February 4th, 2019 at 2:20 pm
Multiple Choice Question:
I know that, over the last several weeks, you have been discussing how to complete a trust listing agreement. In my situation, 2 separate trusts hold title together as 50-50 owners. However, both trusts use the same business manager as the trustee of that trust. How should I have the business manager sign the listing agreement and the Representative Signature Disclosure Statement (RCSD)? Pick the best answer:
A. Use 2 RCSDs, one for each trust, and have the business manager sign the listing agreement once as the seller.
B. Use 2 RCSDs, one for each trust, and have the business manager sign the listing agreement twice as 2 sellers.
C. Use one RCSD for both trusts, and have the business manager sign the listing agreement once as the seller.
D. Any of the above.
Answer: The best answer is D. The law looks at substance over form. As long as the intent is clear, all of the other answers are correct. However, my personal preference for completing the forms is Answer B. It is mostly a matter of appearance. Having the business manager’s name twice on the listing agreement tends to show that this individual is the trustee of both trusts, and that he or she has agreed to the listing agreement as the trustee of each trust. Compare Answer B with Answer A. Answer A is another possible way to complete the forms. However, the problem is, when you look at the completed listing agreement, it will appear as if only one of the 2 owners has agreed. Answer C is not wrong, but you may be unable to squeeze the names of both trusts into the space provided in the RCSD (although you could use an addendum). Also, if there are 2 owners, it may make more sense to show 2 sellers and 2 signatures on the listing agreement, even if the trustee of each trust is the same person.
-Thank you to Ed Solorzano (Beverly Hills Office) for suggesting this week’s legal tip.
Copyright© 2019 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (BHHSCP). All rights reserved. Any unauthorized reproduction or use of this material is strictly prohibited. This information is believed to be accurate as of February 4, 2019. It is not intended as a substitute for legal advice in individual situations, and is not intended to nor does it create a standard of care for real estate professionals.
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