and/or assigns

4 Replies

i've read real estate investment material that encourages using the phrase "and/or assigns" in an offer and i've also read that you should never use this phrase because it means that the seller won't consider your offer. what is the general rule of thumb concerning using this phrase?

I'm not an expert on this subject, but I'll get the ball rolling.

The "and/or assigns" clause is needed for a contract that you intend to assign to someone else. Bird dogs use it so that they can re-market the property to another buyer and give the buyer the exact terms that you have negotiated on the property.

I doubt that most owners would even notice such a clause in the contract, but savvy investors / realtors will know what you intend on doing. I would always put it in a contract because it gives you flexibility to assign the contract. If you intend on being the ultimate buyer of the property then you can always remove that clause later as part of the negotiation process.

You can just add the "and/or assigns" to the signature and hope that it doesn't raise any problems. You could be more up front and say that you need to have the flexibility to close this property into several different companies and you are not sure which one you are going to use right now.

In many states, a contract is assignable as long as it does not say that it is NOT ASSIGNABLE. That means that you don't have to write "and/or assigns" on the contract to be able to assign it.

Remember that banks will not accept contracts with the "and/or assigns" language on it so it is not worth trying. They don't want their contracts to be sold so they are tough on the non-assignable language.

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