The #1 Rule of Real Estate is Location, Location, Location.
A Close Second is: READ THE (insert favorite expletive) CONTRACT!
The real estate contract is the beginning and end, the authority, and the document with the most importance in any real estate transaction. You've heard it said that "an oral contract is worth the paper that it's printed on!"
In Virginia, there's a clause in our Regional Sales Contract that states that "All contracts for the sale of real property must be in writing to be enforecable. Upon ratification and Delivery, this Contract becomes a legally binding agreement. Any changes to this Contract must be made in writing for such changes to be enforceable."
In other words, if you want it to be part of the deal, you'd better write it down. Moreover, when it's been written, you should
READ THAT TO WHICH YOU AGREED
Case in point: The following is just a small example of the necessity of reading the contract. This past Friday my clients closed upon the purchase of their beautiful home in Falls Church, Virginia. Among other things, one of the agreed upon repairs from the inspection item list was that "the yellowjacket nests" were to "be treated by a professional exterminator."
While the seller graciously had agreed to a long list of inspection item repairs, my buyer clients learned a day or two before settlement, that the seller tried to treat the yellowjacket nests on his own, using a spray can of Ortho. This was not acceptable to my clients nor was it in compliance with the written words in the contract which clearly stated that the problem was to be treated by "a professional exterminator."
I reminded the listing agent of this agreed-upon language, and fortunately the seller hired a professional, remedied the problem, and we were able to settle.
Just goes to show that every word is important in a contract.
Read it. Read it. Read it.
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