If a Term Within the Real Estate Sales Agreement is Not Included Within the Deed, Which is Enforced?

This is a complicated legal question, and one that is est answered by an examination of a state’s specific laws.

In many or most cases, unless the sales agreement states otherwise, a filing of a deed will “merge” the terms of the agreement and the deed, and those terms appearing in the deed are the terms that control.

In other words, the merger doctrine provides that all prior negotiations and agreements, including that purchase agreement, are “merged” into the deed and the agreement is no longer in effect.

However, because each state’s laws or interpretation of this legal theory may be different, or may be evolving so that the merger doctrine may not be strictly applied in each or every case, the parties to the real estate transaction should examine the laws in their state to determine how (and perhaps even whether) this doctrine will apply.