What are Comox Valley Real Estate Contracts?

Comox Valley real estate contracts can be fairly straight forward or fairly complicated. Comox Valley Real estate agents can, and do, provide a range of real estate services to real estate clients and customers. Some agents work full-time and others work part-time. Some provide full-service real estate services while others provide discount services. As well, some agents charge more than others for the services that they provide. When looking for Comox Valley homes for sale and the services of a competent real estate agent, the age old adage you get what you pay for applies to real estate just as it does to most other things in life.

Real estate considerations vary when choosing an agent. While Comox Valley real estate agents differ in their education, training, and experience, they all must do one thing in common in order to effect a real estate transaction. They must prepare and deal with real estate contracts. Real estate agents are not lawyers and they do not provide legal advice. However, they should be familiar with legal terms and know how to prepare legally binding Contracts of Purchase and Sale. They should also know when to recommend that clients seek legal advice on a wide range of real estate related issues. Real estate agents are required to take a legal update course every two years. Some agents meet the minimum professional development requirement while others exceed the requirement.

Writing a legally enforceable Comox Valley real estate Contract of Purchase and Sale is a task that may range from one that is fairly straight forward to one that is quite complex. BC real estate law does change fairly regularly and the situations and circumstances that apply to each real estate transaction can be unique. When everything goes right and a transaction completes as expected by both parties there are generally no issues. However, what happens when things do not go right or as expected? Problems can arise that may range from injured feelings to a law suit. When things go wrong enough, the Contract of Purchase and Sale and all of its various terms and conditions often becomes a focus. It is very important that the contract was written correctly and completely.

Contracts can be executed between parties and assigned to other parties. They can be written as a standard real estate Purchase and Sale Agreement, an Agreement for Sale, a Conduct of Sale, and in a number of other forms. The British Columbia Real Estate Association has prepared a number of different versions of Contracts of Purchase and Sale and their related Addendums to cover most situations. For example, the contract used for the purchase of a residential home is different than the one used for the purchase of a Manufactured Home on a Rental Pad.

Each Contract of Purchase and Sale will contain terms and conditions for home buyers and home sellers. A term is a promise that forms part of the contract. For example, the first term of the standard contact sets out the purchase price that the buyer promises to pay the seller and that the seller promises to accept. The word condition may refer to an essential term in the contract but it is most frequently used to describe a subject clause. In this context, a condition is a future event or action on which the existence or the extent of a contractual obligation depends. For example, subject to the sale of the buyer’s home. Once in a while, it may be necessary to use a non-standard clause in the drafting of a contract. When drafting such a clause, the differentiation between a condition and a covenant is important. A covenant does not depend on a future uncertain event or action. It is an enforceable promise to do something or to refrain from doing something. For example, the seller promises to repair the washer and dryer at the seller’s expense no later than 3 days before the completion date. The law requires that all of the clauses in a contract be sufficiently clear so that it can be readily and easily determined when the criteria for satisfying each of the clauses are met.

Contacts of Purchase and Sale are not the only forms used for real property transactions. More than 75 different forms were in use at the time of the writing of this blog. As well, there were more than 160 different clauses in use that could be used in a real estate Contract of Purchase and Sale Addendum (in addition to those contained in the Contract). There are clauses that apply to titles, zoning, fees, warranties, approvals, assessments, assignments, responsibilities of the parties involved, estates, cooperatives, deposits, finances, insurance, rebates, obligations, different Acts and Regulations, licenses, inspections, leases, tenants, advice, insurance, stratas, developments, occupancy, property disclosure, documents, trades, taxes, registrations, searches, and other issues such as wood burner considerations.

Clearly, not all forms are required for every real estate transaction. As well, most of the more than 160 clauses would not be required for the majority of the Contracts of Purchase and Sale prepared. While this is typically the case, real property agents need to be aware of these forms and clauses and be able to apply them correctly and completely during the real estate process and in the contract prepared between the parties involved. Keeping up-to-date as they are changed or modified and new ones added is also important. A formal Professional Development Program is in place and it is monitored by the organizations that oversee real estate in British Columbia. Some real estate agents use this program to maintain currency on contractual issues as they evolve while others do much more to maintain currency.

As a real estate buyer or as a real estate seller, are you thinking about buying or selling Comox Valley real estate? Have a question about the real estate process or any aspect of it? Contact Brett Cairns of RE/MAX Ocean Pacific Realty.