Can the contract be voided

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Can the contract be voided

My husband and I are completing a new house initially intended for to live in but decided to sell. We are not licensed builders. My husband served as the general contractor. In the course of this contract we are being treated as builders. So instead of the 1 year home warranty we were told we had to have a 1 year builder’s warranty. In the state of Mississippi, enacted 7 years ago, all builders are required to provide a builder’s warranty under this Act, some things are warranted for a year, but Many structural items are warranted for a 6 year period. The initial contract was signed near the end of June with a closing date of August 30 or before. Our realtor sent the Mississippi form for our review and signature this past week. After reading we discovered the 6 year clause. We questioned our realtor and he admitted he did not know about the 6 year liability. We are refusing to sign. My husband will be 75 in November, he could be held responsible until he is 81. We would never have signed the contract if we had been informed about the 6 years. It makes a huge difference.

Asked on August 24, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Mississippi

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

If we understand the timeline in your question correctly, the 6-year clause was in the contract you signed--it was just that you did not see that provision or clause when you signed. If that is the case, then you are held to what you signed: the law presumes that you read, understand, and agree with what you sign and so holds you to it. Not having noticed a provision or not having had it specifially called out to you is not a defence to your obligatons. So if this provision was in what you have already signed, you are bound to it.
If the provision was not in an already-signed agreement, however, you do not need to sign it: you are held only to what you have already signed. So you do not have to sign any new, additional, addenda, etc. agreement; you are not required to take on additional obligations. If under your state's laws, you have to have the 6-year warranty to legally sell the home, you could in this case use that legal obstacle as grounds to get out of the contract: you can't be forced to take on additional liability beyond what you already contracted for, but if you can't sell without taking it on, the law bars your sale and makes it illegal and that should provide a defense to the enforcement of the already-signed contract against you. You would have to return any deposit, etc. you may have received.


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