Overview of the NC REALTORS® Forms Policy

QUESTION: I know forms changes and new forms will be released on July 1st. I have heard that NC REALTORS® has a forms policy, but I don’t know much about it. Is there anything I need to know when the new forms come out?

ANSWER: Yes, here are five important things you should be aware of in NCR’s Forms Policy.

1.      New and updated forms must be adopted by REALTORS® within 60 days of their release. Old forms may not be used after this 60-day grace period. From time to time, the Executive Committee may change the length of the grace period, but it has not been adjusted this cycle. This means the standard 60-day grace period applies, and all REALTORS® should be using the latest edition of the standard forms on or before August 31st.

2.      Standard forms may be used by REALTOR® members in any transaction in which they are a broker or a principal. Members can use the standard forms whether they are representing themselves or someone else.

3.      All standard forms can be used by NC REALTORS® members, REALTORS® from other states, and non-member sales associates of REALTOR® member firms. Lawyers in good standing with the NC State Bar may only use transactional forms, i.e., all forms that end in “-T.” Though non-members can use standard forms in conjunction with work they do for a member firm, non-members may not purchase standard forms directly or access the forms via the NC REALTORS® website.

4.      The pre-printed language in the standard form cannot be changed. The use of software to manipulate and change the pre-printed text is expressly prohibited. That said, a party to a contract may strike parts of a standard form by drawing a line through the pre-printed language. A party may also insert language in and around the standard form language, so long it is done conspicuously. If a client wants to make either of these adjustments, brokers should advise the client to seek legal counsel first, and perhaps more importantly, brokers should not make these changes for their clients. It should also be noted that permitted users of the standard forms can insert their name, address, and logo in the top margin of a form.

5.      Members may not distribute blank standard forms to clients, customers, or anyone else, either gratuitously or for a fee. Standard forms watermarked “Sample,” which are available on ncrealtors.org, may be used by members, clients, and customers for review purposes only. Unrepresented parties to a transaction may only be provided with a standard form after it has been filled out by an authorized user.

In the coming weeks, NCR staff and local boards will be providing extensive education and guidance on the new forms and changes to the old forms. Be sure to stay tuned for details!

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