A Warning About Construction and Purchase-and-Sale Agreements
Way too often, we are confronted with a construction contract or purchase-and-sale agreement that our clients signed without ever having first had it reviewed by a lawyer representing their interests. In some cases, the clients didn’t read it at all!
These contracts are not like the pages of fine print you have to scroll through online when you’re signing up for a new service (and yes, we rarely if ever read all that either before checking “Agree”). No, these are contracts that are almost always drafted by a lawyer with the express aim of maximizing the contractor’s (or seller’s) rights and remedies while minimizing yours. The resulting, one-sided contract’s provisions may include a waiver of warranties that you might otherwise have, a drastic reduction in the time you have in which to pursue claims, and a clause requiring expensive arbitration of any dispute rather than litigation – just to name a few.
Is it ever a good idea to sign something as important as a contract for the purchase or construction of a home or other building without first getting a lawyer with experience drafting and reviewing such contracts to first take a look?
No. Signing such a contract could end up eliminating or reducing any claims that may later arise against the contractor or seller, and that could cost you tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars that you might otherwise have recovered from the responsible person or company. So spending a little money on a lawyer before signing a contract makes good financial sense.
Feel free to contact us if you would like us to review and revise a proposed contract before you sign away what may be the most important rights that a contract should preserve and protect for you.