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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
I joined Enterprise Law Group, LLP as an Associate in March 2020. My practice has involved a wide range of legal matters from commercial real estate, finance and international business transactions to litigation matters including commercial disputes, personal injury and medical malpractice. Proficient in Spanish, I graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law, the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, and the University of Southern California. Prior to my legal career, I sought diverse professional experiences. After graduating from college, I orchestrated my own volunteering experience in southern Peru with a small non-profit organization. Later I gained valuable professional experience as part of a U.S. Senate campaign, and after that I joined the public policy team at Greater Louisville, Inc., Louisville's Chamber of Commerce affiliate. Prior to law school, I embarked on a month long excursion with the Northern Outdoor Leadership School in Alaska, which gave me a new found appreciation for sustainability.
Agnes Mombrun Geter is the Founder and Managing Attorney of Mombrun Law, PLLC. She is an experienced attorney and is a member of the Florida Bar, New Jersey Bar, and the Pennsylvania Bar. The firm's practice focuses on Estate Planning, Business Law, and Debt Settlement including IRS Debt Relief. The firm's goal is to simplify the law and provide clients with the confidence and information necessary to make their decisions. The firm also provides project-based legal services to other attorneys and law firms, along with assisting as personal counsel and local counsel on legal matters.
Have over 40+ years of corporate and commercial law experience.
I am a business attorney with years of experience advising individual entrepreneurs and small businesses on issues ranging from entity selection/formation to employment law compliance, to intellectual property protection and exploitation. I often act as General Counsel for my clients fulfilling the legal function as part of a team of managers. I look forward to learning more about your business and how I may be of assistance.
Corporate and transactional attorney in sixth year of practice. Focus areas include general corporate counsel, labor and employment law, business partnership matters, securities matters related to privately-held companies, and regulatory compliance in securities and finance matters.
Forest is a general practice lawyer. He provides legal advice regarding small business law, contracts, estates and trusts, administrative law, corporate governance and compliance. Forest practiced complex commercial litigation in Florida for eight years, representing clients such as Host Marriott, Kellogg School of Business, and Toyota. Since moving to Nashville in 2005, he has provided legal advice to clients forming new businesses, planning for the future, and seeking funding through the use of equity and/or debt in their businesses. This advice has included the selection of business type, assistance in drafting and editing their business plans and offering material, reviewing proposed term sheets, and conducting due diligence. Forest is a member of the Florida, Tennessee, and Texas Bars; in addition. Forest has held a Series 7, General Securities Representative Exam, Series 24, General Securities Principal, and Series 63, Uniform Securities Agent State Law.
FL & NY licensed attorney with nearly a decade of experience in intellectual property, commercial contracts, employment, and data privacy and security. Basically, everything your business needs!