Yes, there are common issues in standard real estate contracts. We have a list of topics that we add to most real estate contracts because the standard form from the realtor is not adequate or does not address important terms. When we represent the buyer, we need discretion in reviewing the title of the property to make sure it is in a state that is acceptable to our clients to be used the property properly.
An issue relating to residential property disclosure forms is that the form specifically says it cannot be relied upon by the buyer. If we are representing the buyer, we want to add into the contract a provision that states that the buyer is relying upon the disclosures of the seller that are made to them when they purchase the property.
When we’re representing a client in a commercial real estate transaction, there is not a standard contract. Nonetheless, many realtors use the standard residential forms for a commercial deal. There are so many more steps that need to be taken in a commercial transaction than a residential deal, and many buyers are unaware of the additional complexities.
Q: Is it problematic if a buyer signs a real estate contract before talking to a real estate lawyer first?
In the case of commercial real estate, because the complexities of a commercial transaction are escalated, you need a real estate lawyer who handles commercial transactions. If you don’t have the right provisions in place, the commercial real estate purchaser may be buying something that will cause financial issues later.
On the consumer side, when you’re buying a residence, it is probably the biggest purchase of your lifetime. To handle a transaction of that magnitude on your own or to rely on a realtor who can’t be relied upon for legal advice, is ill-advised.
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