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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 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.


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