Real estate contract litigation is more common than you may think. Considering that the purchase of a home is the largest purchase most people will make in their entire life, having a Phoenix real estate lawyer review your real estate contract in advance is a smart approach.
Consider this: The average home buyer relies on the expertise of an experienced lawyer during the contract phase for a number of reasons, with the most prominent one being that they usually do not have a complete understanding of how the process works or how the contract works—and a lawyer offers peace of mind in the form of clarity and added protection.
Understanding the Purchase Agreement
While a home purchase will involve a wide variety of documents, which are often complicated and difficult for the layperson to understand, the most well-known of these documents is called the Purchase Agreement.
The Purchase Agreement contains the terms and conditions of the purchase of the real estate asset in question and is fully enforceable in a court of law under breach of contract if you violate any of the terms and conditions that you agree to when signing the document. Both the buyer and the seller are held to these terms and conditions, and it’s imperative that you understand what you are agreeing to before you add your signature to any of these documents.
How Attorneys Prevent Real Estate Contract Litigation
Your attorney’s job is to have your best interests at heart. They’ll go over every aspect of the Purchase Agreement with a fine-toothed comb before you sign it. They will check for any discrepancies, vague sections, or elements that they advise you should not agree to. Then they will help you make an amendment request from the issuing party. The goal is to avoid any potential backlash by ensuring that the terms and conditions are favorable to you before you sign.
Your real estate attorney will also review other related elements and documents before you sign as well. For example, if the home you are purchasing has an HOA (homeowner’s association), your attorney will review the HOA CC&Rs beforehand to make sure you fully understand the HOA’s rules, regulations and potential enforcement actions, and what you are agreeing to. This is very helpful as most home buyers are not fully aware of the HOA’s restrictions for the home they are purchasing and become very frustrated after completing the purchase and finding out they are not allowed to make changes to their home or use it in a way that they had planned on.
Your attorney will also look over any related title documents and any other documents involved that would become contractually binding upon your signature being added to them. For example, many properties are subject to easements, which can allow specified third parties to have access to the property or, in some cases, even require the property owner to maintain a portion of the road adjacent to the property. It’s not uncommon for homebuyers to experience frustration with easements that they didn’t fully understand when they were purchasing the home. Thankfully, by using a real estate attorney during the purchasing process, they will assure that you understand any important title documents so you are not met with unfortunate surprises after already having purchased your home.
With clarity, you can prevent Arizona real estate contract litigation by understanding the contract first and having unclear sections or disputed terms modified before agreeing to the terms and conditions.
In fact, standard real estate contracts used by real estate agents often contain the following statement: “All Parties Are Advised to Seek the Advice of an Attorney.” These documents also include a defined timeline for attorney review of said documents. They do this so that you can wisely consult with your Arizona real estate lawyer first to ensure that you understand and agree to the terms.
Why Use a Phoenix Real Estate Purchase Contract Attorney?
Even if you think you can wing it and figure out the complex terms of a contract, and even if the contract may seem straightforward and viable, it’s important to gain legal counsel first. Not only can your attorney help to ensure a smoother and less stressful transaction, but they also will do their best to safeguard your interests and prevent costly mistakes along the way.
What elements does an Arizona real estate purchase contract contain? Here a few of the most common:
- Sale price
- Earnest money deposit information
- A description of the property, including the address and the property ID number
- All parties and entities involved in the transaction
- Any buyer/seller stipulated contingencies
- Proration of taxes and HOA or condominium dues.
- Personal property that is included in the sale such as appliances; and items that are excluded from the sale
- Payment of municipal and special assessments
- Payment of transfer taxes
- Property condition and maintenance of property while under contract
- Furnishing of Title Insurance for the buyer
- Acknowledgment of Seller’s Disclosure; and Lead Based Paint Disclosure
Contact an Experienced Phoenix Real Estate Contract Attorney
The attorneys at MacQueen & Gottlieb have significant experience with real estate law in Arizona. Our attorneys can assist you with creation and review of any real estate contract before you sign. Contact us today at (602) 726-2229 to schedule an initial consultation or make an appointment online.