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What Is a Purchase and Sale Agreement?
A purchase and sale agreement, also known as a purchase and sale contract, P&S agreement, or PSA, is a legally-binding document that establishes the terms and conditions related to a real estate transaction. It defines what requirements the buyer must meet as well as purchase price, limitations, and contingencies. Real estate lawyers generally write them for the buyer and seller to sign.
How A Purchase And Sale Agreement Works
A purchase and sale agreement is different from a purchase agreement in one particular way. Rather than complete the transaction, a purchase and sale agreement will facilitate it while providing clear guidance regarding party responsibility. By signing the contract, you do not agree to buy or sell the house.
Instead, you are determining how to handle:
- Title searches and transferability
- Inspections and negotiations
- Financing and loan documents
- Transfer of money
- Closing and associated costs
There may even be a negotiation period when it comes to finalizing the terms and conditions of the purchase and sale agreement. This document is critical since it serves as the basis for the property’s sale and can also demonstrate the seriousness and willingness of both parties by signing it since there are typically cancellation penalties.
After The P&S Agreement Is Signed
Since real estate purchases are more complicated than other purchases, it can take several weeks to finalize. During that period, the buyer, seller, and other third-parties will engage in a series of activities that complete the sale.
Here is what may occur after the purchase and sale agreement is signed:
- Title search : Your property lawyers can file for transfer of ownership while under contract. A title search ensures that the owner has the legal right to sell the residence.
- Inspections : After signing the contract, the purchaser will inspect the property’s condition. The buyer may also renegotiate the purchase and sale agreement if repairs need to be made to reach a satisfactory level.
- Loan agreement : Although most buyers are pre-approved for financing, the process continues to move forward by formally signing a final loan agreement . This process may include an appraiser inspection, underwriting inspection, and more before completion.
- Money transfer : Before closing, the buyer must have the money ready for transfer by agreeing to a down payment, cash payment in full, or an escrow deposit. The seller will not release a deed until receiving the buyer’s payment.
- Closing : Finally, closing involves the signing of documents that are necessary to transfer property ownership. Other activities may be applied as required to satisfy the needs of the purchase and sale agreement.
Once completing these five steps, the buyer will receive the keys to take ownership of the property. This purchase or sale is likely the biggest one you will make in your lifetime, which means that you should have a solid purchase and sale agreement in place to ensure that everything goes as expected and you have a serious commitment from the buyer or seller.
What’s Included In A Purchase And Sale Agreement
Since the purchase and sale agreement is the master document that establishes your purchase or sale terms , it should contain the necessary sections, provisions, and elements.
Below, check out some of the elements included in a purchase and sale agreement:
- Amount of the deposit and handling of cancellations
- Personal property included in the transaction
- Escrow and occupancy dates and handling of cancellations
- Contract default provisions if one or both parties do not meet the agreement
- Property inspection terms and conditions
- Financing arrangements and stipulations for payment of closing costs
- Contingencies for the sale or purchase of a new or old residence and insurance, including a rental lease agreement or forbearance agreement
- Other covenants, limitations, and conditions as necessary
As you can see, there are numerous facts and considerations that both parties must make when buying and selling a home. Depending upon where you live and other particulars, you may need to add local or state-specific provisions for the contract to oversee a lawful transaction. Ensure that you draft a contract that is right for the type of purchase and sale agreements related to real estate.
Image via Pexels by Binyamin Mellish
Types Of Purchase And Sale Agreements
Since the types of purchase and sale agreements vary widely, make sure that you understand the difference between the purchase and sale agreement for a house versus a purchase and sale agreement for a car. While the primary components of a contract largely remain the same across all documents, there are always vital differences that you will notice.
Purchase And Sale Agreement For House
A purchase and sale agreement for a house addresses the specific needs and provisions surrounding the transaction. It will consider escrow, closing, expectations, and use real estate terminology that you will not find in another other type of purchase and sale agreement.
Purchase And Sale Agreement For Car
When buying or selling a car, a purchase and sale agreement will describe all matters related to ownership transfer. They tend to be shorter and with fewer terms and conditions. However, they do contain some shared components, including payment, inspection, and transferability.
Samples Of Purchase And Sale Agreements
There are samples of purchase and sale agreements available online. Reviewing them will give you a good sense of what is expected during the process and the type of agreement you are making. Find a purchase and sale agreement used for your exact situation to make the picture even more transparent.
Here are a few samples of purchase and sale agreements:
- Law Depot purchase and sale agreement sample
- SEC purchase and sale agreement sample
- Eforms purchase and sale agreement sample
If you are considering using an online template to create your contract, determine if the transaction you are facilitating is right for the document you need. Due to both parties’ expectations of the sale, consider working with a lawyer to draft a purchase and sale agreement for you.
Working With A Lawyer To Draft A Purchase And Sale Agreement
Problems during a real estate transaction cost both the buyer and seller time, resources, and money. As such, it is imperative that you have a purchase and sale agreement in place that fosters and facilitates the transfer of a home from a seller to a buyer. Contracts carry specific legal implications, which means that you should hire property lawyers to write them instead of using contract templates .
A lawyer will take the time to understand your specific situation and needs to ensure that the agreement is personalized for your objectives. He or she will also guarantee that it complies with all applicable laws in your jurisdiction.
You will have additional peace-of-mind and reassurance knowing that a legal professional created your agreement versus making guesses with templates online. Do not leave the most significant sale or purchase of your lifetime to chances. Protect yourself by working with a lawyer to draft a purchase and sale agreement.
Purchase and Sale Agreements from ContractsCounsel
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Meet some of our Purchase And Sale Agreement Lawyers
Terry Brennan is an experienced corporate, intellectual property and emerging company transactions attorney who has been a partner at two national Wall Street law firms and a trusted corporate counsel. He focuses on providing practical, cost-efficient and creative legal advice to entrepreneurs, established enterprises and investors for business, corporate finance, intellectual property and technology transactions. As a partner at prominent law firms, Terry's work centered around financing, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, securities transactions, outsourcing and structuring of business entities to protect, license, finance and commercialize technology, manufacturing, digital media, intellectual property, entertainment and financial assets. As the General Counsel of IBAX Healthcare Systems, Terry was responsible for all legal and related business matters including health information systems licensing agreements, merger and acquisitions, product development and regulatory issues, contract administration, and litigation. Terry is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, where he was an Editor of the law review. He is active in a number of economic development, entrepreneurial accelerators, veterans and civic organizations in Florida and New York.
I'm a Washington-licensed lawyer specializing in trademark practice and with an extensive trademark education and academic background. I currently work with domestic and international businesses seeking trademark protection in the U.S. by conducting trademark searches, providing legal advice, submitting USPTO applications, and preparing responses to office actions. I'm passionate about trademark law and always looking forward to helping small and medium businesses promote their value by having a registered federal trademark. If you have questions or concerns about trademark/copyright/IP licensing and require legal advice, feel free to contact me so we can have a first chat.
Mr. Pomeranz serves as the principal of Pomeranz Law PLLC, a boutique law firm representing clients across myriad industries and verticals. Before founding the firm, Mr. Pomeranz served as Senior Vice President, Legal & Compliance and General Counsel of Mortgage Connect, LP in 2017. Mr. Pomeranz also served as Counsel, Transactions for Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A. (NASDAQ: ASPS) beginning in 2013, and was based in the company’s C-Suite in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. Mr. Pomeranz began his career with Mainline Information Systems, Inc. as an in-house attorney.
I have 10 years experience providing general counsel, in the form practical and timely legal advice, under strict deadlines to individuals and various business unit stakeholders, balancing commercial needs with legal concerns at large corporations and start-ups. I am skilled at reviewing, analyzing, drafting and negotiating commercial and government contracts globally for the procurement and sale of services and goods. I also help clients ensure compliance with regulations (including data privacy), laws and contractual obligations and protect, enforce and exploit intellectual property rights and support in the development of IP strategy. I am a Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US) licensed by the IAPP - International Association of Privacy Professionals.
Over 15 year experience drafting, reviewing and negotiating contracts both as in-house counsel and in law firms, including my own law firm.
Rinky S. Parwani began her career practicing law in Beverly Hills, California handling high profile complex litigation and entertainment law matters. Later, her practice turned transactional to Lake Tahoe, California with a focus on business startups, trademarks, real estate resort development and government law. After leaving California, she also served as in-house counsel for a major lending corporation headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa as well as a Senior Vice President of Compliance for a fortune 500 mortgage operation in Dallas, Texas prior to opening Parwani Law, P.A. in Tampa, Florida. She has represented various sophisticated individual, government and corporate clients and counseled in a variety of litigation and corporate matters throughout her career. Ms. Parwani also has prior experience with state and federal consumer lending laws for unsecured credit cards, revolving credit, secured loans, retail credit, sales finance and mortgage loans. She also has served as a special magistrate and legal counsel for numerous Florida County Value Adjustment Boards. Her practice varies significantly from unique federal and state litigation cases to transactional matters. Born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, Ms. Parwani worked in private accounting for several years prior to law school. Her background includes a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certificate from Iowa (currently the license is inactive) and a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation (currently the designation is inactive). Ms. Parwani or the firm is currently a member of the following organizations: Hillsborough County Bar Association, American Bar Association, Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association, National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She is a Fellow of the American Bar Association. Ms. Parwani is a frequent volunteer for Fox Channel 13 Tampa Bay Ask-A-Lawyer. She has published an article entitled "Advising Your Client in Foreclosure" in the Stetson Law Review, Volume 41, No. 3, Spring 2012 Foreclosure Symposium Edition. She is a frequent continuing legal education speaker and has also taught bankruptcy seminars for the American Bar Association and Amstar Litigation. She was commissioned by the Governor of Kentucky as a Kentucky Colonel. In addition, she teaches Immigration Law, Bankruptcy Law and Legal Research and Writing as an adjunct faculty instructor at the Hillsborough Community College Ybor campus in the paralegal studies program.
Possesses extensive experience in the areas of civil and transactional law, as well as commercial litigation and have been in practice since 1998. I addition I have done numerous blue sky and SEC exempt stock sales, mergers, conversions from corporations to limited liability company, and asset purchases. I have worked in commercial litigation, corporate and transactional law, intellectual property and bankruptcy. In recent years I have expanded my practice to include family law, personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death.