John's Florida Real Estate Blog


When Writing Up a Purchase Agreement, Make Sure the Contract and Addenda Match

In Florida, most real estate agents use either the FAR/BAR or the FAR 9 4/07 Residential Sale and Purchase Contract. I prefer the latter since it seems to make more sense, its form is more logical, l and customers understand it better. However, both are perfectly good contracts for agents to use.

The problem occurs when these contracts get matched up to the wrong addenda. If you are writing an offer using the FAR 9 and want to add the addendum for an "as is" sale, make sure the addendum is also the FAR 9 version. If you slip and use the FAR/BAR instead, the references in it to such and such a paragraph and section will be meaningless since in FAR 9 these sections refer to things other than inspections.

Recently I had an agent give me FAR 9 contract. The financing was to be via FHA so he added that addendum. However, the addendum was the FAR/BAR version. Right at the beginning it stated that the following definitions would apply "The Purchase contract would be the FAR/Bar Purchase Contract". Well, that was not true. The main contract was the FAR 9. That was just one conflict I have seen between the two versions. Many others exist that can cause confusion if an interpretation is ever needed. And believe me, in a dispute a good attorney will be looking for every flaw that you have made.

I am not sure if you have this problem in other states. But for those of us who work in Florida we need to be sure our contracts are as good as they can be. There are sloppy agents out there that would have huge problems if a deal ever went bad and they were dragged into court along with their sorry excuses for contracts. So keep in mind that apples go with apples and oranges with oranges. Use the addenda that was created to accompany the contract version that you are working with. Always keep in mind that the whole purpose of a contract is to clarify terms between two parties. We do not need needless errors to muddy the waters.

John Elwell - REALTOR


Bill Nye Realty, Inc.


Licensed in Florida


Comment balloon 0 commentsJohn Elwell • February 22 2008 08:27PM


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