What is the Attorney Review Period in a Real Estate Contract?

Many states have statutes that provide for an attorney review period. Kansas and Missouri are not one of those states. In order to have an attorney review period in Kansas or Missouri it must be stated and agreed to in the real estate contract. An attorney review period is highly suggested insofar as this is an opportunity to have a 3rd party not involved in the transaction to review the specific terms of the contract that each party to the contract will be held to. It is better to address these issues early in the transaction rather than to try to negotiate certain terms throughout the duration of the real estate purchase. Many real estate deals that blow up are over terms that could have originally been modified or changed so as to meet the particular needs of the buyer or seller.

When there is an attorney review period clause in a real estate contract, the initial contract that you sign will only be conditional. In most cases, you are only signing to confirm the agreed-upon price and that there will be an attorney review period. The typical attorney review period is 5 business days after signing the initial contract. During the 5-day period, your attorney will need to decide whether to:

Approve the contract;
Reject the contract; or
Entering into negotiations to modify the contract.

The attorney review period allows either the buyer or the seller to modify the contract to meet their particular needs. Your attorney will review the contract and suggest modifications to the contract that would be in your best interest. If the contract is not expressly rejecting or approved, your attorney will make an initial request for modification of the original contract terms within the 5-days allowed for attorney review. Maybe you want to add real estate tax provisions to the contract. You might also want to make the contract contingent on certain terms as well. The attorney review period is the time to make sure all of these terms are added to the contract.

The other party has the right to accept or reject the proposed changes. The other party may also want to counter the proposed changes and make additional proposals. During these negotiations, either party may walk away from the transaction without penalty if there is a failure to agree upon mutually acceptable terms.

If the 5-day attorney review period passes without anyone making proposed changes, then no changes will be made to the initial contract terms. Both parties will be bound by the terms of the initial contract.



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January 2022