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Attorney Approval Clause: An Inside Look

If you’re working with a real estate agent or broker in Upstate New York, you’re most likely filling out, initialing, and (of course) signing the “Standard Form Contract for Purchase and Sale of Real Estate.” There are twenty-four paragraphs in the Standard Form Contract, but there is one in particular that your attorney is the MOST concerned about: Paragraph 19, “ATTORNEY APPROVAL.”

This paragraph gives your attorney time (until the deadline stated in the paragraph) to review the contract and either approve of the contract as drafted or disapprove the contract and submit modifications that are in your best interest.

It is important to note, if the date passes, the attorney approval period closes and this paragraph is deemed “waived”; your attorney will no longer have the ability to cancel the contract under this provision.

My buyer or seller just backed out of the deal under Attorney Approval, can they do this?

Yes. The agreement is contingent upon both parties obtaining attorney approval from their respective attorneys “as to all matters without limitation.” It is a broad contingency, and a party is not required to give the other party a reason for the cancellation of the contract under attorney approval.

In summation, whether you are buying or selling, Paragraph 19 is of vital importance, it allows your attorney a brief window to review your Purchase Contract and ensure that the terms of the deal are suited to your best interests.

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