man holding home agreement and pen for signing
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"You'll Screw Yourself by Signing This Contract."

In much of the country, real estate brokers provide a form document for both buyers and sellers to sign when a sale goes into contract. These printouts often include a provision known as a Disclaimer of Promises, which states that the buyer is not relying on any verbal statements of the seller or real estate agent. "In reality," Florida attorney Ansbacher says, "the buyer typically relies almost exclusively on such promises."

Ansbacher says the cost of getting a lawyer, usually around $500, onboard to review a contract before you sign it is a sound investment. In addition, he suggests, "Get everything in writing as an addendum to the contract (i.e. all pool equipment is included, seller will repaint the walls), or independently verify all promises (i.e. call the zoning board to confirm that zooming will allow the home to be expanded)."

"One of the biggest things I hear when I am litigating a dispute," he adds, "is that the buyer is confused as to why they were not better protected by the contract." A buyer's broker is one more person who you can enlist to watch your back in this sort of scenario.
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