The contract of sale for an apartment does not have to be complicated at all

Real estate agents, but also some sellers often postpone negotiations on a specific contract until the last minute. Then they present a contract written in ten fonts, with appalling formatting and spelling mistakes.

3 minutes of reading

And they insist on signing immediately. The form, of course, does not matter so much, but it often goes hand in hand with the content of the agreement and therefore the factual correctness. On the other hand, even a seemingly perfect, multi-page agreement on letterhead may not be free of fundamental flaws.

From our law practice: make sure that everything essential is stated in the contract. It will save your nerves and your wallet

Mr. Tomas was buying a flat without a real estate agent. However, the seller presented him with a contract that was so complicated and unclear that Mr Tomáš did not know how to deal with it himself. As if that wasn’t enough, the seller also somehow failed to mention in the contract that the apartment was subject to a mortgage and a lien.

Once it got to the bank where Mr. Tomáš was promised a loan, the whole transfer almost fell through. The bank clerk was furious and no one knew exactly how to modify the contract.

Fortunately, Mr. Tomas approached us. We redid the contract for him. As a result, the new and old mortgages were “cancelled” and the rest of the money was deposited into a solicitor’s escrow. This was eventually accepted by the bank and the revised contract could be signed by Mr. Tomas without any worries.

How to protect myself in the contract of sale for the apartment?

From the buyer’s point of view

From the buyer’s point of view, it is more than advisable to insist that the seller explicitly declares in the purchase contract that the apartment or other property being transferred is free of any legal or factual defects. This may be, for example, a lease to “unacknowledged” tenants or broken built-in appliances.

Real Estate Purchase or Sale

We provide a complete package of legal services related to real estate sales and purchases, including reservation contracts and escrow services. We will also help you with all tax and land registry issues. Our work is fast and accurate, ensuring a worry-free transaction. You’re also welcome to pay after services are provided.

From the seller’s point of view

On the other hand, the seller should insist on a declaration that the buyer has familiarised himself with the apartment, has seen everything, knows everything and has been everywhere three times (i.e. everywhere – we mean in and around the apartment). Ideally, the buyer should explicitly declare that he waives any defects that may appear later. The seller then wants to have the purchase price secured in advance through escrow so that he does not lose the apartment and the money.

How to contractually ensure the truth of such declarations?

To protect both the buyer and the seller, it is a good idea to put a liquidated damages clause in the contract, which could be invoked if any of the statements made by either party turn out to be false. We recommend insisting on such a penalty. A seller or buyer who has a “clear conscience” should not object to a liquidated damages.

However, in addition to the contractual penalty, it is advisable to insist on the obligation to compensate for any actual damage and to provide for the possibility to withdraw from the contract. All this can be described in a simple, sober and understandable way and it is not necessary to describe stacks of papers. There is strength in simplicity, so keep this in mind when drawing up a contract for the purchase of an apartment.

We’ll handle the paperwork for you when you buy an apartment. We won’t miss any problematic clauses in your contract

Download the free e-book 5 tips to buy or sell property risk-free and go smoothly through the process of selling or buying a house, flat and land.

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Real Estate Purchase or Sale

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

Education
  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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