No one really wants to be the bad guy, right?
So, when someone in your “I’m Not Crazy I Just Sell Real Estate” Facebook group asks you to post a copy of a Pennsylvania Agreement of Sale because they want to compare language or because they’re just doing one transaction for a family member, you agree. After all, you might need a favor in return someday, right?
Now here is where I become the bad guy (a role I really don’t mind, actually). Stop it. You wanted to be nice, but as it turns out, your Facebook buddy shared the form with another friend, who posted it on a legal forms website, where it’s found by Mr. HGTV who has watched a lot of “Flip or Flop” and wants to handle the transaction himself. Inappropriately providing forms to others is not only a violation of PAR’s copyright, but also actually devalues the contracts and your services. In the end, sharing the forms on social media or websites helps no one.
PAR’s standard forms are developed with hours of hard work from volunteer members and counsel and are consistently named as one of the most highly-valued member benefits. All the standard forms are then licensed for publication to a limited number of providers (e.g. Dotloop, ZipForms, Instanet Solutions)and posted on the password-protected page of PAR’s website. All Pennsylvania Realtors® can obtain the forms at no cost through ZipForms as a membership benefit. Anyone who needs the forms for education can simply contact me for written permission and an educational copy for their materials. Your friend who is doing just one transaction can be referred to a Pennsylvania licensee. There is absolutely no reason to be sharing forms online.
If you have reason to believe that someone has copied language from one of PAR’s forms, consider yourself deputized. If you do not feel comfortable asking them to stop, just give me a call or send me an email at DBrougher@PARealtor.org. I’ve got it from there.