Does the lack of one party’s initials on a contract invalidate it?

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Does the lack of one party’s initials on a contract invalidate it?

I made some changes to a listing agreement. I signed the agreement and initialed the changes, but the broker did not initial the changes. He only signed the agreement. I want to be released from the contract because I feel that it is not a valid contract. Beside, the broker is not complying with the items I initialed.

Asked on July 26, 2011 New Jersey

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If there were specific parts to the listing agreement requiring initials in addition to signatures and you signed the agreement, initialed where indicated and the real estate agent did not initial those specific provisions but signed the agreement, potentially only the portions not initialed by the real estate agent may not be binding but the balance of the contract would be enforceable. It all depends upon what was not initialed by both parties.

If you are having problems with the real estate agent at this time, perhaps he or she will simply agree to cancel the listing agreement. If not, you could make a complaint with the county real estate association about the agent and the listing agreement that he/she refuses to initial where you placed your initials.

If the agent will not initial provisions that you initialed, has there been a reason why he or she will not? Most agreements I see require initials of all parties and their signatures on the document intended to be the final expression of their agreement.

You might also consult with a real estate attorney about this problem.

Good luck.


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