I estimate 99% of real estate transactions are documented via the standardized real estate purchase agreement. For the great, great majority of cases all works well. But, effective August 1, 2016, the template has formed in three major ways, one of which I will address this week. I will address the other two notable changes in following weeks.
Previously the inspection addendum permitted the buyer to cancel the purchase agreement for any (and realistically no) reason based upon the findings during the inspection. The time frame for the inspection to occur within used to be calculated based on business days. That apparently was too complicated, so the standard form is now based on calendar days.
Another notable addition is language adding options for cancellation of a purchase agreement should the buyers' home not sell. I think the language is pretty good in the new form, but the new form has weird language that the buyers can represent they have the ability to perform on the existing purchase agreement without regard to the sale of their existing home. Nice language, but it does not clarify whether the buyers can cancel the purchase agreement if their existing home does not sell.
One glaring omission is template language addressing the relatively new practice of a party selling a house contingent on them finding a suitable house. I quite like this practice as it lets sellers test the market for their home, but this can be a tricky scenario to address in a purchase agreement.
There are more changes that could be addressed. But, every real estate transaction is its own animal. A real estate agent's commission is built into the transaction, but spending a few hundred dollars on a lawyer is, from this lawyer's perspective, certainly worth it.
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