If you’re looking into buying or selling a home in California, you may have heard the term “C.A.R.”. No, this isn’t referring to a vehicle, rather it refers to a database of real estate forms commonly used during sales and purchases in the state. C.A.R. stands for California Association of Realtors, an organization which creates and maintains a database of dozens of forms that serve many different purposes for all types of real estate transactions.
While these forms are not legally required by the state of California, they offer many advantages over other resources for real estate forms because they are consistently updated to reflect changes in California real estate law. When C.A.R. documents are being used in your transaction, you know that you’re getting the latest, most up-to-date versions possible.
If you’re selling your house without an agent, or for sale by owner, you will not have access to these forms so you will have to count on the buyer’s agent to provide any necessary documents. Access to C.A.R. forms is restricted to realtors in good standing with their local real estate board, or those who subscribe (and pay for) the privilege of using them.
While you can legally do a real estate transaction without these forms, your best bet for covering all bases is to ensure that the documents being used come from the California Association of Realtors as they are the best, most accurate, and most current real estate documents available in the state.