Single party addendums are statements, disclosures, waivers, notices and the like that are associated with a real estate deal. Strictly speaking, sure things are not “added” to an offer or a contract or anything else. They are stand alone additional documents exchanged between the parties during a transaction.

Take a document used to give notice for instance. “Notice” is simply a statement informing someone of a fact. Notice does not require agreement of any kind. Notice is given because one party has a right to some information and the other the duty to communicate it. A document used to give notice is, for that reason, an example of a single party document.

Using standard addendum forms to communicate single party statements, disclosures, waivers, or notices can cause confusion. Because addendum forms are intended to add terms to offers or modify existing contracts, they contain agreement language and signature blocks for both parties. It is, therefore, not uncommon to see one party try to “reject” the other party’s notice or disclosure or for agents to run around after the deal has closed trying to get additional signatures on documents that require only one signature.

Using mutual agreement forms in single party situations is common when deals go bad. For instance, a buyer or seller who wants to terminate a transaction because a contingency has failed or the other party has not performed will often use a mutual agreement addendum in the form of a termination agreement to accomplish their end. When the other side rejects the addendum, the whole deal goes into limbo casting doubt on the disbursement of the earnest money and the marketability of the property. Click here for a detailed discussion of contract termination issues.

The key to avoiding confusion in the use of single party addendums is to always ask whether what is being communicated requires the other party’s agreement. A disclosure, for instance, is just a form of notice. It, therefore, does not require agreement signature blocks. That is not to say that it might not be a good idea to have a way for the other side to acknowledge receipt, just that there is no need for agreement to disclosures. This problem is discussed more fully in the next section of this subject when dealing with Disclosure Addendums or Do Nothing Addendums.
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