I often receive emails from people asking me questions about their Texas contracts. I always respond that I'm not an attorney and they should consult with one if they have concerns, but I'll always give my opinion on the situation to help. Yesterday, I received an email from a lady asking about the Option Period. In the Texas real estate contracts, paragraph 23 talks about a Termination Option. I discussed in detail about the Option Period in this post, but I'll go over some things again.
Paragraph 23 gives the buyer an unrestricted right to terminate the contract, if they purchased the right to terminate.Yes, in Texas, a buyer has to purchase the right to terminate a contract during a negotiated amount of time, usually something like 5-10 days for a nominal fee of about $100-200. Everything in a Texas real estate contract is negotiable. If a buyer terminates the contract for any reason during this time, the earnest money goes back to the buyer. In order to have this period of time, that means you have a legally binding contract that is executed. It has signatures and dates, and is the agreement between buyer and seller to transfer the property with good funds.
The question I received yesterday is summarized as, "If a buyer tries to modify the contract with an amendment during the Option Period, and I don't agree to the amendment, is the contract automatically void?" The answer is NO. You have an executed contract. Just because one party tried to change the contract doesn't negate what you already have in effect. If both parties agreed to the amendment, then you have an amended contract. If both parties don't agree to the amendment, you still have your base contract in tact.
If the buyer is unhappy with the seller's response, then the ball is in the buyer's court to either terminate or move forward. Just because an amendment is attempted doesn't mean the contract is automatically void or termianted. This statement holds true whether you're in the Option Period or not.
An email cannot terminate a contract. You need to fill out the proper form. There is a specific form to terminate within the Option Period. It doesn't even require the seller's signature. Only the buyer has to sign and date it and submit it before the deadline. If it's within the Option Period, the earnest money is automatically reverted to the buyer. The Release of Earnest Money addendum doesn't even need to be used because the contract already stipulates what happens.
Again, I'm not an attorney. I've only been selling real estate for 12+ years (as of January 2013), but the above is from my understanding of paragraph 23 and I've taken many classes that deal with the topic.
If you have questions about your Texas Real Estate contract, please ask your agent. If your agent's answer isn't good enough for you, you need to contact an attorney for a legal response. Realtors cannot practice law, unless they also hold a bar card.
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Copyright© 2013 By Donna Harris, All Rights Reserved. You may re-blog with links back to this post.
*Does the Texas Real Estate Contract Void if an Amendment is Attempted?* was first published on donnahomesblog.com.