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.
- All agreements between buyer and seller must be in writing.
- Agents must use an amendment here.
- A lawyer is your only resource for understanding amendments that are not promulgated by TAR or TREC
The previous discussion was on all the legal-ese of the contract, Paragraphs 14 through 21. With that out of the way, it is time to talk Addenda!
Paragraph 22. Changes to a contract must be in writing (through an attached addendum, here, or later with an amendment). Verbal agreements count for nothing.
Paragraph 22 includes a partial list of the addenda that might accompany a contract. Each addendum is as much a part of the contract as the contract itself.
The most common addendum is the Third Party Financing Addendum. 81% of Fort Hood area buyers use financing, and therefore 81% of buyers should have a Third Party Financing Addendum with their contract.
Perhaps the second most common addendum is not even on this list, for whatever reason. That is the Non-Realty Items Addendum. Do you want the refrigerator? Attach a non-realty items addendum (it’s not technically part of the house like the dishwasher and stove likely are, because it’s not “attached”).
Items we talked about previously like buyer and seller leases are also included here, to be checked if applicable.
Many of these addenda are not applicable to the Fort Hood, TX area, like the Addendum for Coastal Area Property or the Propane Gas System Service Area (though there are areas in Williamson and Travis counties that are in Propane Gas Service System Areas).
What is NOT included here is also the Seller’s Disclosure, because that requirement was discussed earlier in the contract already under Paragraph 7. However, if the home was built prior to 1978, then the Lead Based Paint Disclosure (Addendum for Seller’s Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and Lead-based Paint Hazards as Required by Federal Law) should be marked and included here.
Also lender pre-approval letters, copies of earnest money checks, buyer’s rep agreements and other documents like that are NOT part of the contract and do NOT need to be included here, even though the buyer will provide the seller with those documents as well (except the buyer’s rep agreement – the seller does not need to see that, no way!).
Agents must also remember: before anything is put into Paragraph 11: Special Provisions, ensure that there is not a TAR or TREC promulgated addendum that covers that topic.
Some amendments might not be promulgated TAR and TREC forms (i.e. not forms that a Realtor can use and explain). For example, a builder or foreclosure bank often has their own amendments (and often entirely different contracts). For questions on contracts and amendments like these, your Realtor is of limited use. Consulting a lawyer is your safest bet to understand the implications of what you may be signing.
Some of these addenda I plan on discussing at length in other blog posts. Just know that this paragraph is what “tie” those amendments to this contract.
One more big one! The Option Period! Paragraph 23: Termination Option is next!
Questions about what is and isn’t an amendment? Experience with amendments or questions? Please share in the comments!