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When signing with builder, commercial or residential all in one, and who should be signing

June 5, 2024
When signing with builder, commercial or residential all in one, and who should be signing 
          When dealing with a client’s builder (hired by client to build a home) and we are brought in by said builder, if we have no communications with the client is the builder able to sign our contracts on behalf of the client?  Will the contact be valid in New York?
          I broadened and compounded the question.  The question confused me a bit because you say that you have a client [which means you have direct relationship] and the client wants you to deal with a builder, not the client.  You want to know can the builder bind the client.  Before we get to that, how about we figure out which contract we will be using to get started.
          This project is going to start with sale and installation.  While the All in One covers that plus all the after-install services, you may want to use a contract that is limited to the sale and installation.  Also, in this case since you are installing essentially for the builder, not the client, you can use the Commercial All in One, using only the sale and installation part of the All in One.  You are being hired as a subcontractor of the builder.
          If the actual facts are that it’s the client who is hiring you and you want to know if the builder is authorized to act on behalf of the client [technically, as a disclosed agent for a principal] then you need confirmation that the builder has actual authority to act for and bind the client.  You need that confirmation from the client, not builder.  In that case you should be using the Residential All in One, because the builder is acting in place of the client, in this case a homeowner building a residence.  That Residential All in One should have not only the sale and installation, but all the after-install services, the RMR services, priced and check-marked, ready to commence as soon as the system is active. 
          In the first situation, when the builder hires you for the install, you will want to get a Residential All in One signed by the client for the after-install services.  You should not wait until the install is done and the after-install services ready to be activated because you may forget to get the Residential All in One signed by the client or the client may decide not to sign your contract or want your services.  In that case you did an install for what might have been a loss or far less money than you would have charged had you known you were not getting the after-install services.

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301