What should be included in a real estate sales contract?

What should be included in a real estate sales contract?

On Behalf of | Dec 1, 2020 | Real Estate Law |

Buying a home in Pennsylvania can be exciting, especially if it is your first home. However, buying a home is a legal process, and one that many potential homeowners may not have much experience. It is important to seek legal advice when entering a real estate contract, so you understand what is required of you. The following are some common clauses found in real estate contracts, but keep in mind that this information is for general purposes only and does not contain legal advice.

Financing clauses

A real estate contract will include information on how the home will be paid for. For most people, this means taking out a mortgage. A purchase offer may be contingent on the buyer obtaining financing at a specific interest rate. If you are obtaining a FHA or VA loan, this should also be included in the contract. And, if you are purchasing the home up front with cash, this should be included in the sales contract.

Closing costs

It is important when buying a home to keep closing costs in mind. This may include escrow fees, title search fees and recording fees to name a few. Buyers usually pay closing costs, but if you want the seller to pay all or a portion of the closing costs, this needs to be included in your sales contract. This is referred to as a “seller assist.” Closing costs should be included as a specific dollar amount or a percentage of the home’s purchase price.

Home inspection clauses

In general, it is advisable to have a home inspection as a contingency in your sales contract. This allows the buyer to cancel the deal if a home inspection uncovers significant and expensive flaws in the home’s structure. Keep in mind that different states and localities have different laws on home inspections.

Closing date

A sales contract should include the date by which the property should be sold. If the sale is contingent on the sale of an existing home or a remaining lease, this also should be included in the sales contract.

Seek assistance with your real estate contract

A real estate contract, like any contract, is a legally binding document and may contain other clauses not discussed in this post. For this reason, it is important to seek legal assistance before agreeing to a sales contract, to ensure you understand the terms of the contract before signing it.