I am in the market for a new house and my agent recently showed me a new construction that is only about halfway completed.The builder is financing the construction and he said he can "hold" the house for me if I put down a 5% deposit (advance) off the final purchase price. If I should agree to this, of course a contract would need to be written up.

Should I let the builder write this up, should I ask my agent to, or should I hire an attorney to do it for me?

I know I will probably need a lawyer for the actual settlement but not sure if I need him this early in the game.


You are planning on signing a contract for, likely, hundreds of thousands of dollars, and plan on paying, likely, tens of thousands of dollars in a deposit. For a house that is not built yet. This isn't particularly unusual, lots of people do this. But, you need a lawyer. Now, before you sign anything. Your agent may be able to recommend a lawyer, but beware; your agent may have a conflict of interest here.

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You need to let a lawyer look at it.

Concerns you have include:

  • what happens if the builder doesn't compete the house by a deadline?
  • You want to know your rights regarding cancelling the contract?
  • You also want them to determine if the 3rd party holding the funds is adequate regarding being a neutral party.
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