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What should you do before signing a contract?

When you have to sign a purchase agreement, it's a good idea to understand fully when that agreement won't bind you. You need to know how to cancel the agreement if something doesn't work out or if you change your mind before a purchase.

Normally, these agreements are fairly straightforward, but if you're unable to fully understand what to do if you want to cancel, talk to an attorney. The last thing you want to find out is that you're unable to cancel a purchase when there's a valid reason why you no longer want to go through with it.

Before you sign a purchase agreement for real estate, talk to a licensed agent. If you're listing a home, for instance, ask if you can be released from the agreement and at what cost.

If the agent says you can change at any time for no fee, then it's a good deal. f he or she says you must work with the agent exclusively in the future, you might want to look elsewhere for help.

You should also make sure to work with a reputable agent. Reputable companies are more likely to be on the seller's side and to help you if you want to cancel a contract rather than proceed to closing. If you insist on cancelling a listing, most brokers who want to be known positively in the community will do so.

If you find you're stuck in a contract and aren't sure what to do, your attorney can help. There are laws that protect you, and there could still be a way out of the contract.

Source: The Balance, "How to Cancel a Purchase Contract," Elizabeth Weintraub, accessed Jan. 15, 2018

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