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Real Estate Sales Contract

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The Real Estate Sales Contract is a legal document outlining the terms and conditions of buying or selling a property in a particular place or location. Real estate transactions can be complex, and signing a Real Estate Sales contract is an important step. Now, we will explain what a Real Estate Sales Contract is, what it contains, and what you need to know before signing one.

Key Considerations in a Real Estate Sales Contract

Several important considerations must be remembered before signing a Real Estate Sales Contract.

  • Get Professional Help: Real estate transactions can be complex, and it's important to have a professional on your side to help guide you through the process. Consider working with a real estate agent or attorney to ensure your interests are protected.
  • Understand Your Financing Options: If you're planning to finance the purchase of a property, make sure you understand your options for obtaining a mortgage. This will help you determine the type of financing best for your needs and budget.
  • Review the Contract Carefully: Before signing the contract, review it carefully to ensure you understand its terms and conditions. Pay special attention to the contingencies and any disclosures about the property.
  • Negotiate Terms: If there are contract terms that you're uncomfortable with, consider negotiating with the other party to reach a mutually agreeable solution. This might involve adjusting the purchase price, changing the payment terms, or revising the contingencies.
  • Plan for Closing Costs: In addition to the property's purchase price, there will be closing costs that you'll need to pay. These can include fees for title searches, appraisals, and other services. Make sure you budget for these costs when planning your purchase.

Legal Implications of a Real Estate Sales Contract

Real estate contracts can be full of technical terms that can be difficult to understand. Here are a few terms you might encounter in the legal document.

  • Escrow: An escrow account is a neutral third-party account that holds funds until the contract terms have been fulfilled.
  • Title Search: A title search examines public records to determine the property's ownership history and identify any liens or other encumbrances that might affect the sale.
  • Appraisal: An appraisal is a professional estimate of the property's value. Lenders typically require an appraisal to ensure the property is worth the loan amount.
  • Home Inspection: A home inspection is an examination of the property by a professional inspector to identify any issues or defects that might affect its value or safety.
  • Prorations: Prorations are adjustments made for expenses that are shared between the buyer and seller. For example, property taxes or homeowners' association fees due after the closing date might be prorated between the parties.
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Mistakes to Avoid in a Real Estate Sales Contract

When signing a Real Estate Sales Contract, it's important to avoid common mistakes that could have costly consequences.

  • Failing to Read the Contract: It's important to read the contract thoroughly and understand its terms and conditions. If you're unsure about something, ask for clarification before signing.
  • Waiving Contingencies: Contingencies protect both parties; waiving them can be risky. Make sure you understand the implications of waiving a contingency before agreeing to do so.
  • Ignoring Disclosures: If there are disclosures about the property, read them carefully and understand what they mean. Ignoring disclosures could leave you vulnerable to legal action later on.
  • Not Getting Everything in Writing: Verbal agreements are difficult to enforce, so ensure everything is written in the contract.
  • Rushing the Process: Real estate transactions can be complex, and it's important to take the time to ensure everything is done correctly. Rushing the same could lead to more expenditures.

How to Finalize a Real Estate Sales Contract

After the Real Estate Sales Contract has been signed, a few more steps need to be taken before the sale is finalized.

  1. Financing: If the buyer is financing the purchase, they must provide documentation to the lender to begin the loan process. The lender will also order an appraisal and perform a title search.
  2. Home Inspection: If the contract includes a contingency for a home inspection, the inspection will need to be scheduled and completed. If any issues are identified, the parties must negotiate how to address them.
  3. Closing: On the closing date, the buyer will typically meet with the seller, their real estate agent, and a representative from the title company or attorney's office. The seller will transfer ownership of the property to the buyer, and the buyer will provide payment for the purchase price and any closing costs.
  4. Possession: The buyer will typically take possession of the property after the closing. Any remaining contingencies, such as repairs that need to be made, will need to be completed before the sale is considered final.

How to Choose the Right Lawyer for Your Real Estate Sales Contract

Approaching a lawyer for a Real Estate Sales Contract is important in ensuring your interests are protected in a real estate transaction. Here are some tips to help you find the lawyer who suits your requirements.

  • Research: Start by researching lawyers in your area who specialize in real estate law. Look for lawyers with experience with the type of transaction you are planning, whether a residential or commercial property, buying or selling, or a specific type of property.
  • Referrals: Ask friends, family, or colleagues for referrals. If someone you know has recently bought or sold the property, ask about their experience with their lawyer and if they would recommend them.
  • Reviews: Look for positive or negative reviews of lawyers in your area. Check websites like Avvo, Martindale-Hubbell, or to see what others say about their experiences working with the lawyers you are considering.
  • Initial Consultation: Schedule an initial consultation once you have identified a few potential lawyers. This meeting will allow you to discuss your needs and ask questions about their experience and approach.
  • Fees: Ask about the lawyer's fee structure upfront. Some lawyers charge a flat fee for real estate transactions, while others bill hourly. Make sure you understand the fee to be charged and what services are included in the fee.
  • Communication: Finally, choose a lawyer who communicates well and who you feel comfortable working with. You want to ensure you can reach your lawyer if you have questions or concerns throughout the transaction.

Key Terms for Real Estate Sales Contracts

  • Contingencies: Conditions that must be met before the sale can proceed.
  • Earnest Money: A deposit made by the buyer to show their commitment to the transaction.
  • Prorations: Adjustments made for shared expenses like property taxes or HOA fees.
  • Closing: The final stage of the transaction where ownership is transferred and payment is made.
  • Title Search: An examination of public records to confirm that the seller has the legal right to sell the property and to identify any liens or other issues that could affect the sale.

Final Thoughts on Real Estate Sales Contracts

A Real Estate Sales Contract is a legally binding document outlining the terms and conditions of a real estate transaction. It's important to understand what you're signing and to have professional help to guide you through the process. Reviewing the contract carefully, negotiating terms, and avoiding common mistakes can ensure a smooth and successful real estate transaction.

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Real Estate Sales Contract


Asked on Aug 10, 2023

This is a very insignificant question but one that I cannot find an answer. On the PAR Agreement for the Sale of Real Estate there are numbers listed in parentheses after each section, such as, Purchase Price and Deposits (4-14). Are the numbers referencing something? What is the significance?

I am a trainer here in the Northeast and assisting our internal team players to understand a contract and pull information that is pertinent to their transaction.

Vicki P.

Answered Aug 22, 2023

I would need to see the agreement so I could know what you mean.

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Recent Project:
New Jersey Sale Agreement with Seller Financing
Location: New Jersey
Turnaround: A week
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Recent Project:
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