Silly question from a newbie.. - Posted by Peter

Posted by Peter on December 30, 2002 at 12:13:46:

Thanks for the replies!


Silly question from a newbie… - Posted by Peter

Posted by Peter on December 29, 2002 at 19:24:54:

Hey all. Ive been reading for a few months now and im ready for my first deal… I happened to have one fall into my lap. Its a run down house that needs a lot of work. After rehab I stand to make 20K on the deal. I am meeting with someone tomorrow regarding financing, but I dont think it will be a problem. My issue is, Me and the Owner (who lives out of town) have an agreement, but I would MUCH rather get him to sign some paperwork to guarantee this deal goes through. I havnt had a chance to get with a lawyer (My lawyer is out of town for the holidays)… are there any “generalized” forms/contracts I could use just to atleast hold our agreement we have made? I keep reading to carry paperwork with me… What sort of forms/contracts should I be using? Anything you can point me to/send me will be very much appreciated. I look forward to your replies… If im going about it the wrong way, please correct me :slight_smile:

Thanks in advance… GREAT SITE!


Statute of Frauds - Posted by John Merchant

Posted by John Merchant on December 31, 2002 at 21:20:06:

Most (all?) states have Stats of Frauds that says that NO RE contract or agreement is valid unless in writing and signed by sellers and buyer…zooo, no matter what you think your agreement is, if it’s not written and signed, you got nuttin’.

I was involved in the purchase of a SFR that had a long-time tenant who had announced she sure wasn’t going to give up her long term lease and we’d just have to live with it…but when I saw the “lease” I realized it was no good and was voidable by owner at any time…because under WA law it had to be written and notarized, and it WASN’T. Because it purported to be for 5 years, and under WA law any rental agreement of 12 months or longer has to be written and acknowledged.

That tenant got an eviction notice and was gone inside a month of our purchase having closed, despite her mouthy contentions that she “knew her rights!”.

Further, for a doc to be recordable, it must normally be notarized. Not sure this is universal, but in all the states where I’ve owned property it is the law. To be safe, always have any important legal document written and notarized (acknowledged). Maybe overkill sometime, but never saw it ruin a deal yet.

No witten and executed contract = No deal - Posted by Brandon

Posted by Brandon on December 29, 2002 at 21:34:28:

Contracts are state specific. Wait for the attorney. Bad paperwork is worse than no paperwork.

Re: No witten and executed contract = No deal - Posted by Jim Kennedy - Houston, TX

Posted by Jim Kennedy - Houston, TX on December 29, 2002 at 23:09:18:

Hi Brandon,

I totally agree with the title of your post. In all of the states with which I’m familiar, all contracts concerning real estate must be in writing in order to be enforceable. I also agree that since state law governs real estate transactions, it’s prudent to ensure that your contracts comply with state requirements.

However, I must respectfully disagree with your last statement that “Bad paperwork is worse than no paperwork.” I’d much rather try to clean up some details later rather than run the risk of losing a transaction because I didn’t have exactly the right paperwork at hand when a good deal presents itself.

Since Peter is admittedly unprepared with state specific documents that have already been reviewed and approved by his attorney, he has several options available to him. He could try to find someone in his state who could provide a state specific document. He could go to a local office supply store and purchase a generic contract that would probably be better than no contract at all. Or he could follow your advice and wait for his attorney to return. If he waits, he needs to understand that he runs the risk of losing the deal if another buyer steps up to the plate.

A contract can be hand written on the back of an envelope or a beverage napkin and it would be valid and enforceable as long as it contains all of the required elements of a contract.

Best of Success!!

Jim Kennedy,
Houston, TX

I stand corrected. Thanks, Jim nt - Posted by Brandon

Posted by Brandon on December 30, 2002 at 15:00:32: