One of the questions most frequently asked in relation to real estate transactions is “Can I get out of this deal?”
It is unfortunate that the questioner hadn’t sought legal advice earlier. The best time to seek legal advice is before you sign an Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Never let a vendor or agent talk you out of seeking such advice. Any seller who will not permit you to review an agreement with a lawyer is not a vendor with which you want to deal.
Landy Marr Kats LLP has been litigation counsel in hundreds of cases in which real estate transactions did not close as scheduled. We have acted for large builders as well as a multitude of individual purchasers.
Builders, in consultation with their lawyers, should prepare a detailed memorandum to ensure that each sales person knows exactly what purchasers should be told about the project, and about the clauses in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Also builders should ensure that their Agreements use easily understood English, with large clear print.
Builders and agents should be told not to discourage purchasers from taking the Agreement to their lawyer before they sign.
To be enforceable, the general rule is that an agreement to buy and sell a home and land must be in writing.
Even if in writing, an agreement may in certain circumstances be unenforceable. This is a determination to be made by a Court. Frequently asked questions include the following, and their answers follow below:
Can the closing date be extended?
If a builder is not registered with the New Home Warranty Programme, is the Agreement of Purchase and Sale still enforceable?
Can a party avoid a contract if the Agreement was obtained in unfair circumstances?
If there were oral false statements made to induce the purchaser to sign an Agreement, under what circumstances will the Court determine the Agreement is unenforceable?