On September 1, 2020, Wisconsin’s WB-14 form become the standard form used by real estate brokers on behalf of their clients to purchase condominiums. As drafted, it is a trap for the Seller, and any Broker using it should, at a minimum, cross out lines 158-160. Although this new form offer may make the broker’s job easier, it puts Sellers (but not real estate brokers) at significant risk for no particular reason.
Specifically, WB-14 includes on lines 149-166 a “Contingency for Additional Condominium Information”. If checked, which it likely always will be, it requires the Seller to deliver to Buyer at Seller’s expense, within 10 days of acceptance, if they exist, the following:
At first blush this seems so reasonable: I can hear your broker saying: “the Buyer just wants to know about the Association and exactly what the Buyer is buying.” In truth, this will be fertile ground for attorneys looking to file suit on behalf of Buyers and against Sellers for misrepresentation or fraud. What Seller of a condominium will be able to accurately answer the inspection report or litigation questions (Lines 158-160 on the offer)? The answer is NONE. What exactly is an “inspection report?” Does it include every review by the property manager? The property manager’s notes each time she or he walks the property? What about bids where the contractor inspected the property? What if that contract has not yet been awarded — does disclosing the bid inspection also disclose the bid amount? If there is a lawsuit pending at the Association level, what “information” is the Association required to disclose? Attorney client information? What if the information is not 100% accurate, because you don’t know all of the facts relating to the suit? Who do you think will get sued? That’s right, the Seller. What will your broker, who you paid thousands of dollars to at closing say? I can just hear them: “We just relayed the information the Seller or the Association provided, and we had no duty or way of knowing if the information was accurate.” But of course they will skip the part that they created the form that created the duty for the Seller.
If you are on your Board, selling your unit or buying into a condominium you need to know exactly how difficult if not impossible this new standard will be to attain.
RECOMMENDATION – based on the statements above, here is what I recommend: