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Sunday, November 10, 2019

Standard Forms: Updates that Support Your Business!

Author(s):Bill Benninghofen

This year has been a busy one for the Standard Forms Committee!

We committed to reviewing all the Residential Standard Forms in the Columbus REALTORS® library in 2019, and updating those that need updating. So far, we have reviewed 27 of the approximately 45 forms, and made revisions as needed. Some forms weren’t changed as they are recently created forms. Other forms did not need revision, so we updated the date on the bottom of the form to “2019” so you can be confident that you are working with the latest forms. 

You will also notice that all Columbus REALTORS® forms now carry our Association copyright at the bottom of each page: a reminder that our forms are for exclusive use of Columbus REALTORS® members.

One of the most important tasks of the Committee is to review the Residential Purchase Contract for needed updates, based on changes in Ohio law and the ever-changing practice of real estate. And whenever the Residential Purchase Contract is revised, you can rest assured we also revise the Land/Lot Purchase Contract! Watch for some of the following updates which will be presented to the Columbus Bar Association and Columbus REALTORS® Board of Directors:

  • Appraisal Contingency- 3.2(d) -- Fannie and Freddie will soon permit the use of non-appraisal valuations for loans below $400,000 (the majority of the market), so we support adding this verbiage to the contract.
  • 7.1 Home Warranty or Protection Plan – adding applicable sales tax calculation so the parties will know the exact cost involved.
  • 13.5 and 13.6 – Signatures – We recommend addition of text messages as a means of delivering written documents; we remind our members that Ohio law requires all records of transactions to be kept for three years - and that includes texts!
  • The Ohio requirement that all home inspectors be licensed has been delayed to 2020. The committee has therefore temporarily tabled addition of the word “licensed” to the contract to denote home inspectors.
  • The committee is excited to propose important changes to simplify and streamline condominium/HOA property transactions (6.5 - Document Provision and Review), putting responsibility for procuring usual and customary documents primarily in the hands of the Seller. To assist with the process, the committee has updated the Condominium/HOA Checklist, to be attached to the purchase contract as an exhibit for condominium/HOA sales.

When a revised contract rolls out, the Standard Forms Committee will coordinate with the Education Committee to help you learn about the changes in contract classes taught right here at Association headquarters. The Association will also communicate contract changes on the Association website (, and in e-notes, b-Notes, and c-Notes! Of course, all new forms will be available on the Columbus REALTORS® website under “Contracts and Forms – Members Only,” and will appear in the libraries of our forms vendors.

Throughout the year the Committee collects and responds to requests for new forms, and to questions by Association members. One recent request was for a Standard Lease Agreement. The committee is exploring options and hopes to provide members access to such a form very soon.

Click here to suggest changes to current forms or suggest new forms.

The Standard Forms Committee is always happy to hear member input. Consider joining the Residential Standard Forms Committee: we meet every second Tuesday at 2p.

We welcome your ideas as we try to make Columbus REALTORS® forms work for YOU!

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