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Real estate deals: put it ALL in writing!


Real estate and construction, Civil and commercial litigation

The real estate market has taken an important position in today’s economy and almost everyone wants in. As such, it is important to understand some of the basics in that regard.

Take, for example, a recent matter on which we were consulted. A potential buyer (let’s call him George) signed an offer to purchase the home of a friend through a real estate broker. According to George, the offer was conditional on him being able to sell his current home before buying the new one. However, this condition does not appear in any of the transaction documents prepared by the agent. Today, George is being sued by the vendor and he wants to defend himself but is also concerned about his chances of winning.

Unfortunately, this kind of situation is much more common than one might think. First, one must always make sure to put in writing all of the essential terms of an agreement so that the consent of each party is free and informed. This will also help if it ever becomes necessary to prove the terms. Secondly, and more specifically as it relates to our friend George, it is important to note that one cannot contradict or vary the terms of a validly formed written agreement simply by using verbal testimony without first establishing a “commencement of proof”. In other words, George must demonstrate the existence of a commencement of proof that might result from a verbal or written admission from the opposing party which makes the alleged fact plausible.

For this or any other kind of issue, do not hesitate to contact us, to avoid potential future problems.
Harry Karavitis, Attorney-at-Law
Alepin Gauthier Avocats inc.
Real estate deals: put it ALL in writing!
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