Are stipulations placed on a purchased property legally binding?

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Are stipulations placed on a purchased property legally binding?

We purchased a house from family, with a written agreement that we offer back to them first for what we paid for it, plus any improvements. We’re willing to honor this agreement, that I’ve heard is not even binding, but they not only want the price but receipts, which over our 6 year period, some of which are illegible or are missing.

Asked on October 25, 2011 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

While you need an attorney to review the contract and its specific circumstances to determine enforceability, as a general rule, an agreement like what you describe IS enforceable. It is not binding on anyone you sell the house to--a new buyer can't be made a party to this agreement--but it may well be enforceable against you. That means that if you were to sell the home in contravention of the agreement, you could potentially be sued for monetary compensation. Still, to be sure, you need an attorney to evaluate the specific clause and the circumstances under which it was signed.

As to whether you'd need to provide the receipts--assuming the agreement is enforceable, it is reasonable and common that you'd need to substantiate the costs, upon the other party's request.


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