What does a California real estate purchase agreement cost? If you are buying or selling real estate in California, you may want to know how much this important contract will cost. Let’s explore this question and review some general information about real estate purchase agreements and why they are used.
Based on ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data, the average cost of a California real estate purchase agreement is $649.03.
How Much Does a California Real Estate Purchase Agreement Cost?
A California real estate purchase agreement is a legally binding contract that lays out the terms and conditions of the sale of real estate like a house or a piece of property. This agreement is executed by the party selling the property (seller) and the party agreeing to buy the property (buyer).
In California, you cannot complete a real estate sale without a valid purchase agreement. This contract must be in writing and contain certain clauses and provisions to be legally enforceable. For this reason, it is common for parties involved in buying or selling real estate to hire a real estate attorney to draft the purchase agreement and assist with the transaction.
What is the Purpose of a Real Estate Purchase Agreement?
A real estate purchase agreement is used to create a smooth selling process and protect the interests of both the buyer and the seller. By entering this contract, the parties are showing their intent to complete the sale as long as the conditions laid out in the contract are met.
Real estate purchase agreements will also contain contingency clauses. If a contingency is not met during the specified period, it allows the party relying on the contingency to terminate the contract without facing legal repercussions.
What’s Included in a California Real Estate Purchase Agreement
California real estate purchase agreements can be complicated contracts. They must include specific terms and provisions to protect both parties. It is common to find the following clauses in a real estate purchase agreement:
- Party information. The names, addresses, and contact information of the buyer and the seller.
- Property description. The property address along with a legal description and the parcel number.
- Purchase Price. The amount the buyer has agreed to pay for the property and method of payment.
- Deposits. A deposit is often required in real estate transactions to show the buyer’s commitment to the sale. The purchase agreement will determine the deposit amount required and who will hold the deposit.
- Contingencies. Conditions that must be met before the sale can be completed.
- Disclosures. Any known issues or defects about the property. In California, real estate purchase agreements are required to include several disclosures like whether there was a death on the premises, a natural hazard disclosure statement, and a real estate tax disclosure.
- Financing terms. How the buyer will pay for the property including details about the loan or lender if applicable.
- Closing Date. The day that the deal will be finalized.
See Real Estate Purchase Agreement Pricing by State
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Contingencies in California Real Estate Purchase Agreements
The contingency section of the purchase agreement is one of the most important parts of the contract because it provides a legal way for either party to back out of the contract if the contingency is not met.
Common contingencies in a California real estate purchase agreement include:
- Inspection contingency. If the home inspection reveals defects in the property, the buyer is able to terminate the purchase agreement.
- Appraisal contingency. Confirms that the value of the home is equal to or higher than the purchase price.
- Financing contingency. Protects the buyer in the event they cannot get approved for a mortgage and facilitates the return of the earnest money deposit.
- Title contingency. A title search ensures that there aren’t any liens on the property and the seller has the legal right to sell the property.
California Real Estate Purchase Agreement Drafting
California real estate purchase agreements must be drafted correctly to protect the buyer and the seller in a real estate transaction and facilitate a smooth transfer of property. In California, sellers are typically responsible for providing the contract and many sellers choose to hire an attorney to draft the agreement.
A real estate lawyer will know what needs to be included in the contract and the laws that govern real estate transactions in California. An attorney can draft a comprehensive real estate purchase agreement that protects both the buyer and the seller throughout the transaction and transfer of property.
California Real Estate Purchase Agreement Review
If the seller provides the real estate contract, the buyer should be prepared to hire their own lawyer to review the agreement. Contracts generally favor the party who drafted it, so it is important for a buyer to have their own attorney review the contract to ensure it is fair and protects their interests.
An experienced real estate lawyer can review the terms of the contract and make sure that the buyer is protected. The lawyer will also explain the contract to the buyer if they are confused about any terms.
California Real Estate Purchase Agreement Drafting Cost
If you hire a lawyer to draft a real estate purchase agreement in California, it will come with costs. Your lawyer may charge a consultation fee, drafting fees, and for their time at the closing if they participate.
ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data shows California real estate purchase agreement drafting costs to be $750.00.
California Real Estate Purchase Agreement Review Cost
If you choose to hire an attorney to review the real estate purchase agreement, you will be responsible for your own legal fees. These fees are typically less than drafting costs, but the lawyer will still need to be compensated for time spent on the project.
ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data shows the average real estate purchase agreement review costs in California are $500.00.
How Do California Lawyers Charge for a Real Estate Purchase Agreement?
Hourly Rates for California Real Estate Purchase Agreements
Real estate lawyers tend to bill clients using an hourly rate fee structure. Under this fee agreement, the attorney will keep track of their time working on the project and any other tasks related to the real estate transaction.
After closing, the lawyer will bill their client for the total hours spent working on their case.
ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data shows the average hourly rate for a California real estate lawyer is $250 - $400 per hour.
Flat Fee Rates for California Real Estate Purchase Agreements
When a lawyer is hired for a specific task like reviewing a real estate purchase agreement, they may choose to bill their client using a flat fee rate. The lawyer will estimate the number of hours the project will take to complete then quote an appropriate flat rate price for all legal services.
ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data shows the average flat fee rate for a real estate purchase agreement in California is $649.03.
Get Help with a California Real Estate Purchase Agreement
Do you need help with a California real estate purchase agreement project? If so, post a project in ContractsCounsel's marketplace to receive flat fee bids from real estate lawyers who are licensed to practice law in California and can handle your project. All lawyers on the ContractsCounsel's platform are vetted by our team to make sure you are provided with top-tier service.