As with any business transaction, be sure to read all agreements, guarantees, and instructions before signing a contract. Do not be pressured into signing an agreement before you are ready or before you fully understand all terms and conditions of the contract. Make sure all oral promises are put in writing. Generally, contracts are legally binding, but there are exceptions. Any special provisions, including cancellation rights, should be specifically spelled out in the contract. Beware of vaguely worded provisions, exclusions or limitations which could pose a problem later. Never sign a contract with sections left blank. Signing a blank contract is like signing a blank check. It simply tempts some sellers to fill in terms which are not advantageous to the buyer. You may also wish to have an attorney review the contract before you sign it. After signing the contract, be sure to keep a copy of the agreement. Your copy of the contract may be the only proof that a transaction took place. It is important to remember that once in force, generally a contract cannot be changed or broken unless both parties agree. Be aware that many merchants will not change their contracts under any circumstances.For more information on contracts, you may visit the State Bar of California website w w w . c a l b a r . c a . g o v.
Updated 07/25/05 sy