Help Mw Swap Safely
March 27, 2008 9:48 AM   Subscribe

I think I've finally managed to nail down a house-swap via Craigslist. However, both of us want to sign a contract that will specify terms and protect us if something goes awry. Do you have any suggestions or model contracts?

I've found a few sample contracts via Google, but thought that soliciting successful examples and advice from MeFi was the better way to go. I would love to see any contract you have used in the past, and hear your suggestions about what to be sure to put in there.

Thank you!
posted by foxy_hedgehog to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oh no. I mean, "Help Me Swap Safely." What a dolt. I previewed the question and didn't catch the glaring error.

I would appreciate your help nonetheless, even if I am a dolt.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 9:49 AM on March 27, 2008

Seriously, spent $500 and pay for 2 hours worth of a real estate lawyer's time to help you draft this contract and make sure you're protected. Seems like a good investment.

If, however, you insist on doing this yourselves, here's a few things I can think of (this is not legal advice, I am not a lawyer, etc):

1) What to do if one of you wants out of the deal.
2) What to do if there's a breach of one of the terms in the contract.
3) Who carries insurance on what home.
4) Duration of the contract.
5) Remedies available (do you want an arbitrator to settle any disputes that might arise? Mediation? Lawyers?)
6) Financial considerations, eg, are your homes worth approximately the same amount? Is one of you paying a slight amount of money to the other, monthly, to compensate? Who pays the mortage payments?
7) Costs incurred at the end of the swap: Decide how to handle it if you ruin the living room rug of the other guy, or the lawn needs to be reseeded because the dog ruined it, damages to walls and furniture, etc etc. Do you want a dedicated fund to handle this sort of thing? Should each of you put up a deposit of $5,000 or something in a trust fund to deal with such claims?
8) Provisions about transferribility: Can the other guy rent out your house for the duration or does he actually have to live there? Can he sublet portions of it? Is the contract assignable to a third party for the duration, or is it only valid between the two of you?

Good luck! A swap sounds like a great idea, if you can make it work.
posted by Happydaz at 10:03 AM on March 27, 2008

Lawyer. Now.
posted by baphomet at 10:34 AM on March 27, 2008

Response by poster: Thank you!
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 4:22 PM on March 27, 2008

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