Hi! I'm looking to purchase a home in Texas and have looked at several wonderful homes. I was advised by a lot of peers and lawyers (though not in real estate) to push for using a realtor drafted contract. Issue is, most builders advertise that they will only use their own contract. I've already had one specific contract reviewed fraught with ambiguous language.
My question is are there home builder contracts that are reasonable and if not, is there a way to amend this?
In this economy, it's a builder's market and builder's are able to pretty much say 'my way or the highway.' With that said, most are still willing to make some reasonable accommodations to their one-sided, unilateral contracts of adhesion, particularly if it's an expensive home. And BTW REALTORS(R) are not lawyers, with very few exceptions, and if you don't instruct them differently a REALTOR(R) representing you is required by law to use the TREC mandated form.
Engage a real estate attorney who can guide you.
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Every contract is different and there is no way to know if a contract is in your best interest without reading the contract. You can't generalize that all home builder contracts are one way or another. Be smart and have your own lawyer review any contract you are thinking about signing. Contract review is an inexpensive service that can save you money and stress later on.
All posts are for information purposes only and not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists until an engagement document is signed by both attorney and client.
It is no surprise but builder's contracts favor the builder. Builders have retained attorneys to draft language for the contract that helps the builder avoid liability for previous problems that the builder or other builders have confronted. So, the contract will be one sided in favor of the builder.
You can try to negotiate the contract, but most substantial builders have little appetite for substantial changes.
You should retain a construction attorney to help you evaluate the contract of your favorite builder to see if the language is acceptable or can be tweaked.
Incidentally, ambiguous language works to your benefit. Ambiguous language (which is language that can be interpreted in more than one way) is held against the drafter. So, you may prevail if ambiguous language is at issue.
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