New Residential Construction

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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New Residential Construction

I am building a home. During our design center meeting, we were told we were getting a specific option that was brand new offering by the builder. Then in our pre-construction meeting, it was confirmed and put in the options packet we signed. Except before the builder signed and returned to us, they backed out of offering us the option. I’m trying to fight it with the builder, still in the early stages. Are they legally allowed to do this?

Asked on September 18, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Utah


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If they gave you a contract and you signed it, then unless the builder's contract specifically stated that it did not become effective until they signed it, too, you could likely sue them for "breach of contract" to either force them to put in the option or get compensation for it not being there. Generally, when party A drafts and agreement and gives it to party B to sign, party A's consent to or acceptance of the agreement is presumed from their drafting it and giving it to B to sign. Therefore, they can usually be held to its terms unless the agreement itself plainly provides that it is not operative until they sign.
Alternately, if you are now locked into an enforceable agreement but only entered it because they represented to you that they'd provide the option, you may be able to sue them for fraud: for lying about a material (important) fact to get you to sign up with them. Fraud can provide a basis to get compensation or get out of the agreement.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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