Real Estate Contracts, Contract Disputes, and Closings
For most people, buying and selling real property is one of the most important transactions they enter. Real estate deals are often complicated matters with many forms, agreements and other paperwork, commonly filled with confusing and unfamiliar legal terms, which combined with the financial ramifications of such a transaction, can easily overwhelm even the most prepared. Before entering into such a significant agreement, or any contract really, it is imperative to know your rights and obligations under the agreement so you can make an informed decision before binding yourself to the terms.
It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of a real estate transaction, whether buying your dream home or finally selling your property, and in the eagerness to complete the deal, people can often overlook the important details. One important fact that often gets overlooked in real estate transactions, is that the controlling document that governs the transaction is the purchase agreement. Even though the sale isn’t usually completed until much later, the purchase agreement is an enforceable, binding contract. Often the purchase agreement is only a few pages, and since people quickly get inundated with additional paperwork regarding home inspections, mortgages, insurances, etc., they can underestimate its importance. It can be a complicated with many steps and stages and while realtors can ensure the deal is completed, most are not attorneys and are not qualified to offer any legal advice so it is important to have an experienced attorney assisting you.
Once you sign the purchase agreement you are making an offer which can be accepted at any time until it is revoked or rejected. You will be bound by its terms once it is accepted and it’s important to understand what that means in a legal sense because simply changing your mind can have significant legal consequences. Under Michigan law, there are a variety of remedies parties may seek in real estate disputes, and they include not just monetary damages but also specific performance of the contract. Therefore, even if you try to back out of the deal, a court can order you to comply with the terms of the contract which can mean following through with the purchase or sale of the property despite no longer wanting to proceed with the deal. So it’s imperative to fully understand the agreement prior to signing it.
Many times real estate agents and brokers use forms that only offer only a few blanks to write in terms, but it’s important to understand that all of preprinted terms contained in these agreements are still part of the contract, able to be modified and negotiated, and will be binding should you agree to them. It is also important to be aware that the goal of these generic contracts is to make them widely usable which means they are not tailored to any specific situation. This one size fits all approach can leave you unprotected or exposed. Fully understanding these terms and how they apply is key and our experienced attorneys can discuss your goals with the agreement, walk you through the terms of the contract, explain the legal ramifications of the agreement, and help you renegotiate any terms that you are not agreeable with.
The attorneys of Kathryn Wayne-Spindler and Associates are capable communicators and always quick to respond to your legal needs. Contact our Milford office at (248) 676-1000 to discuss your specific real estate needs. We help clients throughout Southeastern Michigan, including Genesee, Oakland Livingston, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties, as well as Mid-Michigan in Clare, Gladwin, Ogemaw, and Roscommon Counties. Our experienced attorneys have counseled such clients in Milford, Hartland, Highland, White Lake, Commerce, Walled Lake, Waterford, West Bloomfield, South Lyon, New Hudson, Brighton, Howell, Ann Arbor, Holly, Fenton, Flint, Linden, Clarkston, Houghton Lake, Higgins Lake, Roscommon and many more local communities.