Goldie Sommer: Loopholes and Real Estate Contracts
Goldie Sommer became an attorney in 1975 and decided to specialize in real estate early in her career.
A loophole is a condition that gives you a way out of a contract. Usually, you don’t need a lot of ways out of a contract, but having one or two good ones can be really helpful.
No house, old or new, is perfect. Every property will have little things that you are not going to like about it. This is one of the reasons you can negotiate the price and terms of the deal. The goal of having a loophole is not to help you get out of a contract if there are minor problems with the property. It is to let you get out when you discover a major issue, like a foundation problem that's extremely expensive to fix. You also may experience a serious financial setback or maybe a medical issue that can cause you to change your mind about the deal.
An example of a reasonable and common loophole is a clause about the inspection that lets buyers cancel the contract if the seller does not address the problems. If you are a buyer, that’s the kind of a loophole you want- and need.
At the same time, you need to understand that if you are buying a property at a great price, it’s partly because the seller wants to part with it quickly and you agreed to a quick closing. As an experienced attorney, Goldie Sommer has seen sellers who will not accept a clause that would allow prospective buyers to tie up the property in a contract for months.