1. Family Residential Contract
2. Addendums vs. Strike-Outs
3. Family Residential Contract
4. Addendums vs. Strike-Outs
5. Typical Seller Concerns

Texas real estate contracts are legal documents that will be used for the sale or purchase of real estate and are available in several forms. 

Family Residential Contract

There are several types of residential sales contracts that can be used in Texas, but the most common is the One to Four Family Residential Contract. You can find this form by visiting the State of Texas website.

When a broker is helping their client sell or purchase real estate, they are required to use TREC forms and contracted. However, this only applies to licensed brokers. Using the blank Family Residential Contract is almost always the best choice for real estate investors. Over time, investors will be able to fully understand the multiple options available on TREC forms, which will allow them to develop advantageous contracts.

Real estate transactions always have the potential to turn adversarial. For this reason, many lawyers work to develop contracts that represent the best interests of their clients. 

Addendums vs. Strike-Outs

It's possible that you may decide that the basic format of the Family Residential Contract doesn't meet the needs of your transaction, which means the form will need to be revised. Fortunately, you can quickly alter the form by striking out unnecessary language, inserting new language, and initialing the form. However, while legal, this can end up being very complicated if you make multiple revisions. The better option is using a special provisions addendum, which takes precedence over the provisions in the standard form.

Any item that you want to change must be included in the addendum.

Using an addendum is particularly advantageous when negotiating a real estate transaction because the addendum will clearly state which parts of the contract you wish to be altered. Addendums are also beneficial because they don't change the body of the original contract, which is preferred by real estate agents and brokers. It's also possible to create a customized contract that fits the needs of a specific transaction. However, this is a rarely used option, as brokers and agents prefer to use standardized contracts, especially for residential transactions.

After deciding to use a special provisions addendum, you will need to meet certain requirements, including:

  • Adding the phrase “See Special Provisions Addendum attached hereto and incorporated herein” in paragraph eleven.
  • Checking the “other box” in paragraph 22 and inserting “Special Provisions Addendum” in the following line.

While paragraph 11 is reserved for adding comments to your contract, agents and brokers can only use this blank space in limited circumstances. In particular, this section can be used for statements of fact and details that are related into the sale. Paragraph 11 cannot be used to insert language that would have legal ramifications unless this language was recommended by an attorney.

When using the special provisions addendum or other methods of customization, it's important to be careful about making large changes to the contract, as this may be considered practicing law, which requires a license. If you want to make large changes to your real estate contract, it's best to consult an attorney for help. 

Texas real estate contracts are legal documents that will be used for the sale or purchase of real estate and are available in several forms. 

Family Residential Contract

There are several types of residential sales contracts that can be used in Texas, but the most common is the One to Four Family Residential Contract. You can find this form by visiting the State of Texas website.

When a broker is helping their client sell or purchase real estate, they are required to use TREC forms and contracted. However, this only applies to licensed brokers. Using the blank Family Residential Contract is almost always the best choice for real estate investors. Over time, investors will be able to fully understand the multiple options available on TREC forms, which will allow them to develop advantageous contracts.

Real estate transactions always have the potential to turn adversarial. For this reason, many lawyers work to develop contracts that represent the best interests of their clients. 

Addendums vs. Strike-Outs

It's possible that you may decide that the basic format of the Family Residential Contract doesn't meet the needs of your transaction, which means the form will need to be revised. Fortunately, you can quickly alter the form by striking out unnecessary language, inserting new language, and initialing the form. However, while legal, this can end up being very complicated if you make multiple revisions. The better option is using a special provisions addendum, which takes precedence over the provisions in the standard form.

Any item that you want to change must be included in the addendum.

Using an addendum is particularly advantageous when negotiating a real estate transaction because the addendum will clearly state which parts of the contract you wish to be altered. Addendums are also beneficial because they don't change the body of the original contract, which is preferred by real estate agents and brokers. It's also possible to create a customized contract that fits the needs of a specific transaction. However, this is a rarely used option, as brokers and agents prefer to use standardized contracts, especially for residential transactions.

After deciding to use a special provisions addendum, you will need to meet certain requirements, including:

  • Adding the phrase “See Special Provisions Addendum attached hereto and incorporated herein” in paragraph eleven.
  • Checking the “other box” in paragraph 22 and inserting “Special Provisions Addendum” in the following line.

While paragraph 11 is reserved for adding comments to your contract, agents and brokers can only use this blank space in limited circumstances. In particular, this section can be used for statements of fact and details that are related into the sale. Paragraph 11 cannot be used to insert language that would have legal ramifications unless this language was recommended by an attorney.

When using the special provisions addendum or other methods of customization, it's important to be careful about making large changes to the contract, as this may be considered practicing law, which requires a license. If you want to make large changes to your real estate contract, it's best to consult an attorney for help. 

Typical Seller Concerns

Changing a real estate contract is usually much easier for the seller than for the buyer. The main goal of the seller is finding a serious buyer that will complete the transaction, which is why many sellers request that their contract include a pre-approval letter from the buyer. A contract should only be presented when the buyer has committed money, including a large down payment. Most sellers will also want to include an “as is” provision in their contract. This means that the buyer is agreeing to purchase the property in its current condition, meaning the seller will not need to cover repairs or renovations.

When negotiating contracts, the seller needs to clearly state that the buyer is responsible for due diligence, which can include:

  • Scheduling inspections.
  • Determining square footage.
  • Receiving an appraisal.
  • Seeking legal advice.

In certain cases, the seller may provide the buyer with an existing survey. If this survey is offered, it will also be "as is." Buyers that want to be able to hold someone accountable for the accuracy of the survey will need to pay for another survey out of their own pocket. If there are issues related to the survey, these issues should not be used as an excuse to extend the closing date.

If you need negotiating Texas real estate contracts, you can post your legal needs 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.