Exclusive Buyer's AgentCan a buyer represent himself when he purchases real estate from a FSBO or from a listing agent?   Yes, but there are traps for the unwary, a few documents that are required by law and some documents that can protect you from calamity.

Buying real estate used to be a matter of a few pages signed by the parties and a simple closing in a real estate office.   It’s not so easy anymore.   In the State of Washington here is a short list of the kinds of documents used in a typical real estate transaction.   Each document has its appropriate use and timing, and each document must be the latest revision, and they are revised regularly to comply with new law and new court rulings.

  1. Law of Real Estate Agency Pamphlet
  2. Lead Paint Hazards Pamphlet
  3. Mold, Moisture, and Your Home
  4. Seller Disclosure Statement-Improved Property
  5. Seller Disclosure Statement-Unimproved Property
  6. Multi-Family Purchase and Sale Agr.
  7. Residential Purchase and Sale Agr.
  8. Financing Addendum
  9. Financing Contingency Notice
  10. Buyer’s Sale of Property Contingency Addendum
  11. Payment Terms Addendum
  12. Optional Clauses Addendum
  13. FIRPTA Certificate
  14. For Your Protection: Get a Home Inspection
  15. For Sale By Owner Addendum
  16. Snohomish County “Right to Farm” Discl. St.
  17. Snohomish County “Right to Practice Forestry” Discl. St.
  18. Disclosure of Info. on Lead-Based Paint and Hazards
  19. Identification of Utilities Addendum
  20. King County Addendum
  21. Land and Acreage Addendum
  22. Promissory Note (Fixed Rate of Interest)
  23. San Juan County Tax Addendum
  24. Seller Warranty-No Foreclosure Sale Pending Add.
  25. Island County Addendum
  26. Skagit County “Right to Farm” Disclosure
  27. Buyer’s Pending Sale of Property Contingency
  28. Well Addendum
  29. Septic Addendum
  30. Short Sale Addendum
  31. Title Contingency Addendum
  32. King County Seller’ Notices of OSS
  33. Kitsap County Septic Addendum
  34. King County Buyer’s Declaration of OSS Receipt
  35. Homeowner Insurance Addendum
  36. Island County Noise Disclosure
  37. Pierce County Septic Addendum
  38. Oak Harbor Noise Disclosure
  39. Kittitas County Surface Water Rights Addendum
  40. Extension of Closing Date Addendum
  41. Kittitas County Right To Farm Discl. St.
  42. Snohomish County Smoke Detector Certification
  43. Open Space Addendum
  44. Manufactured Home PSA
  45. Vacant Land Purchase & Sale Agr.
  46. Presale Addendum
  47. Presale Addendum – Optional Clause
  48. Condominium Resale Certificate
  49. Condominium Purchase & Sale Agr.
  50. Condominium New Construction/Conversion Addendum
  51. Earnest Money Promissory Note
  52. Assignment of Buyer’s Interest
  53. Cooperative Apartment Addendum
  54. General Addendum
  55. Inspection Addendum
  56. Inspection Response for Form 35
  57. Escalation Addendum
  58. Feasibility Contingency
  59. Neighborhood Review Contingency
  60. Pre-Inspection Agreement
  61. Counter-Offer (Addendum)
  62. Withdrawal of Offer or Counteroffer
  63. King County On-Site Sewage System Discl.
  64. Back-Up Addendum to Purchase & Sale Agreement
  65. Notice to Back-Up Buyer that First Sale has Failed
  66. Second Buyer’s Addendum
  67. Commission Disbursement Form
  68. Buyer’s Agency Agreement
  69. Buyer’s Agreement No Agency
  70. Selling Broker’s Commission
  71. Agency Disclosure
  72. Reservation Agreement
  73. Notice to Remove Contingency (“Bump Notice”)
  74. Notice from Contingent Buyer to Seller (“Bump Reply”)
  75. Authorization to Disburse Earnest Money
  76. Rescission of Purchase and Sale Agreement
  77. Conditional Release of Listing
  78. Rental Agr. (Occupancy Prior to Closing)
  79. Rental Agreement (After Closing)
  80. Lease/Rental Agreement (Residential)
  81. Move-In/Move-Out Inspection Agr.
  82. Pet Agreement
  83. Option to Buy Real Estate
  84. Homeowner’s Policy of Title Insurance
  85. Receipt for Earnest Money
  86. Blank Notice
  87. Notice of Rescission of Agreement Pursuant to Form 17
  88. Notice of Termination of Agreement for Failure to Pay Earnest Money
  89. Failure to Close-Notice of Termination by Buyer
  90. Failure to Close-Notice of Termination by Seller-Seller Keep Earn. Money
  91. Failure to Close-Notice of Termination by Seller-Seller to Elect Remedies
  92. Buyer’s Notice of Waiver of Financing Contingency
  93. Buyer’s Notice of Termination (Financing Unavailable)
  94. Buyer’s Notice of appraisal Less Than Purchase Price-Termination
  95. Seller’s Notice of Consent-Second Contingent Sale
  96. Seller’s Notice of Consent-Delayed Closing
  97. Notice of Termination Pursuant to Neighborhood Review (Form 35)
  98. Notice of Termination (Disapproval of Park Rules and Regs-Form 23)
  99. Notice of Termination-(Unable to Assume Lease – Form 23)
  100. Notice of Termination (Feasibility Contingency Disapproval-Form 25)
  101. Notice of Termination (Public Offering Statement Disapproved-Form 28)
  102. Notice of Termination (Resale Certificate Unacceptable-Form 28)
  103. Seller’s Notice that Title Commitment is Available
  104. Buyer’s Notice of Termination (Homeowner Insurance is Unavailable)
  105. Buyer’s Pending Sale Contingency Notice

I have always been a strong advocate of using a professional, in every profession, but here it is especially important that a buyer know when and how to use these documents.   And drafting unambiguous language in each of these primary documents and addendums is critical to avoid disputes and even a transaction that fails because of poor drafting.

More than ever, buyers are wise to use exclusive buyer’s agents to represent them.   When I represent a buyer, I cost them nothing, because the seller pays my commission.   There is absolutely no conflict of interest, because I don’t worry about getting my buyer the lowest price while trying to get my seller the highest price at the same time!

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