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PRDS Forms is an extensive line of paper and online forms used in the buying and selling of residential real estate. These forms are available online for free as a member benefit to all REALTOR® members of SILVAR and SAMCAR (San Mateo County Association of REALTORS®).

What makes these forms special?
These forms are created by REALTORS® for REALTORS®, and are trademarks of Advanced Real Estate Solutions, Inc., a subsidiary of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS®. These forms are highly acclaimed, and have been heavily used for over 25 years by listing agents from leading offices in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Peninsula. In fact, some listing agents will entertain only offers presented on those forms.

PRDS forms are unique to the Santa Clara County and San Mateo County markets. While the California Association of REALTORS® also has a list of forms that are standard use for all the contracts, PRDS forms have a different template and verbiage, which is more unique to these regions. PRDS forms are designed with a litigation avoidance/risk management focus – every form is backed by liability insurance. These forms are also responsive to mandated legal changes, regional issues and current market conditions because the Standard Forms Committee, composed of 25 members from SILVAR and SAMCAR, meets every other week and works very hard to make sure all forms are current and reflect local practice.

“We continually update these forms and add new forms to make them compatible with different areas, as laws and market conditions change in each city,” said Mark Burns, president of the PRDS Board of Drectors. “We make REALTORS® aware of these changes and look out for our members.”

Depending on the city in which a residence is located, forms explaining the local option for airport noise, water heater and smoke detector compliance, disclosure regarding safety improvement projects, certain inclusions with regard to inspections and disclosures, may be incorporated in the PRDS forms packet. Attorneys on the committee assist committee members in continually updating the forms when needed.

PRDS forms contain all the other common forms that pertain to agency disclosure, including TDS (Transfer Disclosure Statements), a Supplemental Seller’s Checklist, etc. They are also less expensive to members when compared to other forms. The paper form may be purchased at each association’s store, but SILVAR and SAMCAR REALTOR®) members may obtain the forms online for free.

For a broker, providing agents paper forms might not seem like a big cost, but it can be. Every set of PRDS forms costs from $1 to $1.50 each. The cost adds up when agents use thousands of forms a year. If agents used the form electronically, there is no cost to the broker. Mistakes can easily be fixed online so the forms look professional, give buyers an edge, and ultimately help agents achieve their goal – a successful sale.

Replying to a question on Trulia.com, SILVAR member Aaron Wheeler, president of Oakville Properties & Oakville Capital, wrote “I like to use these forms as they are very pro-buyer, and there is less opportunity for error (look at all of the different checkboxes on the CAR contract, I see too many agents make mistakes). They also incorporate “as-is” language into the contract very nicely.”

Sebastian Wong, REALTOR® with Asante Real Estate Group and a SILVAR member, explains it well in his blog. He writes, “I personally think that PRDS gives more protection for the buyer because I think the verbiage is better. … For all you buyers and sellers out there, this may be a question you want to ask your agent. What association are you with? … While the forms aren’t such a big deal for all, if you are buying in Cupertino, most houses here are done with PRDS. If your agent is a C.A.R. user, they might have no experience using the PRDS forms and might overlook something. Just something to look out for!”

There are more good things about these forms. This summer, Instanet Solutions and Advanced Real Estate Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of SILVAR, provided SILVAR REALTOR® members with access to PRDS Forms via InstanetForms, as a member benefit. This means PRDS users are now able to access their forms ANYWHERE and ANYTIME, from virtually any Internet-connected PC or Mac. 

Also, PRDS will soon be coming out with a new advisory for use in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties that will be “faster, better, easier for REALTORS®,” Burns said. The new PRDS advisory is for the counties of San Mateo and Santa Clara, replaces C.A.R.’s SBSA, and encompasses a wide variety of regional and proprietary advisories and disclosures. Best of all, Burns said the PRDS advisory in draft form is just 16 pages long.

Stay tune for this new PRDS advisory!

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In a span of one week, two top officials have told Silicon Valley REALTORS® that, at least for the Bay Area, particularly the Silicon Valley region, the worst for home sales is over, that there are better days ahead. However both of these officials said a full recovery will take time.

At a general membership meeting of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS®, National Association of REALTORS® Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research Dr. Lawrence Yun told REALTORS® “the worst in (home) sales is clearly over. … Even in the worst market, the bleeding has stopped.”

Dr. Yun at the SILVAR general membership meeting.

Yun said, particularly in the San Francisco –San Jose area, the bottom has already occurred and prices are beginning to firm up.

California’s housing market recovery started even before the home buyer tax credit, according to the national economist. “California’s housing market correction was short, sharp and fast,” Yun said.

The key test will be this winter. “If this winter’s sales match up with other winter home sales, I would say that would be a very positive sign,” Yun said. “Let’s give it time.”

In the meantime, Yun said those with strong credit who can buy, should buy, while mortgage interest rates are still at a 50-year low.

“I don’t expect rates to remain low. They may increase next year,” Yun said. “If you’re willing to stay well within a budget and are comfortable with it, at a 4.4 mortgage interest rate you’re protected under inflation.”

Check out Yun’s PowerPoint presentation here.

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California Department of Real Estate Commissioner Jeff Davi spoke at a SILVAR District tour meeting in Los Gatos last week and said much of the same thing. He told REALTORS® that “there are better days ahead.”

Davi marveled at the vast improvement in housing affordability and historically low interest rates.  “I promise you this, rates are not going to stay at 3 or 3.5 percent fixed. The affordability index is fabulous. Buyers are now better off. They have great opportunities in this market,” Davi said.

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Left to right: SILVAR President-elect Gene Lentz, DRE Commissioner Jeff Davi, Board Director Suzanne Yost, Los Gatos/Saratoga District Chair Bill Rehbock and C.A.R. Past President Jim Hamilton.

 

So, what’s holding back a full recovery?

Yun said the unemployment rate has stopped rising dramatically, but it is still high, and while we are seeing some job creation, it’s not coming quick enough and not large in numbers. Corporate profits are rising, but business spending is down. Businesses continue to hesitate because they’re uncertain about how they will be impacted by health care legislation, the recently passed financial regulatory bill and potential taxes. Right now, they realize they can still make a profit with fewer employees.

“We need job creation. If business spending increases, the economy would be more robust,” Yun said.

Pay attention to foreclosure numbers, as these numbers will signal what’s ahead, Davi said. In 2006, there were 12,000 foreclosures. In 2008, there were 240,000 foreclosures. Last year, the number of foreclosures slightly fell to 200,000 – still a lot, but a good sign, nevertheless. Foreclosures need to get back to the 2006 level, Davi said.

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