A real estate purchase agreement is basically a contract for the purchase or sale of a residence.  It governs the terms of the sale, and dictates the various duties, rights, and responsibilities of each party to the transaction. 

Each state may have slightly different laws when it comes to real estate purchase agreements.  However, in most cases, the purchase agreement should describe the property in a way that involves measurements and boundaries, and not landmarks which might be subject to changes over time. 

A purchase agreement may involve several parties such as the buyer(s), the seller(s), loan agents, and zoning officials.

What Types of Terms Should I be Aware of in a Real Estate Purchase Agreement?

If you’ll be entering into a real estate purchase agreement, you should be aware of some basic terms that are included in most real estate purchase agreements.  These may include:

  • Legal descriptions of the property (which may include zoning provisions)
  • Terms of the sale, including purchase price and payment options
  • Terms related to mortgages, escrow, and other real estate matters
  • Closing dates and exchange of the deed
  • Items to be included in the sale of the home, such as fixtures and appliances
  • Warrantees and warranty information
  • Results of any inspections and/or appraisals that have been performed in connection with the sale
  • Any legal issues regarding the title (i.e., encumbrances, repairs, easements, etc.)

By being aware of such provisions, you can help to avoid any ambiguities, fraudulent information, or errors in the real estate purchase agreement. 

What Should I Do Before Entering Into a Real Estate Purchase Agreement?

Be sure to ask any questions that you might have for your real estate lawyer, and for the other party.  Most real estate transactions follow a “buyer beware” standard, which means that it’s up to the buyer to check for any defects or substandard elements of the home. 

You can protect yourself by taking additional measures, including:

  • Inspect the property yourself
  • Hiring an appraiser and an inspector to check both the value of the home and the safety of it
  • Reviewing contract carefully (you may need a lawyer to help you with this)
  • Interviewing neighbors to obtain more information about the home and the neighborhood community

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With a Real Estate Purchase Agreement?

Real estate purchase agreements are important documents that can affect the overall outcome of a sale transaction for a home or residence.  You may wish to hire a real estate lawyer in your area if you need help negotiating, drafting, or reviewing a real estate agreement.  Your attorney can assist you with these important tasks, and can represent you in court if you have a legal dispute or conflict.