CAR Forms for Real Estate Transactions

Real estate deals are probably the most complex type of legal transaction most people will ever encounter in their lives. There’s a good reason for this complexity, however: without strict legal rules and regulations, any number of problems can arise during the deal making process that could derail the transaction or, worse, lead to an unfair outcome for one of the parties involved.

For nearly as long as California has been a state, California realtors and legal professionals have been teaming up to legitimize and encourage real estate transactions by making sure outcomes like this don’t happen.

Together, they formed the California Association of Realtors, which still functions to this day to facilitate fair and honest real estate transactions in the state of California. The primary way they ensure these transactions are legal, fair, and honest is through legal forms.

This is your guide to the California Association of Realtors and the CAR forms you’ll likely encounter either as a realtor or a person purchasing real estate in California. We’ll cover why these forms exist, why they’re important, and even how you can make dealing with them a lot less involved.

What is the California Association of Realtors (CAR)?

California Association of Realtors, or CAR, is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States. Founded in 1905, this 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization’s stated mission is to shape, promote and protect an environment for the entire real estate industry, one in which California REALTORS® can succeed in meeting the real property needs of consumers.”

CAR sets the standard for real estate transactions in the state of California by providing all the information, documentation, and legal protocols necessary to facilitate the fair sale of real estate and protect the interests of all parties involved in it.

What are CAR forms?

One of the most significant ways CAR accomplishes its mission is by generating a comprehensive set of standardized forms used to conduct real estate transactions. These forms set the state-wide rules and regulations for the myriad agreements, disclosures, and contracts required during real estate sales transactions.

By creating these standardized forms, CAR significantly reduces the complexity and legal ambiguity in California real estate deals, streamlining and legitimizing the sales process and providing a strong legal precedence for the transaction.

What are the different kinds of CAR forms?

CAR includes a comprehensible list of CAR forms accessible to members only on its website. Here are a few of the most commonly used CAR forms:

  • The Residential Purchase Agreement (RPA) outlines the terms and conditions of real estate purchase, including the price of the estate, financing plans, and any contingencies and disclosures that could affect the deal.
  • The Seller Property Questionnaire (SPQ) is completed by the seller to provide information about the property’s condition to any potential buyers.
  • The Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS) provides important details about the property’s condition, including any known issues that could affect its value.
  • The Buyer’s Inspection Advisory (BIA) provides information to the estate buyers about the kinds of inspections they should consider investing in.
  • The Contingency Removal (CR) can be used by the buyer to remove certain contingencies, such as the loan or inspection contingency, once they’re satisfied with the results.
  • The Notice to Perform (NTP) is issued from one party to another when they believe the other party is not fulfilling their obligations within the time frame they agreed upon in the contract.

This is only a small selection of the many CAR forms involved in different real estate transactions. CAR also provides a quick guide on the right form to use for various situations by form code on their website.

Why should I automate how I file CAR forms?

Real estate transactions are complex, paper-intensive, regulated processes that involve a diverse group of stakeholders and a high volume of documents. When each of these steps has to be done manually, by forwarding emails, sending faxes, or mailing paper copies for review and signature by multiple people, it’s no wonder the typical deal takes 50 days to close.

Without an integrated transaction management solution, realtors often bear the burden of re-entering the same client data multiple times on dozens of standard real estate forms. This cumbersome process is prone to mistakes due to human error and takes up valuable time that could be spent building client relationships.

How can I make filing CAR forms easier?

There is good news for real estate professionals: those outdated, manual workflows can be streamlined with modern tools like digital contracts, templates, electronic signatures, and other digital tools.

Docusign Rooms for Real Estate is an all-in-one workspace that streamlines the transaction process by centralizing all transaction documents and details. The Docusign forms library includes smart-tagged forms from over 100 state and local associations, with comprehensive coverage across the US. 

Access CAR forms with Docusign

There are over 200,000 REALTORS® in California. Now, CAR members can access the CAR Forms directly from Docusign eSignature and Docusign Rooms for Real Estate.

“In California, like many states, the state association (CAR) forms are the trusted, legally accepted medium for our agents to complete their transactions. I’m excited to see what Docusign is building in a form fill experience, given many of our agents already know and love Docusign core products.”

-Jason Lytz, Chief Operating Officer, BHHS Drysdale CA

Docusign Rooms streamlines real estate transactions

The Docusign forms library allows agents to add relevant documents to a transaction room, including the CAR forms for offers, listing agreements, disclosures, and purchase and sale agreements. The agent can then prepare the CAR forms for the client to sign.

Any data entered into the room details will auto-populate in the documents, reducing the potential for human error from re-keying information and accelerating the overall process. With Docusign Rooms, you won’t have to waste any more time going to a different system to access forms and filling in all the same information multiple times.

Next, agents can send the documents to the client for signature using Docusign eSignature, and submit them for brokerage review, all from the same application. This integration keeps the deal moving forward in a consistent, timely manner and creates a drama-free closing day. Plus,  your clients will enjoy an efficient experience with the leading e-signature solution.

Docusign Rooms for Real Estate allows brokers to customize the solution to match the unique workflows, permissions, and hierarchy of their office while maintaining visibility and control,reducing costs and making compliance easier.

By modernizing how your brokerage manages agreements with Docusign, you can close real estate transactions faster with less risk, lower costs, and better experiences for everyone involved.

Contact our  team to find out if your association’s forms are a part of the Docusign forms library.

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