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Read Before You Sign

Why spend your time reading a document filled with tiny print and big words? Well, contracts are important and enforceable, binding you to every word of the agreement.

People who buy or lease a house without reading the entirety of the contract can soon finding themselves in sticky situations, like getting stuck in a lease that cannot be broken, or even worse, a bank foreclosing on their house if they miss or make late payments.

Phone contracts can also tie customers to their early cancellation restrictions or increases in costs without telling them at the time of sell. If you want to know what you are truly buying or signing away, make sure to fully read any contract or agreement with these five important tips in mind.

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Take Your Time 

If contract jargon can sometimes confuse lawyers, there is a chance it will also confuse you. Take time reading and fully understanding the depth of your signature. If anyone tries to pressure you into signing, walk away. Ask, “Why are they pressuring me?” and “Is it worth the risks of losing personal assets?” 

Clarify Definitions and Phrases

Each word in the agreement is part of the final legal agreement. Words with a capital letter have often been refined by the writer. Look for the definitions section including the new meanings of words and phrases. This can make all the difference in your perception of the contract. 

Feel Uneasy? Don’t Sign! 

If you have an uneasy feeling in your gut, the best option is to walk away until you can ask for an outside opinion. Taking time to weigh the risks of the deal compared to the benefits may settle your questions. If this doesn’t ease the tension, ask a lawyer to take a look. 

Make Sure Verbal Agreements Show Up In Writing

Making a verbal promise is only as good as the terms on paper. The terms upheld in the contract are the ones in writing, so make sure all of your agreements, verbal and nonverbal, are written in the legal document to hold both parties to the deal. 

Reach Out For A Second Opinion

If the documents seem unclear or too confusing, reach out to an attorney for help! It may seem expensive at the time, but it’s far more expensive to pay for a bad deal.

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