Agreement of Purchase and Sale — Should You Consult a Lawyer

Published On: February 28, 2020Categories: Real Estate

The short answer: Yes.

What makes up a real estate contract? | Simard &Associates

The most important document in any real estate transaction is the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. This document sets out the parameters of the transaction and contains the rights and obligations of each party. It is also the document we would refer to in the event of a conflict between the parties.

Most agreements begin as conditional offers. The conditions are usually for a specific period of time and for the benefit of the purchasing party. It is strongly recommended to include a clause to the effect that the offer is conditional upon a lawyer’s review of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. This allows for a detailed discussion concerning the particular circumstances relating to the transaction and the expectations of the parties.
Therefore, it is strongly recommended to have an experienced lawyer review the contents of the agreement before signing on the dotted line.

What Makes Up A Real Estate Contract?

  • The agreement must be for property
  • The agreement must be in writing;
  • There must be a consensus between the parties;
  • The agreement must set out, among other things, the names of the parties, the property in question, the price, the terms and conditions, as well as the significant provisions.

Key Elements of an Agreement of Purchase and Sale

When considering buying or selling a property, it is important to consult a real estate lawyer who can advise you on key elements to include in your Agreement of Purchase and Sale.

Here are a few key elements you should look out for:

  • Name of the parties;
  • Address of the subject property;
  • Lot dimensions;
  • Legal description of the property;
  • Purchase/Sale price;
  • Amount of the deposit;
  • Irrevocability date;
  • Closing date;
  • Chattels included;
  • Fixtures excluded;
  • Rental Items;
  • Tax implications;
  • Present and future use;
  • All other terms and conditions relevant to the transaction.

Why You Should Consult a Lawyer

A clause may be added in your Agreement of Purchase and Sale that makes your offer conditional upon a lawyer’s review and approval of the contents of the agreement with the buyer or the seller. This review allows both the buyer and/or the seller to have a comprehensive understanding of the terms outlined in the agreement and obtain legal advice to make any necessary changes.

Here are three reasons why you should always protect yourself by including a “lawyer review clause” before signing an Agreement of Purchase and Sale (“APS”) or why you should make it conditional on subsequent approval of the terms by your real estate lawyer:

  1. The APS is the only legal document that governs a purchase and sale of real property which is the most important and largest investment that people typically do in their lifetime.
  2. The lawyer review clause will ensure that nothing is missing and increase your chances that your real estate deal runs smoothly from start to finish.
  3. Once the deal becomes firm, it will not be possible to add any further protections or clauses to the APS and all of the existing clauses of the APS are what governs the real estate transaction.

Do I Need an Attorney During an Agreement of Purchase &Sale?

Furthermore, by seeking legal real-estate counsel, both the Vendor and Purchaser can have peace of mind knowing that their lawyer will make sure to protect their investments and ensure that the transaction runs smoothly.

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