Real Estate Sales Contracts: Everything You Need to Know
Real estate sales contracts refer to legal documents that state the terms and other details of the sale of real estate products. 3 min read
2. Reasons for Using a Real Estate Sales Contract
3. What is a Home Sale Contract?
4. Requirements of a Home Sale Contract
Real estate sales contracts refer to legal documents that state the terms and other details of the sale of real estate products. Buyers, sellers, or agents that enter into real estate sales agreements are legally bound to fulfill their obligations as stated in the contracts. A real estate sales contract can be used in the sale of all kinds of property, including a house, apartment unit, office space, retail store, commercial building, and industrial facility.
What is a Real Estate Sales Contract?
A real estate sales contract is the most important document used in the sale of a real estate product, such as a home or piece of land. It states the terms and conditions of a real estate deal and can only be used for property that has already been completed. It outlines the rules, timeline, and contingencies that apply to the sale of a property, as well as important information regarding the agreement, such as:
- Purchase price
- Financing terms and timeline
- Closing timeline and division of closing costs
- Inspection contingencies
- Other important provisions
There are real estate sales contracts available at U.S. Legal Forms that have been created with state-specific provisions. A real estate sales contract is also referred to as a real estate purchase agreement, real estate purchase contract, or a home sale contract.
Reasons for Using a Real Estate Sales Contract
A real estate sales contract can be used for any kind of real estate sale or purchase, as long as the property has been previously owned or will be completed before the contract's closing date. Common reasons to use such a contract include:
- Someone wants to conduct a private property sale
- A seller will be providing financing for the buyer
- The sale will be made between family members
What is a Home Sale Contract?
After you have determined which house you wish to buy, you should make an offer to the owner. If the owner accepts your offer after some negotiation, you can proceed to create a home sale contract. Real estate agents typically suggest using a standard form that requires specific information for the sale of a home. Using a standard form ensures that all the requirements of a home sale contract will be met.
It is a good idea to hire an experienced lawyer to review the home sale contract before signing it. A home sale contract is a special tool that has special requirements on top of the standard rules for creating a contract.
Requirements of a Home Sale Contract
According to the Statute of Frauds, certain kinds of contracts must be in written form and contain specific details of the agreement. This is to ensure that one party will not cheat the other by breaching a fraudulent oral contract. The sale of real estate products is one of the types of transaction that must comply with the Statute of Frauds, so all home sale contracts must be in writing. Besides creating a home sale contract in writing, you must also make sure that it contains all the elements required for it to be legally enforceable, including:
- Names of parties involved in the deal
- Address and legal description of the property
- Purchase price of the property
- Signatures of all the parties involved in the sale
In addition, the contract should also contain information such as:
- Date on which the transaction is settled
- Date on which the buyer can assume possession of the home
- A confirmation that the seller has a clear title to the house
- A clause that enables the buyer to inspect the home for damage and pest infestations
- Names of escrow and settlement agents
- Contingency clauses for taking the proper measures if certain situations occur, such as a clause that allows the seller to withdraw from the deal if the buyer is unable to obtain the required funds by a certain date and a clause that requires the seller to repair certain kinds of structural damage or pest problem at his or her own expense
- A liquidated damages clause stating that the home seller must pay a certain amount of money to the buyer for each day that the date for moving into the house is delayed
If you need help with drafting a real estate sales contract, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.