Do you have an ACCURATE legal description on your real estate sales contract?
An essential element of a binding Purchase and Sale contract is an accurate and definite legal description. Without an "accurate and definite" legal description, a Purchase and Sale contract is not enforceable -- and home sellers (or buyers) officially have a legal loophole that will allow them to get out of the contract, if they desire.
As a Georgia real estate agent or REALTOR, there are five ways to make certain you have a solid, binding contract for your clients:
#1 :: ASK THE SELLER FOR A COPY OF THEIR DEED
This will allow for proper completion of the legal description. If the seller does not have a copy of their deed then there is a pay website at www.gsccca.org where deeds can be found from 1993 to the present.
#2 :: COMPLETE ALL BLANKS ON THE GEORGIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS (GAR) CONTRACT FORM
All of the necessary information to complete is available from the home owners's deed. You must complete all sections as applicable.
a) All Georgia Counties are divided into Land Lots and Districts. Some districts have more than one section.
b) If the property is in a subdivision, the correct lot in the correct phase or section as referenced to the correct plat book and page must be included. If you leave out one of these references, the legal may be void and the contract unenforceable.
#3 :: METES AND BOUNDS LEGAL DESCRIPTION
If the property has not been previously subdivided, you can reference and attach a "Metes and Bounds" description. This can also be copied from the Seller's deed.
QUICK TIP: Do not retype the legal description! Errors are common, so we highly recommend that you just make a copy of the document and include it as an exhibit within the purchase and sale agreement.
#4 :: ATTACH A SURVEY OF THE PROPERTY
A survey of the property that shows courses and distances or metes and bounds is also sufficient.
#5 :: REFERENCE THE SELLER'S RECORDED DEED
If you know the recording information of the Seller's deed, you can reference the recorded deed in the purchase and sale agreement
DOES THIS REALLY MATTER??
Definitely! Everything is at stake. If you prepare a contract for your client and the other party decides they want out of the contract, the first place a lawyer will look will be the legal description. If the legal is not sufficient, the contract will be void and unenforceable. Your client will be powerless to force a closing and you may have a legal claim to defend.
Taking a few minutes to add the correct legal description will ensure that you have a a solid contract and a happy broker and a client who knows that you covered all the bases to ensure that they were protected in one of the largest transactions they may ever make!
This article was inspired by some of the most popular closing attorneys in Atlanta, McManamy, McLeod & Heller. MMH is located in Buckhead and Midtown Atlanta at: 621 North Ave NE, Suite C100, Atlanta, Georgia 30308 and can be reached at 404-502-3334.
Call anytime @ 404.432.1844
In & Around Atlanta Real Estate Blog - Copyright 2006 - 2014 by Kerry Lucasse and the Nest Atlanta team with eXp Realty Atlanta. All information contained in this blog is deemed to be reliable but not guaranteed. If you need assistance with Intown Atlanta real estate, Kerry Lucasse and the Nest Atlanta Real Estate Group are always available to assist you with your residential real estate needs!
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