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Considerations for changing real estate contract wording

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2023 | Real Estate Transactions |

Florida’s real estate market is dynamic. Buying and selling properties necessitates a detailed understanding of the legalities involves. Everyone should understand the contracts at issue in transactions because these contracts can have considerable impacts on the outcome of the deal and the rights of each party.

Real estate contracts are binding agreements. Any changes in wording can significantly alter the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved. Because of this reality, it’s essential to consider certain key factors when contemplating changes to contract verbiage.

Clarity and specificity in contract wording

The importance of clarity and specificity in contract wording must be considered before any changes or additions are made to a standardized real estate contract. Any ambiguity or general language can lead to misunderstandings or disputes that may lead to lengthy and costly legal battles. It’s essential to define all terms used clearly. Every clause or statement in the contract should unambiguously express the parties’ intentions and obligations.

Changes in wording should also maintain the specificity of the contract. For example, if the contract refers to “the property,” it should explicitly define what is meant by/included within the term. This could mean the land, any buildings and potentially any fixtures or personal property included in the sale.

Legal implications of wording changes

When considering changes to contract verbiage, it’s vital to consider the potential legal implications of each adjustment. Even small changes can significantly affect the contract’s interpretation and enforceability. For instance, replacing “shall” with “should” could shift a clause from a requirement to a discretionary action.

Additionally, in Florida, certain disclosures are required by law, such as for radon gas and lead-based paint. Changes to contract language should consider these mandated disclosures. Typically, requisite disclosures must use standard wording and can’t be altered in any manner.

Given the complexity of Florida real estate transactions, it’s typically best to work closely with a legal professional who can help you to ensure the contract wording conveys the intended understanding of all parties. This is one of the ways that buyers and sellers can protect themselves when engaging in high-value transactions.