What contract mistakes can void a Calif Residential Purchase agreement?

Asked by Jan, San Diego, CA Sun Oct 30, 2011

Escrow has been started with a contract that has a different ($100,000 difference ) purchase price on page 1, than the accepted price of the sale of the property., The contract has 3 different close of escrow dates, Two of the signing dates proceed the contract date. Would these mistakes void a contract.? Closing and occupancy is not checked as well.
Thanks, Jan

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15
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sun Oct 30, 2011
Dan's point makes sense, you probably do not have an enforceable agreement.

Mistakes in the contract do not void the contract. They can make it voidable, if they are material. This isn't a legal opinion, by the way.

You and the buyer need to literally "get on the same page" and make sure that the contract is an accurate reflection of your agreement.

All the best,
1 vote
Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Sun Oct 30, 2011
Jan,
The question is, do you really have a contract? Ambiguities and outright disagreements on basic terms don't sound like a contract to me. My suggestion, if you want to complete this deal is to request a "clean copy" be created with the final terms all agree on. If you can't come to an agreement, you don't have a contract in my opinion. I'm not a lawyer, so if you can't agree one may need to be consulted if either side wants to push the issues.
1 vote
Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Sun Oct 30, 2011
Jan:

This is really a question your Agent should be addressing and clarifying for you.

While we all want to help, the details and timelines of your contractual activity are undefined; thus, with imperfect information we can really on provide imperfect opinions.

-Steve
1 vote
Lance King, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Sun Oct 30, 2011
Jan,

How a judge would rule on this might come down to intent, and you should check with an attorney, but it sounds like you currently have an invalid contract. If you want to proceed with the deal, have any outstanding issues cleared up by an addendum.

If you don't want to proceed, presumably you have an inspection contingency and you can back out under that if the sellers side doesn't go along with the idea that your contract is invalid and you don't want to get attorneys involved.
1 vote
Jim Fishinger, Agent, Carlsbad, CA
Sun Oct 30, 2011
If you are wanting to void the contract, you should indeed contact an attorney. If your goal is to get clarity and complete the deal, an addendum can correct the issues you are describing.
1 vote
Tim Moore, Agent, Kitty Hawk, NC
Sun Oct 30, 2011
You should speak to a lawyer or the agents broker to get those differences corrected. A contract is a meeting of the minds and the minds should not be confused.
1 vote
J, Agent, Greensboro, NC
Wed Nov 2, 2011
To avoid any confusion between all involved parties of a RE transaction, a contract NEEDS to be completed in full before all parties sign and date the final contract. As a seller's agent I have literally sent back purchase contracts to buyer agents insisting they complete the contracts with no blank spaces and anything in writing by the agent or their clients will require seller and buyer initials before final acceptance of any offers.

You are absolutely right in questioning the terms of the offer and taking the time to understand the importance. Contract law 101---dot the I's and cross the T's and never leave or accept blank areas related to any contract. I learned this as a legal assistant for many years and through the banking industry through most of my career. Good luck to you and thanks for sharing your situation.
0 votes
ROY Mason, Agent, SAN DIEGO, CA
Wed Nov 2, 2011
You should ask your ESCROW officer, realtor or consult with an attorney
0 votes
Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Mon Oct 31, 2011
Without looking at your contract, chain of events we would only be speculating. Have your agent explain it to you.


All the best to you.
Web Reference:  http://www.terrivellios.com
0 votes
Cory La Scala, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Oct 31, 2011
Jan,

In a nutshell, a contract can start with one purchase price and close date, then a counter offer can specify another, and if both parties sign, then that purchase price and close date override the original contract.

If there's an addendum, then the addendum overrides the counter offer that comes before it. If closing and occupancy is not checked, then it goes to the default.

It sounds as if you haven't read the contracts thoroughly, just the fill-in-the-blank parts. If you read it all very carefully, it should make sense to you. And, escrow can't open without all signatures, so my question is, why hasn't your agent explained this to you BEFORE you signed? Did your agent even explain what the contracts said? It can be confusing if you don't know the contracts, and I hate to say it, but the contracts can intimidate some agents, so they don't go over them with you. Ask your agent these questions TODAY.
0 votes
Melissa Zava…, Agent, Escondido, CA
Sun Oct 30, 2011
Well, the purchase price would be the purchase price on page one of the RPA-CA--unless there is a counter offer or addendum (fully executed by all parties) that has a different price. Same goes for the closing date. The only other thing that would supercede the contract would be escrow instructions.
0 votes
Chris Gorno, Agent, Carlsbad, CA
Sun Oct 30, 2011
Hello Jan~ The contract will show the original offer price and any counter offers will determine the final agreed upon price. Are you represenented by an agent? If so that agent and their broker will be able to advise you. An Addendum can be created to clarify any errors in the contract. Good luck getting your Mira Mesa home sold Jan!

Chris Gorno
Web Reference:  http://ChrisGorno.com
0 votes
Shannon Ande…, Agent, San Diego, CA
Sun Oct 30, 2011
Hi Jan, I guess first of all I would want to know your intent. Are you looking to void a contract because you feel you are getting 100k less than the agreed to price or are you wanting to correct the issue and move forward? Why would escrow open with a lower purchase price? Was there a counter that was overlooked? I have had that happen and that is why escrow instructions are typically sent to the agents to review prior to sending out to all parties involved. They are typically labeled "draft" at that point. Why did your agent not catch it? It could be a simple fix. Getting escrow to create an addendum could be all it takes as all items can be addressed and corrected in one form if that is your desire. On the other hand if contracts have been signed with a price that is lower than you accepted or wanted there could be issues as a seller just does not have the right to cancel without possible consequences. If this is your intent, good advice would be to talk to an attorney. I have a great attorney if you need a name.
0 votes
Elisa Peskin, Agent, El Cajon, CA
Sun Oct 30, 2011
As a seller are you being represented by an agent? Did you sign & accept the contract that has the incorrect price? Thw COE should only be on p1.You should first discuss with them or your broker. You can consult with an attorney but there is a binding arbitration clause in the purchase agreement
0 votes
Joy Bender, Agent, La Jolla, CA
Sun Oct 30, 2011
It is imperative an addendum is executed clarifying all items
0 votes
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