As we prepare to enter into the year 2017, it is important that all agents and individuals are informed as to the modifications and additions to the mandatory forms as approved by the LREC. Specifically, those forms include the Residential Agreement to Buy or Sell and the Residential Property Disclosure Forms. These modifications and additions are effective as of January 1, 2017. As such, in an effort to help keep readers informed as to any changes in law affecting Louisiana real estate, I have summarized the modifications and additions and will begin with the Agreement to Buy or Sell and then finish with the Residential Property Disclosure Form.
Agreement to Buy or Sell
Initial Heading (Parties to the Transaction). The first changes appear on the third line of the Agreement to Buy or Sell. Now real estate agents will have to list their license numbers (both buyer and seller) in addition to their respective names. Additionally, a line now exists whereby the brokerage firm, broker’s name and license number must be placed.
Finance Sale. There has been a substantial change in the language used on lines 72-81. The lines now formally give the Buyer notice that any Lender or Consumer Protection Bureau caused delays due to requirements will not extend the period of time in which the Buyer is to furnish to the Seller written documentation demonstrating that the Buyer has applied for a loan, received approval, and given the Lender the written authorization to proceed with the loan. The Seller retains the option right to terminate the contract, but now it is based upon the aforementioned notice the Buyer is required to supply.
Appraisals. Language has now been added to require that the Seller is the party that must supply utilities for the appraisal.
Inspection and Due Diligence Period. There now is a built-in extension for the inspection period when the inspection cannot be completed due to lack of access to the property with utilities by the Seller.
Acceptance. The change was to clean up the section language by adopting embracing the current, now industry, practice of accepting offers in accordance with the Louisiana Uniform Electronic Transaction Act.
Notices and Other Communications. Updates the medians by which requests, claims, demands, and other communications notices are permitted to be transmitted and received. Additionally, there is now a line to place the addresses where the Buyer or Seller and their agents are to receive the above-mentioned communications.
Residential Property Disclosure Form
Informational Statement For Louisiana Residential Disclosure Form. The very first addition comes on the first line of the Informational Statement For Louisiana Residential Disclosure Form. The addition is to correct the statutes listed as those added by the legislature to now include R.S. 9:3200. Further, there is now a check box now that clarifies that the Seller is claiming an exemption to the Property Disclosure Form and warrants that the Seller has knowledge of known defects. Additionally, the Seller is now able to selectively elect exemptions instead of an all or nothing election.
Section 4: Plumbing, Water, Gas, and Sewerage. The disclosure now requests whether there is any gas available on the property being delivered and if so, is it owned or leased. The check box was adopted to clarify to the Buyer the type of service as a lessee or owner.
Section 6: Miscellaneous. Under question 41, there is now a check box for Contaminated Flooring. In question 44, now Seller’s will need to disclose information pertaining to solar panels, including ownership versus leasing, whether they are removable and any monthly payments thereon. Question 45 asks if those panels are owned or leased.
Acknowledgments. The first line is entirely new. It is a reiteration of the requirement of Sellers are to disclose known defects to sellers.
There you have it. You are now aware of all the alternations and additions the LREC has approved for the Mandatory form revisions for the year 2017. Looking forward into 2017, I wish you and your family good luck and fortune. Don’t forget to eat your cabbage and black eyed peas.