Note: The Texas Association of Realtors and TREC update promulgated forms regularly. For the most recent updates, check with TAR, TREC, or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: I am a real estate professional, not a lawyer. Nothing herein should be construed as legal advice or instructions.
- Your agent probably doesn’t want to put anything in Special Provisions.
- It is a catchall location for any factual statements not already covered in the contract or an available addendum that the buyer and seller want to offer or agree to.
- Your agent is (probably) not a lawyer. Consulting a lawyer may still be necessary for thorny contract questions
Last time we reviewed Paragraph 10: Possession – when the buyer gets to move in. Now is Paragraph 11: Special Provisions, which is a particularly delicate paragraph for Realtors who are often either fearful of this paragraph because they are wary of appearing to practice law, and be subject to the legal and financial ramifications thereof.
Paragraph 11. Special Provisions are for any arrangements between buyer and seller that are NOT covered already in the contract or in a promulgated TAR/TREC Addendum available to Realtors.
Agents are often fearful of adding anything to special provisions because they are constantly advised how difficult it can be not to appear to be “practicing law” by writing their own contractually obligating language into a contract. Certainly I try to avoid writing any special provisions if it can at all be helped.
For the most part, the best advice for an agent is to follow their client’s direct instructions. Also I’ve been advised from using conditional language such as “if x then y or else z”.
Sometimes agents use the special provisions to include anything that doesn’t fit elsewhere on the form (e.g. the legal description in Paragraph 2. They might write “See Special Provisions” instead). I’ve been advised it is better to reference a separate addendum in instances like these instead of referencing the Special Provisions. However, the legal description is a factual statement that would appear to me to meet the standards of being included in Special Provisions.
Next is Paragraph 12: Settlement and Other Expenses (aka Closing Costs!) and Paragraph 13: Prorations (also related to Closing Costs). All about who pays what – buyer or seller?
What have you used Special Provisions for? Are you an agent afraid to use it? Please share below!