No Free Do-Over For A Deed Delivered At Closing
No Free Do-Over For A Deed Delivered At Closing When a seller agrees to sell real estate to a buyer, the parties sign a contract that identifies the real estate, states the purchase price, and covers a few other important points. The parties then close their transaction, and as part of that closing the seller signs a deed to convey the real estate to the buyer. What if the deed doesn't describe the correct real estate, but the buyer doesn't realize it and closes anyway? Under traditional principles of real estate law, the contract "Merges" into the deed, meaning that the contract effectively goes away and all that's left is the deed. If the deed conveyed the wrong real estate, that's too bad for the buyer - and also of course for any lawyer who approved the deed for the buyer. At the closing, the seller conveyed a slightly different piece of real estate, though the difference didn't jump out because the metes and bounds description attached to the deed was quite similar to the one in the contract. The court stated that the deed embodies the final agreement between the parties, and the contract is irrelevant. If the property description in the deed is somehow ambiguous, then the court might go back and look at the contract.