SHOULD A REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY REVIEW MY PURCHASE/SALE AGREEMENT?
If you are buying a piece of property in Washington, a real estate attorney may provide you with invaluable assistance both before you make an offer and throughout the closing process. While you may already have a real estate agent, a real estate attorney can provide you with assistance and advice that your real estate agent cannot. One area in which this assistance may be helpful is in the drafting or signing of your purchase/sale agreement.
A purchase/sale agreement is the document that you enter into that outlines the actual terms of the agreement to buy property. It spells out the buyers responsibilities in the deal and the sellers responsibilities in the deal.
In many cases, real estate agents have standard form purchase/sale agreements that they use in all real estate transactions. For such a large investment as a home, however, you should not simply go along with the use of this standard form agreement without working with a real estate attorney Tacoma.
Contingencies and Protections
One of the most important things a real estate attorney can help you to do in the negotiation of a purchase/sale agreement is to ensure you include the necessary contingencies to protect yourself.
Contingencies are clauses in the contract that will allow you to walk away from the deal without losing any money on it. They protect you if things later happen that make the deal become undesirable. Standard contingencies include a financing commitment, for example, or a contingency that specifies that the home must be inspected. A real estate attorney who represents either the buyer or the seller can help to review the purchase/sale agreement and make sure that all required contingencies are in place.
Contract Terms and Conditions
A real estate attorney can also review all other aspects of the contract to ensure that the terms and conditions contained within are fair and provide you with the proper protections. This is important in both commercial and residential property purchases and sales, since all parties will be bound by the terms of the contract.
Under traditional contract law, there is a duty to read the contract and not knowing what is contained within it is not a defense for breaching the contract. Your real estate attorney will help to make sure that you actually understand what you are agreeing to and that doing so is in your best interests before you get too far into the deal and make a bad investment you cannot walk away from.