I don’t need to hire a real estate attorney, do I? –
YES you do! Most real estate contracts here in South Florida for a residential property are easily more than 10 pages including attachments of fine print. I can’t tell you how many people I have talked to over the years that think their contract says one thing but it really says another. And one of those reasons for misunderstandings is simple because people did not take the time to read the contract in the first place. They just assumed for a variety of reasons that their interpretation of the contract is correct. Always be careful when you ASSUME!
A simple misunderstanding for a lot of people is calculating time periods under a contract. Many times a section in the contract will call for time periods to be calculated in business days rather than calendar days. If calculating under business days this can add another 5 days to a 10 days period in a contract or another 10 days to a thirty day period under a contract for example. Thus, someone has more time to accomplish things under a contract than you may think.
Another important matter sometimes overlooked in standard contracts is the responsibility for open permits. Unless specifically stated in a contract these provisions are buried in the inspection clauses of contracts. Thus if you do not determine as a Buyer that there are open permits timely under the inspection period to only find out later that there are open permits this can cause a big headache for you as a Buyer if the Seller is not willing to cooperate and relies on the standard contract language.
As a Seller there are numerous miscellaneous fees that can be assessed at a closing along with prorations for taxes and assessments at closing as well. Unless you are a very experienced Seller of real estate you are not going to know when these charges are reasonable and necessary. A real estate attorney will be able to actually save you money when it comes to these fees by making sure that the person/office making these charges is doing so properly.
Attorney Barry Simons