As an American one of the things I hold most dear is the Constitution of the United States which include a Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights is the first 10 "addendum's" of the constitution....wait that's not right. Well if we left it up to many real estate agents that's what they would call it. For some reason (maybe because most of us did not go to law school or take law classes in college or high school) many Realtors and a large number of people in the population confuse addendums and what the Bill of Rights is truly called, amendments.
An addendum is defined as any change made to a contract, or an addition to the contract before it is ratified. A popular addendum is the FHA addendum that states that the buyer is utilizing the FHA program to finance the house. All parties should sign this before ratification and that addendum becomes part of the contract.
One of the biggest fallacies that agents use is the "repairs addendum." Going back to the definition of addendum, a repair addendum is only accurately used if it is utilized before ratification. Most people do not inspect the home before the contract ratification thus "repair addendum" is not accurate. If one wishes to add the repairs to the contract after ratification it should be an amendment. Note: my suggestion is to never make the repair list a part of the original contract but rather a separate entity which both parties agree too.
An amendment is a change or addition to a contract after it has been ratified. Case in point is the example of our country's Constitution. The constitution was written as a contract between the first 13 states. James Madison promised to incorporate a Bill of Rights once the Constitution was ratified. Upon ratification of the constitution, the first 10 amendments were written.
So, the next time you need to make a change to your ratified contract, remember our founding fathers could not use an addendum and neither can you.
Photo source: http://www.pierretristam.com/images2/i07a/0223-first-amendment.jpg
Michael J. Johnson