How Do I Make an Offer in Carlsbad and What is the RPA?

By
Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty of California, Inc. CA DRE #01490977

How Do I Make an Offer in Carlsbad?

What is the RPA?

 

Making an offer once you’ve found the right home is an exciting time, and an important administrative one.

 

What is the Residential Purchase AgreementHere in Carlsbad (and in California in general), an offer is written on a special form, the RPA or Residential Purchase Agreement (formally, the California Residential Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions).

 

If you have an opportunity to review this form before you have to put together an offer, do so. Ask your agent for a sample to read if you haven’t seen one as it can be a bit daunting, and it will save time when you and your agent need to craft the offer.

 

The RPA, from the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) is a 10-page form much of which is boilerplate clauses. But there are key components of the RPA where decisions must be made by you, and information must be filled in. Here are some of those decision points:

 

Amount of offer

Desired date of closing

Amount of deposit (you’ll hear this also called earnest money or EMD)

Amount of Loan (if any) or a notation that the offer is all cash

Any addenda or advisories to be included

Allocation of costs (i.e., who pays for what, such as the Natural Hazard Disclosure or other requested reports)

Escrow and title insurance fees

Other Costs (e.g., home inspection, the County transfer tax, the costs for HOA documents, the termite inspection and Section 1 repairs if any, the cost of a Home Warranty)

Items included in the sale (e.g,, appliances) and items to be excluded

 

While you will find there tend to be some standard practices (each party pays their own escrow) a number of matters are negotiable and are part of creating the best offer, terms and conditions to present to the seller.

 

The RPA will lay out critical dates for when certain things are to be done by one or the other party (again, these can vary), buyer and seller rights and obligations, and various contingencies (e.g., property investigation, reports and seller disclosures, review of HOA documents if applicable).

 

Crafting the best offer you can, with your agent’s help is essential, as poorly written or incomplete offers, missing signatures and initials, and other problems will not put your offer in the best light. You will want to review everything before you initial and sign, and be sure to ask questions about any of the content that you do not understand. Good luck!

Comments (16)

Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Great post, Jeff. And now I know what an RPA is. Here in NC we call them and OTP or OTPC (Offer to Purchase & Contract).

Sep 20, 2016 12:34 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Good morning, Jeff --- a great overview and explanation of our state purchase agreement at least in its current form(as we know, subject to changes at what seems to be a whim of the moment).  

Sep 20, 2016 12:56 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

RPA is a new term to me and great explanation to tell about the process, Jeff. It helps peel back the layers.

Sep 20, 2016 12:58 AM
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

I have never heard the term RPA.  Out here in the wild west we call it the Contract to Buy and Sell Real Estate and it is 16 pages long.  

What a great idea to have clients review the contract long before they are actually ready to execute an offer.

Sep 20, 2016 01:04 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Nina Hollander  - we all have different names, don't we? I have to be careful to not throw around the abbreviations all our forms have except with others in our business

Jeff

Sep 20, 2016 07:17 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Michael Jacobs 

Yes the attorneys and others seems to have a good time with making changes. There is so much in the RPA it's hard to not go on and on

Jeff

Sep 20, 2016 07:18 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Debbie Reynolds 

All our California forms have abbreviations. It take a while getting used to them. But of course consumers have no idea. The paperwork can be kinda daunting when you see it for the first time - I always provide samples in advance.

Jeff

Sep 20, 2016 07:21 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Belinda Spillman 

We all have different forms, and names, don't we?

I have a sample of the offer with the major decision points highlighted in yellow to share with buyers early in the process

Jeff

Sep 20, 2016 07:23 AM
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

What a great post, Jeff, and very imformative for buyers in your area. 

Sep 20, 2016 12:36 PM
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Jeff, now I know what an RPA is. Our contract is only six pages.

Sep 20, 2016 01:08 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker

Rebecca Gaujot, the Go To Realtor® - lucky you, Rebecca... ours is 13 pages long.

Sep 21, 2016 12:03 AM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Good morning Jeff.  Interesting on the different terminology each state uses that basically says the same thing

Sep 20, 2016 07:30 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi Jeff... that's why I'm so careful not speak real estate-ese to my clients. They have no idea what's coming out of our mouths.

Sep 21, 2016 12:02 AM
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Jeff, this is a great post to help buyers in your area understand the process. When they want to  learn more they need to contact you and put your expertise to work. 

Sep 21, 2016 01:53 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thanks Debbie Laity  - it's certainly something they need to know about and better to understand it before offer time!

Rebecca Gaujot, the Go To Realtor®  - we have other documents that are include - the agency form, the buyer's inspection advisory and the disclosure about the brokerage possibly serving possible multiple buyers and sellers - 6 additional pages. It keeps getting longer!

Jeff

Sep 21, 2016 03:23 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

James Dray  - so true. We had something different back in MA but I don't even recall what that was. And after the offer the attorney would draft the purchase and sale agreement!

Nina Hollander  - yep there are lots of abbreviations, acronyms and more that means nothing to anyone but us!

Jeff

Sep 21, 2016 03:27 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thank you Amanda S. Davidson  - there's a lot to learn in a short time.

Jeff

Sep 21, 2016 03:28 PM