This is the kind of thing that excites me! With the construct of the new Offer To Purchase, it will be more important than ever to partner with an experienced, learning-based Realtor® that understands the nuances of the form and how to structure an offer based on the many variables, thereby providing excellent representation to both buyer and seller clients. Sounds a lot like the group at!

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