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Legal Update from CAR Assistant General Counsel Gov Hutchinson

posted Jul 18, 2014, 12:07 PM by Richard D'Ascoli
PSAR 2014 President Bob Olivieri and Gov Hutchinson CAR Assistant General Council

The Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® (PSAR) recently heard a legal update from Gov Hutchinson, assistant general counsel with the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.). 
“The real estate profession becomes more complicated every year,” Hutchinson said. “Last year, the state legislature passed 1,500 new laws and 143 of them related to real estate.”
Among the latest updates from Hutchinson:
-- C.A.R.’s residential purchase agreement will expand from eight to 10 pages in November of this year due to additional explanations and declarations intended to protect REALTORS®;
-- Any new, battery-operated smoke detector installed in a home after July 2015 must have a non-removal battery with a 10-year warranty life.
-- Starting January 2015, REALTORS® are required to add emails to the paperwork that must be kept relating to each transaction. Text messages and tweets are excluded, but if the principals do send texts or tweets that they intend to be part of a real estate contract, there are additional steps that need to be taken.
-- The cost for a termite inspection, previously a negotiated item between buyer and seller, are now to be paid for by the seller.
Hutchinson, who has worked at C.A.R. for the past 29 years, manages C.A.R.’s Member Legal Services Program and C.A.R.’s Legal Hotline that advises REALTORS® on aspects of real estate law. The hotline answers more than 500 calls a day, an increase from 70 calls a day when Hutchinson joined C.A.R. in 1985.