What is an Addendum?  

An addendum is typically used for something added to a previously existing written document. The term was originally coined in 1794 and originally meant “an appendix to a work” or “something to be added”. It comes from the Latin word addendum, which is derived from the verb addere meaning  “add to, join or attach.” The plural form of addendum is “addenda”, indicating multiple additions. The real estate addendum clarified the seller’s responsibilities for repairs before the final sale.  

An addendum in the area of real estate is a supplementary document added to an existing record that includes new terms and conditions that have yet to be included. Adding an addendum can modify, clarify, or nullify a portion of the original contract regardless of the complexity;  it can be as simple as a date for which the contract is valid or as complex as redefining the payment schedules and deliverables. Rather than striking out (which may lead to legal issues down the road) words, phrases, or sentences, an addendum can be used, making the contract much easier and better to read. These modifications and changes can range from the closing date, purchase price, and inspection, among other things. In this document, any additional information or requests not attached to the original purchase and sale agreement can be located. The language in the addendum may have the ability to override the language previously indicated in the contract before the addendum.  

Throughout the course of the transaction, both parties must agree, sign, and consent to the addendum. One party cannot make changes and modifications to the original contract on their own.

Common Examples 
Closing Date

This addendum addresses the closing date of the real estate transaction. It may specify a revised or extended closing date from the original contract, allowing for adjustment to accommodate any unforeseen circumstances or delays that may have occurred. 

Condo Association

The condo association addendum pertains to properties located within a  condominium association. It outlines the buyer’s responsibilities to comply with the condominium association’s rules, regulations,  and requirements. Furthermore, it ensures the buyer understands and agrees to the policies and procedures set forth by the association by allowing the buyer a specific time limit and period of time to review all related condominium documents.

Earnest Money

The earnest money addendum establishes the terms and conditions for the earnest money deposit. It specifies the amount of earnest money to be deposited by the buyer as a  demonstration of intent to continue and proceed with the transaction. The addendum outlines how the earnest money will be held, disbursed, or forfeited in different scenarios, providing clarity and protection for both the buyer and seller.  

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