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Newer, Smarter Forms Debuting Jan. 1

by Brougher, Desiree on

Several forms will be updated as of Jan. 1 to address issues related to smart home technology. Eleven forms were revised by the Standard Forms Committee this fall; you can see all the upcoming changes on the Standard Forms page. Most of the changes can be summarized as follows:

  1. Sales agreements will call more attention to items that may or may not be included with the sale of a property. Particularly when it comes to smart home devices, many newer models of traditional items are becoming wireless, yet at the same time having a broader reach. For example, security systems and doorbells, which used to be hardwired and operate in one part of a property are now wireless and can integrate with mobile devices anywhere on the property. Rather than fighting it out at the settlement table whether certain items should be considered “fixtures,” it’s worth spending a little extra time in advance specifically identifying what will stay and what will go. The parties will also have some additional responsibilities in transferring ownership of these devices, such as clearing data and passwords and resetting systems.
  2. Buyer and tenant contracts will contain a new warning to clients about recordings on a property. The first is a general warning about recording individuals without their consent. It is quite common these days for buyer or tenants walking through a property to record or live-stream their activity; however, they should be very careful about recording statements made by other people who may also be present at the property without that person’s consent. The second warning is for when the camera is turned around and the potential buyer or tenant is the one being recorded. It is a reminder that the property may be under surveillance and that private conversations should be held elsewhere.
  3. Seller and landlord contracts will also contain a notice about recordings by both parties. The property owner will now be reminded that a potential buyer or tenant touring a property may want to record their experience and suggests that all personal or confidential items should be secured away prior to showings. The second warning is for the property owner who has cameras installed on the property which are capable of recording audio. Recording the conversations of others could be a violation of wiretapping laws and sellers should seek the advice of counsel if they do not feel comfortable removing or turning off recording devices.

These changes and others can be reviewed in more detail on the Standard Forms page. Any questions can be sent to me at [email protected].


Smart home technology
Comments (11)


  • [email protected]    December 20, 2019 | 10:30 am

    PAR forms continue to Be leading our real estate profession
    Thanks to member Realtors and their time and effort to providing the documents

    Reply to [email protected]
  • Patti Tabor    December 30, 2019 | 11:21 am

    So, are sellers allowed to leave their cameras set up with audio during showings? This is often incorporated into their security systems but the article says it could be a violation of wiretapping laws…in their own homes? I think these days it is expected that owners likely have recording equipment in their homes. Maybe we should advise sellers to give notice to buyers before entering the home, for example, by putting a sign on the entry door if they object to turning off surveillance for each showing.

    Reply to Patti Tabor
    • Desiree Brougher, Esq.    December 30, 2019 | 11:51 am

      Sellers should be encouraged to contact counsel if they would like to leave their recording devices in operation.

      Reply to Desiree Brougher, Esq.
  • Karin Iungermann    January 6, 2020 | 7:21 am

    At the same time, prospective buyers use their own devices to record premises they are viewing to share with a significant other when they are not available to accompany them. Has their responsibility of invasion of privacy been addressed? Curious?

    Reply to Karin Iungermann
  • Desiree Brougher, Esq.    January 6, 2020 | 8:46 am

    Yes; as indicated in Paragraph 2 of the article above, the buyer agency contracts have been amended to address buyers and tenants who may want to perform any type of recording on the property.

    Reply to Desiree Brougher, Esq.
  • Nicholson, Janet    February 4, 2020 | 1:33 pm

    just to be sure, I just printed out a 2020 version of the PAR contract…are the bold lines ones which were added or changed?

    Reply to Nicholson, Janet
  • Brougher, Desiree    February 4, 2020 | 1:54 pm

    No, what is bold is just bold! There is a link underneath the “download” button for the redlined version to show you exactly what has changed.

    Reply to Brougher, Desiree
  • T J JONES REALTY LLC-PA    March 7, 2020 | 2:02 pm


    • Kelly Leighton    March 8, 2020 | 2:34 pm

      Hello – In order to access our forms, you need to be a member. Please contact our Solutions Center for more information. The number is 1-800-555-3390.

      Reply to Kelly Leighton
  • Hawley, Chuck    June 10, 2020 | 3:49 pm

    How do I access the up to date PAR Real Estate Forms Library?

    Reply to Hawley, Chuck

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