Building a new home, custom build or spec home is very different from buying an old home. The contract process is laden with potential slip-ups and liability issues, as there’s far more to think about. Your contractor may not tell you, but you have the right to amend and negotiate the contract.
We’ve had people asking us if they need a lawyer for their custom-build contracts. We advise that to protect yourself and avoid surprises, you should work with a real estate attorney. Here’s why:
New Home Nightmares That Can Arise without a Real Estate Attorney
Here’s what can go wrong with custom builds, without the support of a real estate expert:
- You could accidentally waive your rights to go to court if the contractors fail to meet their end of the deal.
- You agree to a third party’s warranty, waiving away any state law rights you have and costing you hundreds of dollars in administrative fees.
- You agree to provisions that give the builder the right to determine the quality of construction, leaving you with no right to challenge their mistakes, oversights or decisions.
- You agree to provisions that require you to pay the cost of any changes caused by construction mistakes.
- You agree to a contract where you pay upfront, with no protection at the end of the build if things are missing or unfinished.
Purchase agreements are legally binding contracts that detail the terms and conditions of a sale.
Many people make the mistake of signing a construction contract that favors the builder more than themselves. This can be disastrous, as constructions often have issues and delays. Your contractor will likely give you a contract that’s “ready” to be signed, but you shouldn’t until it’s been reviewed by a lawyer.
If you don’t have the time to speak to a real estate attorney before signing the contract, you should insert a clause that states your offer is conditional ‘upon review and approval’ of your residential contract lawyer.
Custom build construction contracts include far more detail than a regular residential real estate contract, such as covering:
- Construction delays
- Possession Dates
- Extra charges
- New home warranty
- Financial contingency
Closing Day Protection
Real estate closing day is when the property’s ownership is transferred to the buyer. It includes the transfer of funds from escrow and updating the deed of the property.
In new home builds, constructors often write the contract so that the closing date shifts at the last minute.
If you use a real estate lawyer, you can avoid nasty surprises by including expected delays in the contract and making contingency plans for if they happen. With these protections, you can find time to arrange and afford accommodations if you’ve already moved out of your existing home.
Read related: 15 Ways Real Estate Closing Can Go Wrong
Essential Things a Real Estate Attorney Will Do with New Home Sales
- Draft and/or review contracts and ensure they protect you from liability, surprises and unwanted costs or waivers.
- Review the contract to ensure plans and specifications are correctly referenced.
- To predict issues that often arise with custom builds.
- Explain the contract to you
Contact a Real Estate Contract Lawyer for New Builds in Florida
If you’re purchasing a new build home, custom build, spec home or other construction, then our Florida residential contract lawyers can help.
We’ll guide you through the process, ensuring your rights are protected. We can also coordinate, prepare and complete documents related to the title, deed, transfer, and loan acquisition.
If you’re buying or selling property or land in St Petersburg, Florida or Riverview, Florida, contact us today.
Our St Petersburg & Riverview real estate attorneys have extensive experience that can ensure you aren’t left with expensive and upsetting surprises, so your transition into a new home build is everything you dreamt it to be.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.