Contracts: Only As Good As the People Who Sign Them

This post was inspired by, and is an actual quote from a past client. I was listing his house late on a Saturday night (a rarity), the day before Easter.  As I was explaining my contract to him,  he said, “Just tell me where to sign. No explanation needed. I trust you, and contracts are only as good as the people who sign them.”  This was a property listed for over $1,000,000.

I considered his thoughts for several days, as they made a huge  impact on me. His confidence and trust in me made me want to do backflips for him, to go out of my way to please him. I had just met him for the first time that night.

While a contract is only as good as the person who signs them, they also are as binding as the second party allows them to be. I have had clients in the past discusss breaking a contract and they have asked, “What are they going to do, sue me?”  That answer depends on the party who has been harmed, and quite honestly, based upon the following factors:

1. Do they have the time, patience and legal resources to sue you?

2. What was their financial hardship?

3. How long do they stay angry?  And how angry?  This is perhaps the most important question.

Of course, I am not an attorney, nor do I want to be one. (I have great respect for the good ones!) One should always consult with a good attorney, or two, before making a big decision about a lawsuit. Better yet, you might be better off meeting face to face with the party who broke your contract to see if you can reach a fair resolution.


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