GA 3.0 hours Contracts and Leasing Course Syllabus
3.0 Elective Hours
Legally competent parties are essential to a valid real estate contract of lease. Each party must be legally competent to contract. They must exist and be identifiable. They must also have the authority to contract. The person contracting might not be the direct seller or buyer and could be a personal representative of an estate, a person who is an attorney-in-fact via a power of attorney who had the authority to act on another’s behalf, a guardian who is acting on behalf of a minor, a court appointed trustee or receiver, or a person from a corporation who has the authority given by the corporation to contract. In these situations, a licensee should require proof that the person signing has the authority to do so.
Each party must be mentally competent to understand the contract. Persons who have been declared by a court to be incapable of handling their affairs are legally incompetent. Persons who are illiterate can have the legal capacity to enter into a contract if the contract was explained to them and they signed with an “X”.
A contract entered into by a minor is usually voidable. Extreme care should be taken by all real estate licensees when the persons that are contracting could be minors. In some states, an emancipated minor also has the right to enter into valid and binding contracts. An emancipated minor is a person who is under 18 and has a court-issued Declaration of Emancipation, is on active duty in the armed forces, or is/has been married.
After completing this course, the real estate professional will have a clear understanding of what a legally competent party is in relation to real estate contracts and leases.