The importance of having an agreement checked before you sign

Published by Steve Wong on December 13, 2010

A client came to see me one day with an Agreement for Sale and Purchase of Real Estate to purchase a property. One of his concerns was that the retaining wall along the length of the rear boundary may not have been stable.

The Agreement prepared by the land agent provided a warranty that “the Vendors will realign the posts at the rear of the property on the terraced areas to a vertical position”. Our client’s uncle, who had experience constructing retaining walls, inspected the wall in question and advised that part of it required a building consent and that part of the wall required rebuilding and was not “retaining anymore.”

The clause prepared by the land agent obviously envisaged work of a minor nature i.e. realigning a few posts. In reality the work was of a major nature and involved more then just realigning a few posts.

If the client had not asked the right questions or made the proper enquires before signing the Agreement he could have bought himself a problem.

The moral here is to always do your homework before you commit yourself to purchase a property. It pays to have the Agreement prepared properly so that it addresses your needs and expectations. If you do not, the consequences could be expensive and in some cases unable to be remedied.

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