When all is well, the Offer to Purchase doesn’t get much attention after acceptance. All those words on all those pages have nothing to do but sit and wait to be called on to settle disagreements. Most often the contracts end up in a folder packed in a box, or converted into an electronic version of its self and sent off to wait out eternity in a cloud. But when all is not well, you drafting work is going to land in the midst of some high charged emotions.
A well written offer doesn’t get the attention it deserves. The flawed documents do. They get scrutinized by all sides in the most highly charged emotional times. Flaws can’t hide and memories can’t be trusted under this kind of scrutiny. In the end, someone you’ve never met is going to find fault with everything you did, and how you feel about the treatment is of no concern to them. Documented evidence is you protection against scrutiny.
And carefully constructing contingencies, expectations, promises and agreements is your best defense. Get it right, get it documented, keep the conversation between the parties, and carry water for no one from start to finish. When you begin to draft an offer, think like the litigator who may scrutinize your work. She’s not looking for your good work, she’s looking to poke holes in your good work and shine a spotlight on the flaws or potential flaws.
Maybe our job is to help people buy and sell real estate. Our responsibility is to craft agreements to reasonably ensure the agreement is enforceable as a contract. It’s not up to us to decide the validity of the agreement. It is up to us know what makes a contract enforceable and what flaws fail the test. No one tries to make errors and all accusations of error are not accurate. Keep yourself safe by becoming a note taker, a better writer, and a logical thinker. Work smart. Stay safe. Lawyers work hard to find faults. Make them work harder. They’re up to the challenge.