Definition of "Ratification"

Susan Kumpula & Edward Heitchue real estate agent

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Susan Kumpula & Edward Heitchueelite badge icon

Remerica United Realty

Ratification is typically required when an individual makes a decision. Still, they don’t have the legal authority to make it legally enforceable. In everyday discourse, ratification defines an individual’s or business entity’s approval or authorization of another agent performing an act. Consequently, the dead wouldn’t be legally binding without such confirmation. 

For example, the board of directors ratified or sanctioned a CEO’s decision and made it officially valid. Or nine out of thirteen states had to approve the US Constitution’s final article in 1787 before they could form a new government, and the document turned into a law.

What does ratification mean in real estate?

The meaning of ratification in real estate refers to a fully ratified or authorized contract, including signatures from both parties participating in a real estate transaction. It implies that the buyer and seller agree to all terms and conditions. In other words, the parties settled disputes over potential real estate spread

Contingencies need to be addressed first.

Note that a fully executed contract doesn’t mean a wholly ratified contract. The former suggests that all contract stipulations were fulfilled. An entirely ratified contract will lead to the closing. 

What can stand in the way of a fully executed contract? Right off the bat, real estate contingencies, such as miscellaneous finances, still need to be satisfied. Secondly, the parties need to address the matter of house inspection. Thirdly, the seller has to have their property appraised. Once parties sign a fully ratified contract, they’re one step closer to finalizing the deal. 

A real estate attorney reviews ratified contracts.

In possession of a ratified real estate contract, your expert local real estate agent can take the official document portfolio to your real estate attorney or attorney-at-law. In the meantime, the attorney might have already revised your contract depending on specific details. 

Subsequently, they can commence the title search process to investigate a property’s title records and confirm its legal ownership. In a nutshell, your attorney will review public court records to check that no liens hold the real estate in question back from the transaction. Additionally, real estate attorneys use independent title firms or paralegals to perform the title search in some US states.

If you don’t have a lawyer, your agent can provide a list of excellent legal representatives. 

Exceptions from the rule: instances where a ratified real estate contract isn’t a legal requirement

A contract doesn’t need to be ratified to become enforceable in some states, for instance, Virginia. As a result, they sign a contract when parties accept an offer. Even if a real estate agent underwrites the contract, it doesn’t have any legal significance. As a result, the signature acts as a witness’s confirmation of the deal’s final acceptance. 

Moreover, the agent doesn’t even need to sign the block for the contract to be legal. The date of acceptance starts the countdown for all the contingencies to be addressed by both sides. 

What does agency by ratification imply?

We can call an agent ratified who has the legal authority to act on behalf of a client, in our case, a principal, at least in particular ways. Note that this applies to a confidential client or undisclosed principal. The principal approves or confirms even unauthorized deeds of an agent that already occurred. The agent can act and bring decisions on behalf of the client without en explicit authority. Later, the principal will ratify the consequences of the agent’s actions or conduct.

The act of ratification through age

Ratification makes a contract or acts valid from the moment it is done. For instance, underage people can enter into a contract without the legal authority to do so. Then, once they reach adulthood (18 in our case), they can ratify their agreement in which they entered as a minor. As a result, they can make the contract enforceable or ratify their former act. 

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