As a member of the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, one of the most important benefits you receive is free access to zipForm®, the “gold standard” in California real estate. C.A.R. forms are developed for REALTORS® with active involvement from its members, input from C.A.R. legal counsel, as well as other respected California real estate attorneys.
However, these standard forms are only one part of an entire ecosystem of products designed to help you in your business and manage risk. C.A.R. guides and protects REALTORS® every step of the way in the real estate transaction process. Here’s a look at how the suite of products work together:
First, C.A.R. gives you the flexibility of filling out your forms either online, offline, or from your mobile device. C.A.R.’s Forms Advisor® guides you through which forms to use, and Forms Tutor® explains how to fill them out (both in print and through audio). When using zipForm® Standard Forms electronically, property information, data, and cost calculations are auto-populated, which reduces errors and saves you time from re-inputting information.
When real estate law changes or the market provides new challenges, C.A.R. responds with forms to address the changes or makes updates to existing forms. This year, C.A.R. introduced its Sample Letter Library, which includes 24 letter templates to address common issues that arise in a transaction. Whether you’re requesting to be present when an offer is presented or alerting a former occupant of abandonment of property, C.A.R. is there to craft the language needed to satisfy the legal requirements.
zipForm® is also integrated with MLS systems in California, and by using the free zipFormMLS-Connect®, members can quickly pull in property details into the forms by using an MLS ID number. The Bureau of Real Estate, AIR Commercial Real Estate, Fannie Mae, local associations, brokers, and service providers such as title companies, also have digitized their forms in zipForm®, making it your one-stop-shop for any type of transaction.
When it is time to have everything signed, C.A.R. offers you a choice of electronic signatures. zipLogix Digital Ink® is a free and unlimited member benefit, available anytime you need it. But for those who prefer DocuSign®, it is also integrated with zipForm®, making it easy for you to send documents to your clients for signing, regardless of their location. Because security of electronic signatures and storage of forms is an essential step of the signing process, C.A.R. gives you five years of free online document storage to hold the signed copies in the cloud.
Whether you’re negotiating an offer with the other side of the transaction or straightening out paperwork with a lender, zipConsult™, a free web conferencing tool, is there so you can virtually present anything that’s on your computer screen. For those who prefer to see who they’re speaking with, the webcam capability allows six people to video chat at the same time.
If you’re a broker, C.A.R. offers the ability to review and lock agents’ files using the broker version of zipForm® as an optional add-on.
Perhaps one of the most important parts of the forms ecosystem is the peace of mind you get knowing that C.A.R.’s standard forms are backed by the C.A.R. User Protection Agreement (UPA). With the C.A.R. UPA, members receive protection in the legal arena because C.A.R. stands behind its forms in court, but only if members are using the most up-to-date forms. C.A.R. is a market leader in providing the UPA.