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How can a buyer re-word the "unknown and unanticipated Release Claims" in a real estate agreement?

Everett, WA |

Agreement says: Buyer acknowledges that there is a risk that, subsequent to the closing date, it will discover claims which were unknown at the time this agreement is executed, which are based upon or are related to the foreclosure of the property and seller's subsequent ownership thereof, which if known by buyer on the date that it executed this agreement may have materially affected its decision to execute this agreement and the release herein provided. Buyer hereby expressly assumes the risk of such unknown and unanticipated released claims and agrees that the release herein provided applies to all such unknown claims. Buyer agrees to pay to seller... all attorneys' fee incurred by seller... in defending or responding to all released claims.

Attorney Answers 3


Real estate agreements are often made from "standard" forms from a printer. You can add to, delete, or change any part simply by negotiating for it. See a buyers broker or a real estate lawyer if you are unfamiliar with these contracts or the negotiation process.

DISCLAIMER: The forgoing comment is for general educational purposes only, and is not legal advice upon which the reader may rely as the commenter has no actual knowledge of the facts of the case, has not interviewed persons or examined evidence, and has not researched the applicable law. The comment is based only on the facts provided, which are extremely limited, and may or may not be true. Complete defenses may prevent the success of any claim. Competent legal advice should always be obtained before taking any legal action or filing suit. Readers employ any information provided herein at their own risk.

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This is a very weird clause. In Washington, there are standard forms for purchasing and selling real property (REPSA) and I've never seen this language. There is a document called form 17 wherein the seller has to disclose what they know about the property. I strongly suggest you spend the money for a consult with a local real estate attorney, there is too much at stake to rely on advice from the internet! Elizabeth Powell

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In theory, a contract is between two or more persons (or entities). They each can propose and negotiate the terms of the agreement.

You have the right to ask the seller to delete or change the clause in your post. However, if you are dealing with a bank or other business entity, it is unlikely that you will get the bank or business entity to change the "standard" terms of its preprinted contract.

If you do not agree to the terms, the bank will simply move on to the next buyer.

The clause is making clear that buying a foreclosed property is risky for the buyer. There is always the chance that the property is worth much less than what the buyer pays.

You should get inspectors and specialists to check the property before completing the deal to make sure you know what you buying.

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