1. It’s a Contract!
A purchase and sale contract for real property is a legal contract by which both parties are bound. If one party to the contract breaches its terms, the other side may take legal action to seek damages for that breach—or they may sue to enforce the terms of the contract. For most people your house is your largest asset, maybe worth millions of dollars, and hiring an attorney gives you an extra layer of review and understanding before entering into such a large contract. There are complex and confusing terms in the standard MLS contract forms and our goal is that you understand the home purchase agreement you are signing.
2. Unbiased and Honest Advocacy.
When you hire an attorney to review a purchase and sale contract, that attorney is paid to review a contract and to represent your best interests. An attorney does not need the transaction to close in order to get paid. For this reason an attorney has no incentive to allow, or encourage, clients to sign contracts with unfavorable terms. In fact, your attorney will help negotiate those terms out of the deal! An attorney will give you an unbiased and honest assessment of the terms in the contract so that you are a fully informed party to the transaction, and feel confident about what you are signing.
3. Peace of Mind.
If you don’t hire an attorney to review your purchase and sale contract you may end up spending a lot of money later on to address problems that could have been avoided with an attorney review. For a buyer this is especially important: you need to understand what it really means when you waive the inspection contingency or cross out the ten-day information verification period. For a seller, you may better understand your rights to earnest money (especially if it’s over 5% of the purchase price) if a buyer backs out—or what the legal impact of your Seller Disclosure answers may be. With an attorney review of your purchase and sale agreement, both buyers and sellers gain peace of mind with a complete understanding of the terms.
4. It’s Not That Expensive.
To review a residential purchase and sale contract, Moultray & McMahon charges a flat fee of $2,295. We will draft or review your Washington state purchase and sale agreement, and all addendums, making sure you understand everything. Included in this fee is your ability to call us at any time during or after the transaction with any questions. There are no additional charges whatsoever. We are also happy to work alongside your real estate agent to streamline the entire process. Contact Moultray & McMahon for more information on our real estate law services.