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Coexisting Warranties in Property Sales Contracts

Whether dealing with a residential or commercial property sale, there is likely an endless contract full of terms we hardly understand. Beyond just deciphering what the words themselves mean, it can be equally difficult to interpret their impact on the transaction at hand. This problem is compounded by the fact that certain words, when included in property sales contracts, can trigger or deactivate unwritten terms otherwise provided by law.

If you have any question as to what rights or remedies are available to you, either under the contract or at law, a real estate transactions attorney can help to bring some clarity.

Almost all contracts for sale have express warranties. For example, if a person sells you a building, the contract may have terms guaranteeing against certain defects in construction for a particular period of time after the sale. However, even where the contract does not include these terms, the law provides that certain warranties are implied depending on the type of sale. For example, where a builder builds a residential home and then sells it, there is an implied warranty of professional construction and fitness for habitation, whether written in the contract or not.

The question then becomes whether the presence of certain express warranties in the contract can operate to nullify otherwise implied warranties provided by law. Unfortunately there is no cut and dry answer. The impact certain express warranties may have on any implied warranties can only be determined by looking at the particular facts of the sale at hand, and comparing those with local contract law. If you're unsure about the impact of certain terms in your sales contract, you should contact a commercial real estate law attorney to make sure you are adequately preserving your rights.

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Slinde Nelson Stanford
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