Almost 10 years ago now, our family made the move from California to Texas. Since then, we’ve worked with countless clients relocating to Austin from the golden state. While real estate in California and Austin has a number of similarities, understanding the differences, and what they can mean for your transaction, can be the key to a stress-free real estate experience. In our latest blog series, we unpack the 10 biggest differences between the California and Texas real estate process and how you can use them to your advantage.
Texas vs. California Real Estate: The Purchase Contract
In Texas, the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC), a state agency that enforces state real estate laws, mandates that all agents use their form (TREC 20-13) for any residential resale transactions of 4-units or less. You’ll often hear this referred to as “promulgated forms” – which is just a fancy way of saying the forms are officially required.
In California, there is no standard purchase contract. In fact, many organizations publish real estate forms that can be used including local/regional Boards of Realtors and private publishing houses. Interestingly, the State of California Department of Real Estate does not provide a contract form.
What Are the Benefits to Using a Standard Contract?
Since every agent is required to use the same document, it is easier for agents to be trained on the contract. This means the level of understanding is far greater across the board. That, in turn, reduces the likelihood of misunderstandings and the potential for conflict including litigation is much lower.
What Are the Limitations of a Standard Contract?
Like any one-size-fits-all solution, it isn’t perfect, but it can easily handle more than 95% of transactions we see. And while agents in Texas can’t write contingencies or amendments (ex. Escalation clauses and lease with purchase options), they can be drafted by a licensed attorney.
Considering a Move to Austin?
Check out our Austin Relocation Blog, our Guide to Relocating to Austin and our Tips for a Successful Relocation Experience for more tips. Then check out our Austin Home Buyers page to learn why we are the best Realtors to help you relocate to Austin. When you’re ready to reach out, fill out our Relocation Survey, send us an email or call us at (512) 827-8323 to schedule a no obligation consultation.