Real estate contracts come in many varieties. The California Association of Realtors provides a standard package of real estate contracts. AIR also provides a standard package of real estate contracts. Attorneys of course have their own favorite custom real estate contracts.
In this video, California Attorney and Real Estate Broker Chris Adishian answers the question, “Is it better to use custom contract or an industry form contract, like the AIR form?” at the South Bay Association of Realtors Commercial Attorney Panel on June 2, 2015.
Looking at your transaction, there’s got to be a good reason for me to advise my client to start with something other than the CAR or the AIR form.
If I want to maximize my billable hours, I’ll say “Let me design a custom contract for you that you will not believe! It will be brilliant and well-written, and have all the punctuation correct. It will cost you a fortune, but you’ll be happy.”
In all seriousness, you gotta start with the AIR form, and even when we’re doing it as lawyers we say “Look, let’s start with the AIR form. Most of this stuff’s been thought through, and then we can tweak it at the margins.
If it’s 80% of what we want and what we think we’re going to run into, why create a document that’s 100% custom and new? I always advocate starting with a form – but be open to modifying where you can.