New homes under construction have always been treated differently than other real estate sales. With most real estate, it can be assumed that the property is move-in ready.
You usually have a history of residence, and there is no concern about the basic functionality of the home.
This is not true with new construction. The government aims to protect consumers by ensuring that the house that they are buying, before they claim ownership, can be a home. They want to insure that the new owner will be able to get reasonable use out of their new property. It would be a disaster for a new family to purchase a property, only to find out that they can’t legally live there because of safety or other issues. The government set forth to protect the buyers by requiring the use of a specific purchase contract called the Real Estate Purchase Contract for Residential Construction. Through this contract, the parties involved were obligated to disclose and complete all reasonable projects to make the home livable.
The problem facing modern real estate agents is that the REPC for Residential Construction was written many years ago. The laws have changed, and the overall real estate market has changed, making the contract language more and more outdated. Often a real estate agent faces several pages of addendums to make the contract work for their clients. Builders often provide their own contracts, making this contract unnecessary.
Wednesday December 18th 2013 at the Utah Real Estate Commission meeting, Peter Christensen of the Utah Association of Realtors® made a proposition. He said that after deliberation they came to the conclusion that the best course of action might be to simply remove the requirement from the statutes for real estate agents to use this form. This opens the way, he said, for builders and other companies to more readily use their own forms to fill their current needs.
The Real Estate Commission moved to support the elimination of the REPC for Residential Construction. It should become available for public comment soon.
By Dan Naylor