Addendum vs. Amendment

What’s the difference between an addendum and amendment? The difference really comes down to timing. When parties are still in the process of negotiating a contract, such as determining who will pay for various obligations within the Purchase Contract, an addendum should be used to add, change or remove terms from the contract. An addendum is typically signed at the same time as the rest of the contract. In the Hawaiʻi REALTORS® Standard Forms library there are various addenda that may be useful during a transaction. There is also a blank addendum that can be used if none of the other addendums cover the desired changes.

An amendment is used after the contract has been agreed to and signed. For example, if the Buyer and Seller have already entered into a Purchase Contract and want to change the purchase price, an amendment should be used to reflect that change on the Purchase Contract. It can also be used to remove terms from the contract if something has changed during the time that the parties are under contract. Just like the blank addendum, there is also a blank amendment that can be found in the Standard Forms library.

As a word of caution, writing long addenda or amendments for clients may result in the unlicensed practice of law as the contract terms have legal implications. To prevent this, it is recommended to have an attorney review these terms.