If a purchase contract lists one date and an addendum lists another, which document controls?

UPDATED: Aug 18, 2011

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If a purchase contract lists one date and an addendum lists another, which document controls?

I am selling my house. The original contract with the buyers says that they have 30 days after closing to take possession. An addendum initialed and dated several days later (after price negotiations, etc.) places the buyers possession date approximately 60 days after closing. We are now debating which is the legal possession date. Which date would it be? The original contract date or the date shown in the addendum?

Asked on August 18, 2011 Ohio


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

An addendum essentially is a "supplemental agreement" entered into by the parties to an already existing agreement adding additional terms and conditions beyond what was already agreed to by the parties.

In your situation, the original contract's terms for the buyer's possession of the property is thirty (30) day after close, but the addendum to the agreement entered into later states possession of the buyers for sixty (60) days after close of escrow.

The operative date for possession by the buyer's due to the addendum's express terms would be sixty (60) days after close of escrow of the sale of your property. The addendum control's your situation regarding the possession date. From your question, it seems that you will be renting the property after close pending you finding another place.

Good luck.

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