Real estate agents mostly stay on the go looking for new properties and selling the ones in hand. Unfortunately, the sale and purchase of properties are often time-consuming and tiring. Moreover, since an agent’s considerable time is engaged dealing with clients, they usually don’t get enough time reviewing contracts. In such cases, the contact reflects inaccuracies or errors.
Contract review services can make a significant difference for busy agents and real estate agencies. Detecting and rectifying mistakes save parties from wasting additional time and money. Especially om no-benefit property deals.
However, as a real estate agent or agency, avoiding mistakes is necessary by paying complete attention to details. Implementation and practicing the following steps while preparing and checking the contract to be enforced is highly recommended. Check these;
Below Are the Mistakes to Avoid in Real Estate Contracts
Incorrect names on the contract
Unintentional use of incorrect names or not mentioning the complete terms of the parties is one of the most common mistakes in a contract. Providing accurate information about a property is vital for title purposes. If someone wants to lend it, this information must be correct to prepare authentic documents.
Maintain the consistency of mentioning names and identification of both parties. For example, someone is selling a restaurant. In that case, the entire contract can have name as a restaurant, including the brand name if it is dealt with the property.
Misinformation on Items to be Conveyed
A standard real estate contract will have an essential clause where the seller/owner party can mention a list of items that will convey with the property. In the case of a residential property, the list of items can be HVAC, lighting fixtures, kitchen appliances, drapes, storage unit items, etc. There is no item you can skip to mention if it is there to convey.
For example, a person is selling a home with the contract stating upholstery as an item to convey, but if it is not there, the new owner may file a complaint in court against the seller for contract breach.
In case of concerns regarding the items to convey with the property, add all queries clearly in the contract so that all parties are well-informed before agreeing upon the deal.
Not filling the blanks
Not everything in a contract needs to be filled, such as blank fields that are not compulsory to be filled. However, leaving important blanks unfilled (even by mistake) can lead to legal problems. In some instances, it can lead to a situation where the contract no more remains to be enforceable.
And if the contract dispute matter takes both parties to court and they fail to decide on the blank space left and what to fill, a judge holds the authority to make a decision.
If the parties cannot agree on what should have been in the blank or whether the blank field was intentional, a judge must decide for them. As a real estate agent, you can help your client avoid all these hassles by reviewing the contract in detail and ensuring they fill all essential blanks or mark ‘not applicable’ – NA.
Not Marking Mandatory Check Boxes
Real estate contracts are comprehensive and seem complex even to the real estate agent. Fill the contract forms with checkboxes, and check all crucial boxes. Do this to ensure that the necessary provisions are a part of the contract.
If any party left the essential box empty, the contract clearly states that the provisions linked to that box are not considered as part of the contract.
The major mistake of not marking a checkbox linked to provisions mentioned in the blank that are a part of the contract can lead to the breach. It can further lead to the entire set of provisions inapplicable and unenforceable in the contract.
Incomplete or inaccurate details of property
This is not common but highly possible in the case of the property, particularly in a rural area or old properties. Let’s discuss some examples of outcomes in case of inaccurate or incomplete information provided in a real estate contract.
- The contract states the size of the property as 450 sq. ft, but the property papers say the otherwise – 540 sq. ft
- Specify the entire property land size. The land for construction, and the empty land– mention all the details individually. In case of missing even a single point of fact is a mistake that can lead to the contract being unenforceable by the court of law.
In case your client cannot provide accurate and complete details of the property then the result can be a loss. The loss of your valuable time and money as the other party gets to decide whether to proceed with the deal or not. Teaching the importance of precision and authenticity of key property details is mandatory.
Not providing contact details for notice
Let’s assume someone signs a contract for a rental home and after a year, they need to send a notice to the other party; here, if the communicational address is not present in the document, the party will face numerous challenges to send across the proper message.
For example, if a buyer changes his decision and wishes to terminate the contract but in the absence of address for notice, the buyer is unable to communicate further. In such cases, the party will be in the middle of nowhere. This mistake can be a problem particularly in the case if the buyer is running out of time and needs to send the notice as soon as possible.
Not mentioning the information regarding the contact for notice can lead to legal problems too. The buyer may file a case against the seller for not providing crucial information and claim compensation for the inconvenience caused. The party can claim compensation on the grounds of time wastage, and finances spent in order to reach the other party. So it is better to send the notice to comply with time limits legally.
Failing to comply with time limits
Termination is the only section for which time-bound is the top priority among all areas of a real estate contract. Therefore, if any party initiates contract termination within the time specified in the agreement, the other party can get into the picture. The counter party can request for negotiation or accept the request for termination.
Allowing significantly less time for performance
Since you represent your client, allow the other party sufficient time to perform due diligence. In the contract, touring the warranty covers all requests put across before initiating the contract preparation is important.
For easy contract closure, avoid adding unrealistic periods. Use of period at relevant places can increase the chances of acceptance.
As you would already know, everything in a real estate contract is negotiable. Unless we explicitly write non-negotiable there is always a scope of negotiation. However, as important as reviewing the terms and conditions section may be, it is vital to avoid mistakes. The mistakes can lead to the non-closure of a prospect deal. Mistakes can also get the clients involved in a contract breach.
Big agencies helping multiple clients and managing various commercial and residential properties should avoid making such mistakes. Even the contact managers shall keep a close eye on detail. However, since agents and legal professionals in real estate firms generally stay busy managing clients and properties. They usually hire external contract management services. These service providers relieve them of major concerns regarding mistakes in their contracts. Primarily ensuring both parties can negotiate and reach a conclusion and eventually close the deal.