The process of buying, selling, leasing, or transferring real estate between two parties ideally should only move forward if everyone involved is fully aware of their rights and obligations. Those rights and obligations should be spelled out clearly in a legally valid contract so that there is no speculation when it comes time to close the transaction. Unfortunately, there are numerous opportunities where signatories do not realize what they are signing off on in a given situation; or they are simply unprepared to effectively protect their own best interests during negotiation.
Support from an Altus real estate contracts lawyer could make a big difference when it comes to negotiating or challenging the terms of a real estate contract. Whether you are looking to buy or sell in the near future or have an issue with an existing contract that may have been drafted based on misinformation, handling them with the assistance of a qualified real estate attorney is the best option for you.
Understanding and Drafting Enforceable Contracts
The basic elements of contract law in Oklahoma are the same for real estate contracts as they are for most other types of legally binding documents. In particular, a contract should be put in writing, and signed by all involved parties to ensure validity and enforceability should the contract be challenged. Notably, there is no legal requirement that all parties fully understand every element of a real estate contract before signing it. It is implied by a party’s signature that the terms of the contract have been reviewed and are understood.
If someone in Altus ends up subject to a real estate contract with unfavorable terms because they did not read through and completely understand the document they signed, they may have little legal recourse against the other signatories. For this reason, contacting an Altus real estate contracts attorney before finalizing any contract is always a good idea.
At minimum, an experienced legal professional could identify potentially problematic aspects of your contract and offer guidance about how to resolve them before the document is finalized. Even better, a lawyer could advocate directly on your behalf to ensure that any and all of the following are in order, and correctly identified:
- Listed purchase or rental price
- Closing costs, abstracting and title opinion fees
- Property appraisals
- Property tax proration
- Fund sourcing or loan approval
- Other clauses within a suggested contract
For the best outcomes, it is wise to retain one of our lawyers as early as possible in the negotiation process.
Resolving Disputes Over Contract Terms
It is not uncommon for real estate contracts to contain clauses mandating out-of-court mediation of contract-related issues. This practice is not always a bad way to resolve conflicts between signing parties. However, if mediation fails or is not required in the first place, it may be worth talking to a Southwest Oklahoma lawyer about filing suit over a real estate contract.
Recoverable damages through this kind of litigation can vary substantially. It often depends on how a particular contract was breached, the “fair market value” of the property, and the degree to which you can establish the value of the losses that you experienced. It is also worth noting that “non-economic” losses are generally not recoverable, even if a breach of contract is established. Additionally, the very terms of your real estate purchase and/or sale agreement could limit the damages recoverable. Seeking an opinion on the terms of the contract prior to signing are essential for avoiding potential pitfalls.
Seek Help from an Altus Real Estate Contracts Attorney
Real estate transactions can be difficult to understand, but they are often essential to supporting your financial security and future plans. Even if it appears you are using a form contract for the purchase and/or sale of your property, the terms can always be negotiated. The vast majority of people trying to close real estate deals would benefit the most by retaining a qualified attorney.
An Altus real estate contracts lawyer could review your circumstances and offer guidance about possible initial steps during a confidential consultation. Call us today to schedule yours.