Forms: One Size Does Not Fit All


 Tracy Rucka  |    January 06, 2014
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As real estate practice evolves, so do the forms we use in that practice. The last decade has found licensees engaged in transactions that involve distinctive characteristics, such as short sales, foreclosures, environmental contamination, the need for accessible property for the aging population and persons with disabilities, and more. Although the Department of Safety and Professional Services has promulgated 28 WB forms, these forms don’t address all the unique needs in every real estate transaction.

During the last decade, the WRA has created and updated many forms to assist licensees when providing brokerage services in these varied transactions. Currently the WRA produces close to 60 forms; most are available to WRA members in zipForm as a member benefit. Others may be purchased in hard copy directly from the WRA, and some are available to download from the WRA website at
www.wra.org/forms.

WRA-CP: Exclusive Listing Contract Right to Rent Commercial Property (2013)

The most recent entry is the newly revised commercial lease listing, WRA-CP. The form was modified in 2013 to include updated agency and commercial lien law as well as to resemble changes made to the WB-5 Commercial Listing Agreement form made a few years ago. In addition, the form now includes email as a form of delivery and signature lines identifying that an entity may be involved. 

For a more in-depth discussion about the newly revised WRA-CP, including a draft of the form with the modifications highlighted, see the August 2013 Wisconsin Real Estate Magazine article, ‚ÄúThe WRA‚Äôs Revised Commercial Lease Listing is on its Way,‚ÄĚ at www.wra.org/WREM/Aug13/WRACP. This form is available in zipForm.

Short sale forms 

WRA-SSC Short Sale Checklist (2013): The WRA-SSC was created for the broker and property owner to work together to gather information and assess the seller’s situation to decide if a short sale is a good solution. The checklist includes background information, potential alternatives to short sale, and a roadmap and requirements to move ahead when a short sale is the right decision. 

WRA-SSL Addendum SSL to the Listing Contract (2013): The WRA-SSL is primarily educational in nature for the broker to help prepare the seller for the short sale process. In addition to a definition of a short sale, the form allows the broker to obtain consent to work with the seller’s lender and market the property as a short sale. This addendum includes cautions about the potential consequences of a short sale and recommends the seller consult with attorneys and tax advisors with specific questions.

WRA-SSO Addendum to the Offer to Purchase ‚ÄĒ Short Sale (2013): Updated in 2013, the primary purpose of the WRA-SSO is to include a lender approval contingency for the sale of the property. The updated SSO also includes information that the seller may continue to market the property and accept secondary offers, and depending on the lender‚Äôs policy, submit them for short sale approval. The optional provisions allow the parties to negotiate deadlines, termination and closing dates.¬†

The WRA-SSC Short Sale Checklist, WRA-SSL Addendum SSL to the Listing Contract ‚ÄĒ Short Sales, and WRA-SSO Addendum SSO to the Offer to Purchase ‚ÄĒ Short Sales are all available in hard copy and on zipForm.¬†

WRA-VLDR Vacant Land Disclosure Report (2012) 

For any vacant land offers accepted on or after July 1, 2012, the seller is required to provide a Vacant Land Disclosure Report (VLDR) per the modified Wis. Stat. ¬ß 709.033. The vacant land disclosure provisions generally must be completed by all persons who transfer Wisconsin real estate that does not include any buildings, including condominium units and timeshare property as well as commercial and business parcels ‚ÄĒ the current or intended use does not create an exemption. All sellers who are subject to Wis. Stat. ¬ß 709.033, whether broker-assisted or FSBO, must complete a disclosure report with the necessary provisions or risk buyer rescission of the offer to purchase or other contract for sale. This form is available in hard copy and in zipForm.

WRA-REO Information for Buyers about Bank (Foreclosure) Property (2011)

Have a buyer interested in purchasing a real estate-owned (REO) property? Based on the request of brokers in such transactions, the WRA crafted the WRA-REO to help brokers educate buyers about the potential risks in REO transactions. This form helps brokers protect themselves from liability in REO transactions by educating the buyer, making disclaimers and giving the consumer a warning/disclosure alerting the buyer of the risks involved with REO transactions. 

See ‚ÄúA Cautionary Tale for REO Buyers‚ÄĚ and the link therein to the Information for Buyer of Bank (Foreclosure) Property form in the March 2011 Wisconsin Real Estate Magazine at www.wra.org/WREM/Mar11/REOBuyers. This form also is available in zipForm¬†(WRA-REO) and online at www.wra.org/mortgages.¬†

WRA Seller’s Accessibility Features Report (2011)

The WRA Cultural Diversity Committee worked together with MLS Inc. and an informal group of REALTORS¬ģ, builders, attorneys and other enthusiastic consultants to create the WRA Seller‚Äôs Accessibility Features Report for sellers to complete and listing agents to be able to include on the MLS as an associated document. The form lists 37 items to which a seller may simply check ‚Äúyes,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúno‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúnot sure.‚ÄĚ The form may be used to encourage sellers to provide some basic information, to the extent they feel comfortable, that may be helpful to persons looking for homes that can accommodate persons using wheelchairs and persons with other specialized needs.

WRA Accessibility Features Report (2001) 

With the development of the WRA Seller‚Äôs Accessibility Features Report, the primary use for the 2001 Accessibility Features Report is for home seekers, REALTORS¬ģ and other providers assisting the individual to find a home to purchase or rent that will meet their specific needs.¬†

The new Sellers‚Äô Accessibilities Features Report (2011), the REALTOR¬ģ guide to completing the Sellers‚Äô Accessibilities Features Report, the instructions for the Buyer‚Äôs Accessibility Features Report, and a copy of the 2001 Accessibility Features Report labeled as ‚ÄúBuyer‚Äôs Accessibility Features Report (2001)‚ÄĚ are all now on zipForm¬†and on the WRA website on the Customers with Disabilities Resource page at www.wra.org/disabilities.¬†

WRA-DMAF Disclosure of Material Adverse Fact (2009) 

The WRA-DMAF may be used to meet the broker’s legal obligation to make timely written disclosure of a material adverse fact or to disclose information suggesting the possibility of a material adverse fact. The benefit of the WRA-DMAF is that it gives the parties an explanation of the broker’s duty to disclose and refers the parties to professionals and legal counsel as necessary. The form has a 2009 copyright date and is available in zipForm.

WRA-ADW Addendum W ‚Äď Wetlands (2008)

Developed in conjunction with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the WRA-ADW may be used in transactions where the subject property contains or may contain wetlands. In addition to many resources and DNR contact information, the form includes a wetland evaluation contingency. 

The WRA-ADW is available in zipForm and on the DNR website at dnr.wi.gov/topic/wetlands/documents/addendumw_2008final.pdf

WRA-ADP Lead/Arsenic Pesticide Addendum (2002) 

Similarly, the WRA worked with the Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection to create the WRA-ADP addendum. Pesticides once used to control pests in fruit orchards throughout Wisconsin have left contamination. Information about health effects is available from the Department of Health Services at www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/eh/HlthHaz/pdf/LeadArPest.pdf. The addendum may be found in zipForm and online at DATCP: datcp.wi.gov/uploads/Environment/pdf/lead_arsenic_addendum.pdf. 

2014 Landlord Tenant Law Changes 

Looking forward to 2014, the recent changes in landlord tenant law will result in modifications to many of the WRA forms used for landlords. Watch for the February 2014 Legal Update and keep your zipForm updated.
As always, get it in writing. The approved WB forms are available in zipForm and online at dsps.wi.gov/Licenses-Permits/RealEstateBroker/REBRforms. 

Information about other WRA forms is available in the December 2010 Wisconsin Real Estate Magazine article ‚ÄúThere‚Äôs a Form for That‚ÄĚ online at www.wra.org/WREM/Dec10/WRAForms.

Tracy Rucka is Director of Professional Standards and Practices for the WRA.

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