ContractsCounsel Logo

Real Estate Purchase Agreement Review

Clients Rate Lawyers on our Platform 4.9/5 Stars
based on 7,549 reviews
Home Blog Real Estate Purchase Agreement Review

Jump to Section

A real estate purchase agreement is a legally binding contract between a party selling property and a party purchasing property. This agreement is not a sale contract, but a contract that will govern how the sale will work. It includes the sale price, deposit requirements, and contingencies that must be met before the sale can be completed.

What is a Real Estate Purchase Agreement Review?

A real estate purchase agreement review describes the process of carefully reading and analyzing the terms and conditions laid out in the contract. Contract review gives both parties the opportunity to go over the provisions, ensure that what is written in the contract reflects the deal that was made, and clarify any ambiguous terms.

Most parties engaged in a real estate transaction seek the legal guidance of a real estate attorney to assist with contract drafting, review, and negotiations. When a real estate lawyer reviews a purchase agreement, they will confirm that the contract is complete and free from mistakes. The lawyer will also go over the terms and conditions to ensure that their client’s interests and rights are fully protected.

What Should Be in a Real Estate Purchase Agreement

Real estate purchase agreements must include key elements and clauses to protect both parties and facilitate a smooth sale of property.

The following clauses will be found in most real estate purchase agreements:

  • Party information. The names, addresses, and contact information of the buyer and the seller.
  • Property details. The property address along with a legal description and any other distinguishing details.
  • Purchase Price. The amount the buyer has agreed to pay for the property including deposits and any additional costs or expenses.
  • Disclosures. Facts about the property made by the seller about the condition of the property. This will also include defects in the property that could affect the value.
  • Contingencies. Conditions that must be met before the deal can be finalized. Some common contingencies include home inspection, appraisal, financing, and title contingencies.
  • Financing terms. How the buyer will pay for the property including details about the loan or lender if applicable.
  • Fixtures and appliances. What items are included or excluded from the sale.
  • Property taxes. Information about taxes imposed on the property.
  • Seller assist. Whether the seller will pay part of closing costs.
  • Earnest money. The terms and conditions surrounding an earnest money security deposit which is used to show the seller the buyer is serious about purchasing the property.
  • Closing Date. The day that the deal will be finalized.
  • Signatures. A real estate purchase agreement must be signed by both parties to be valid.
Meet some lawyers on our platform

Spencer R.

3 projects on CC
View Profile

Daehoon P.

159 projects on CC
View Profile

Zachary J.

185 projects on CC
View Profile

Gregory B.

138 projects on CC
View Profile

How to Review a Real Estate Purchase Agreement

To review a real estate purchase agreement, follow these steps:

  1. Read the entire contract from beginning to end.
  2. Make note of any terms that need to be defined or clarified.
  3. Verify that all information in the contract reflects the terms agreed upon by the parties.
  4. Double-check deadlines and timelines including when contingencies must be met by, when deposits are due, and the closing date.
  5. Consult with a real estate lawyer.

Reviewing a real estate purchase agreement is an important step in the home buying process and it should not be skipped or ignored. Hiring a lawyer to conduct a contract review is the best way to ensure that the agreement is fair, legally binding, and represents your best interests.

A lawyer can go over the contract with you to ensure that you understand all of your rights and obligations and that the contract reflects your intentions.

What Should I Look for in a Sales Agreement for a House?

When reviewing a sales agreement for a house, the most important terms to look for are the provisions that cover disclosures and contingencies.

Disclosures. The legal requirement for a seller to disclose certain information about a property to a buyer. These disclosures are intended to provide buyers with important information that may impact their decision to purchase the property. Each jurisdiction requires different types of disclosures but the most common include:

  • Property condition disclosures. Includes issues with the structure, roof, or electrical systems or the presence of pests.
  • Environmental disclosures. Hazards like the presence of mold, radon, or lead based paint.
  • Property history disclosures. Any significant events that could affect the value of the property like criminal activity or damage from natural disasters.
  • Homeowners’ association disclosures. If the property is subject to an HOA, the seller should disclose fees, regulations, and any pending litigation with the association.

Contingencies. Conditions or requirements that must be met for a real estate transaction to proceed. Contingencies provide protection for the buyer and allows the buyer to back out of the deal or negotiate changes if certain conditions are not satisfied. Common contingencies include:

  • Financing contingency. Allows the buyer to cancel the contract if they cannot secure financing for the property.
  • Home inspection contingency. The buyer has the opportunity to have the home inspected by a professional and if it doesn’t pass, the buyer can negotiate necessary repairs or terminate the contract.
  • Title contingency. The title to the property must be clear and marketable. If any liens or encumbrances are found during the title search, the contract can be terminated.
  • Sale of existing property contingency. If a buyer needs to sell their current property, this contingency protects the buyer by ensuring they can sell their current property before purchasing the new property.

While all terms in a real estate purchase agreement are important, disclosures and contingencies are put in place to specifically protect the buyer’s interests. When reviewing a real estate contract, be sure that these provisions are included.

Common Pitfalls in Real Estate Purchase Agreements

When a purchase agreement is not drafted or reviewed properly, it can have significant legal and financial consequences for both parties. Failure to include certain provisions or ambiguous terms can lead to a dispute between the parties and possible litigation.

Common pitfalls in real estate purchase agreements include:

  • Incomplete or ambiguous terms that lead to confusion and disputes
  • Failure to provide adequate protection with disclosures and contingencies
  • Unclear provisions about which party will be responsible for repairs
  • Inadequate details about financing, deposits, and closing costs
  • Failure to abide by applicable laws

To avoid these common pitfalls, it is recommended that you hire a real estate attorney to review your purchase agreement before agreeing to the terms.

Should I Hire a Lawyer to Review a Real Estate Purchase Agreement?

Yes. Whether you are selling the property or buying the property, it is always highly recommended that you hire a lawyer to review the real estate purchase agreement. When you hire a lawyer, their job is to advocate for you throughout the transaction.

Your lawyer will review the purchase agreement and will ensure that the contract protects your interests. Your lawyer can assist with renegotiating any adverse terms and check to make sure the contract follows all laws and is legally enforceable in the event a dispute arises.

Get Help with Hiring an Attorney

Do you need help with a real estate purchase agreement review? If so, post a project in ContractsCounsel's marketplace to receive bids from lawyers who are licensed to practice law in your state 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.

Meet some of our Lawyers

Sarah E. on ContractsCounsel
View Sarah
5.0 (4)
Member Since:
June 19, 2023

Sarah E.

Free Consultation
Los Angeles
19 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
Loyola Law School

Meet Sarah Shabanie, an exceptional transactional attorney with a stellar track record in corporate law. Sarah graduated with top honors from Loyola Law School, where she consistently demonstrated her outstanding legal acumen and dedication to excellence. With close to 20 years of experience, Sarah has honed her expertise while serving as an in-house counsel for major corporations, including AT&T and T-Mobile. Throughout her tenure, she has successfully navigated complex transactions, providing strategic guidance and meticulous attention to detail in all her work. Sarah’s comprehensive understanding of corporate law and her ability to negotiate advantageous deals have consistently garnered praise from clients and colleagues alike. Sarah holds esteemed memberships in both the California State Bar and the California Department of Real Estate, maintaining licenses in good standing in both regulatory bodies With a reputation for her unwavering commitment to client success, Sarah Shabanie is a trusted legal advisor who consistently delivers exceptional results. Her exceptional legal skills, honed through years of experience and academic achievement, make her an invaluable asset to any organization or individual seeking top-tier transactional representation.

Anand A. on ContractsCounsel
View Anand
5.0 (29)
Member Since:
July 17, 2022

Anand A.

Free Consultation
Philadelphia, PA
9 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NJ, PA
Rutgers University School of Law

Anand is an entrepreneur and attorney with a wide-ranging background. In his legal capacity, Anand has represented parties in (i) commercial finance, (ii) corporate, and (iii) real estate matters throughout the country, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Arizona, and Georgia. He is well-versed in business formation and management, reviewing and negotiating contracts, advising clients on financing strategy, and various other arenas in which individuals and businesses commonly find themselves. As an entrepreneur, Anand is involved in the hospitality industry and commercial real estate. His approach to the legal practice is to treat clients fairly and provide the highest quality representation possible. Anand received his law degree from Rutgers University School of Law in 2013 and his Bachelor of Business Administration from Pace University, Lubin School of Business in 2007.

Owen K. on ContractsCounsel
View Owen
5.0 (7)
Member Since:
May 24, 2023

Owen K.

Commercial Real Estate Lease Expert
Free Consultation
10 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
University of San Diego School of Law

I am an experienced transactional attorney with substantial experience (~10 years, 4+ at a large national law firm, 4.5 in-house) in the review/markup and drafting of commercial real estate leases and related agreements (subleases, amendments, terminations, estoppels, subordination agreements, design/engineering/construction/brokerage agreements, etc.). At my "day job," I handle all lease negotiations for a publicly traded company that has hundreds of locations. My role also involves the negotiation of contracts of other various types (product/service agreements, contractor agreements, NDAs, etc.). I am efficient and business-minded and am capable of taking an aggressive or more modest approach, depending on your preferences, leverage, and urgency.

Andrew A. on ContractsCounsel
View Andrew
4.7 (1)
Member Since:
June 1, 2023

Andrew A.

Managing Partner
Free Consultation
Charlotte NC and SF CA
2 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
Thomas Jefferson School of Law

I am the Managing Partner of Adams Global Immigration, a Business Immigration Law firm focusing on nonimmigrant visa processing (H-1B, L-1, E-2, E-3, etc.) and immigrant visa processing (EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, PERM, NIW, etc.). I have many years of business immigration experience, including legal work at Jackson and Hertogs, Fragomen, E&M Mayock, and as a Freelance Immigration Specialist. My specialization includes complicated Request for Evidence responses and high-volume nonimmigrant visa preparation. I can provide legal advice regarding employment visa preparation, unique international travel issues, and various other complex immigration matters. Prior to joining Jackson & Hertogs in 2018, I served as a Certified Law Clerk with the San Diego Public Defender office through Thomas Jefferson School of Law (TJSL). In this role, I argued over 40 hearings in state court for criminal juvenile matters, adult misdemeanors, and adult felonies. I subsequently joined the TJSL Removal Defense clinic, wherein I argued and won a full asylum trial in Federal Court for a Moroccan refugee fleeing severe LGBTQ persecution.

Alan W. on ContractsCounsel
View Alan
Member Since:
May 24, 2023

Alan W.

Free Consultation
Cherry Hill, New Jersey
41 Yrs Experience
Licensed in PA
South Texas School of Law - Houston

40 years practicing most areas of commercial real estate and commercial real estate financing: heavy emphasis on reviewing, drafting and negotiating commercial shopping center leases, agreements of purchase and sale, title and survey, letters of intent, closing documents, lease amendments, lease terminations, etc

Jocelyne U. on ContractsCounsel
View Jocelyne
Member Since:
May 30, 2023

Jocelyne U.

Free Consultation
Las Vegas, Nevada
21 Yrs Experience
Licensed in MI, NV
University of Detroit Mercy

Jocelyne Uy graduated from law school in 2002 where she began her career in insurance defense where she practiced a wide range of issues relating to insurance policies and claims. Identifying a need for representation for those working cross border, Jocelyne understood the unique interplay of the laws of Canada and the U.S. and started her first firm in Michigan focusing on Canadian American immigration and tax law. Jocelyne and her partner realize that Nevada residents continuously face challenges in finding affordable and accessible representation to assist with their debt issues. Because of these challenges and continuous shifting economy, they are committed to assisting anyone who finds themselves struggling to handle the debt and credit cycle that often feels hopeless and endless. Jocelyne's firm has assisted clients in post-COVID financial crisis ranging from credit card debt, student loan debt, and COVID unemployment repayment hearings.

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now
Learn About Contracts
See More Contracts
other helpful articles

Need help with a Real Estate Purchase Agreement?

Create a free project posting

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call

Find lawyers and attorneys by city