What’s Your Intention?

Words

We speak and write them on a daily basis. Sometimes words are written that alter the intent of an agreement between a Buyer and Seller of a Vancouver home.

Vetted

Many Vancouver Realtors® use a standard pre-printed Contract of Purchase and Sale form. These forms are constantly vetted by legal council to reflect real estate law’s most current state.

A problem could arise when as often happens an Addendum – where other terms and conditions of the agreement are stipulated, is added to the basic agreement. As a Buyer or Seller of a Vancouver home it is important to understand the implications of the words that your Realtor® chooses to include in an addendum to the Contract.

Difficulties arise if your Realtor® does not have full command of the English language or is lax in paying attention to details. Either could be responsible for misdirected intent. The impact may create a consequence you did not anticipate.

About Home Inspections

An example is the common clause that refers to conducting a home inspection. Do the words mean what you think they means? Read carefully and consider the following:

Clouseau-inpsector
  1. “Subject to the Buyer, on or before ____________ at the Buyer’s expense, obtaining and approving an inspection report against any defects whose cumulative cost of repair exceeds ____________ and which reasonably may adversely affect the property’s use or value. This condition is for the sole benefit of the Buyer. The Seller will allow access to the property for this purpose on reasonable notice.”
  2. “Subject to the Buyer, on or before ____________ at the Buyer’s expense, obtaining and approving an inspection report to his satisfaction, against any defects or issues which the Buyer may find adversely affect the property’s use or value, at the Buyer’s sole and absolute discretion. This condition is for the sole benefit of the Buyer. The Seller will allow access to the property for this purpose on reasonable notice.”

Subtle Difference

Although the paragraphs appear the same there are these few words that may significantly alter the intended result.
  • which reasonably and
  • which the Buyer

Implications

House-inspection-220x200

    Clause A

  • This clause could be interpreted as being more favorable for the Seller

    – Why?

    In the event that the Seller can prove that the repairs are in fact less than the stated amount, and the defects do not adversely affect the property’s use or value, the Buyer will have to complete the Purchase and Sale Contract.

  • Clause B

  • This clause could be interpreted as being more favorable for the Buyer

    – Why?

    The Seller will have no recourse in the event that the Buyer finds the Inspection Report unsatisfactory for whatever reasons they may have.

Buying or Selling a Vancouver Home?

Take the time to read your agreement very carefully. Be sure that the outcome you intend is the outcome you agree to.

If you have doubt about the intent or meaning of the words written – consult your legal representative before you sign the agreement.

About Larry Yatkowsky

Larry is a recognized real estate expert. A veteran professional, his experienced counsel leads Vancouverites in his west side community to place their trust in a man passionate about his work. Uncompromising ethics bring a balanced approach to realizing your real estate dreams.

When Life Moves You - contact Larry:

*Disclaimer: Statistics Courtesy REBGV. While believed to be accurate they are not guaranteed.
**Numbers provided may vary as they are dynamically posted by the REBGV.

Reader Comments:

Alex Says:
September 6th, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Interesting, thanks Larry!

Loon Says:
September 7th, 2013 at 11:12 am

Important food for thought, we bought recently in West Van and the addendums were the kicker. We had a very experienced realtor who was integral in helping us get it at a great deal with low stress !

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