Exploring Mid-Year Revisions to the GAR 2023 Contract Package

Exploring Changes to the GAR 2023 Contract Package

Exploring Mid-Year Revisions to the GAR 2023 Contract Package

The Georgia Association of Realtors (GAR) has recently introduced significant mid-year revisions to the GAR 2023 Contract Package. In this episode of “Real Estate Made Crystal Clear,” we bring you an essential synopsis of the latest developments, featuring the knowledgeable insights of Dana Sparks. For a thorough understanding of these updates, we invite you to watch the video in its entirety below.

Identifying the Revised GAR 2023 Contract Package Forms

To ensure you are working with the latest revision of the forms, GAR provides an index of changes alongside the purchase and sale agreements. The mid-year revisions, released in June 2023, can be identified by the date at the bottom of the document, which should read “6/1/23” for revised forms.

Changes to Title Insurance

Under the Title Insurance section, GAR made a slight modification to the verbiage regarding buyer-directed mortgage lenders. Previously, the language stated that the buyer should obtain an enhanced title policy for greater coverage. The revision now states that the buyer should obtain such a policy if it can be issued for the property or for the buyer involved in the transaction.

Purchase Price Amendments

GAR introduced a change to the purchase price clause, specifically regarding the acceptable methods of payment. While the previous version mentioned wire transfer or immediately available funds, the revision added the phrase “by such method of delivery acceptable to the closing attorney.” This amendment grants the closing attorney discretion in accepting funds for the purchase price.

Clarification of Closing Costs

In June 2023, GAR restructured the closing costs section to enhance clarity. The revisions separate the seller’s monetary contribution from additional items the seller is responsible for paying, such as closing attorney fees. The language was also tweaked to improve comprehension, moving away from complex legal jargon.

Disbursement of Earnest Money

Regarding the disbursement of earnest money, the revised paragraph highlights that parties, real estate licensees, or other individuals with knowledge or interest in the disbursement may object or provide relevant information to the holder. This inclusion recognizes the valuable input other parties can provide when interpreting the disbursement of earnest money.

Enhanced Inspection and Due Diligence

Under the Inspection and Due Diligence section, GAR added a clause emphasizing the buyer’s right to inspect the property until closing. Additionally, the revision specifies that the seller must ensure all utility systems, equipment, and areas of the house, including basements, attics, and crawl spaces, are accessible for thorough inspections.

Indemnification

The indemnification paragraph now explicitly states that the buyer is not responsible for any damage resulting from actual defects in the property. This change clarifies that the buyer should not bear liability for pre-existing defects discovered during the inspection process.

Brokerage Relationships

GAR provided a clearer definition of designated agency within the Brokerage Relationships section. They added that designated agency occurs when one licensee exclusively represents the buyer and another licensee exclusively represents the seller, further elaborating on this type of agency relationship.

Brokerage Disclaimer

The Brokerage Disclaimer paragraph underwent slight revisions, reiterating that the buyer and seller should not rely on any advice or representations of brokers outside of the agreement. It also emphasizes that brokers are not obligated to inspect the property for defects and advises seeking specialized expertise, such as that of a construction expert or structural engineer, for specific concerns.

Broker Rights Upon Buyer/Seller Default

To enhance clarity, the rights of the broker in the event of buyer or seller default were specifically attributed to “broker” rather than “every broker.” This amendment aligns the language with the context of the contract.

In summary, the mid-year revisions to the Georgia Association of Realtors’ 2023 contract package bring important updates to various sections of the purchase and sale agreement. The changes enhance clarity.

Watch the entire video for more information here:

 

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