May I Cross Out Language in a Standard Home Sale Contract?

Yes. You may cross out language in a standard home sale agreement. The parties to the contract (the Buyer and Seller) are free to delete or add any language they wish into a standard home sale contract.

Real estate brokers and agents, however, are often prohibited by law from making such changes themselves. If they do, they risk losing the legal protection of their local trade association (e.g., the local Realtors® Association) and may violate prohibitions against practicing law without a license. The Buyers and Sellers, however, are not subject to such restrictions.

In order to determine which parts should be deleted or added for your protection, you might want to consult a Real Estate Attorney who is experienced in residential transactions in your locality.

It is important to remember that someone, usually a lawyer, representing some person or entity, drafted the standard contract you are using. That lawyer likely included language in the contract to make sure their client was protected. That does not mean they were trying to protect you.

It is only by making such modifications, when appropriate, that the parties are able to tailor the contract for their specific deal.

In the law we have a concept that all real property (land, buildings, etc.) is considered unique. If that is true, it should follow that every contract for the sale or purchase of real property should also be unique.

Standard forms are often a good starting point, but merely signing something that somebody else’s attorney prepared for them does not provide you the protection you should demand or receive.

If you are purchasing or selling real property and would like to consult an attorney, please contact us at 314.862.2237 or email us through this site.

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