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Frequently Asked Questions

When should one use the Real Estate Purchase Agreement?Real Estate Purchase Agreement (completed construction) is used where:

1. the Buyer is purchasing a new home that has been completed before the Buyer takes possession or the Contract closes; or

2. the Buyer is purchasing a previously occupied home.

Seller Information

Seller

(e.g. Street, City, State, ZIP Code)

Buyer Information

Buyer

(e.g. Street, City, State, ZIP Code)

Property Information

Legal description:

(e.g. Orange)
(e.g. Street, City, State, ZIP Code)

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I obtain the legal description of my property? You should be able to obtain the legal land description of your property from the County Recorder's office (may also be called County Clerk or Register of Deeds office). The legal land description of your property may also be found on your land title, in tax assessment information, and in your mortgage agreement.What are fixtures?Fixtures are items of personal property that have been attached to land or buildings in such a way that they cannot be removed without damaging the item, land or building. As a Seller, you may choose to exclude some fixtures because they have sentimental value, if they are hard to replace, or for some other reason. Examples of fixtures usually include chandeliers, custom-made drapes, window blinds, built-in appliances, built-in cupboards, light fittings, and wall-to-wall carpeting. If the Property is classified as Historic Property, then it cannot be conveyed without notification being sent to the State Historic Preservation Officer.Maine has implemented land use controls for all land areas within 250 feet of ponds and non-forested freshwater wetlands that are 10 acres or larger; rivers with watersheds of at least 25 square miles in drainage area; coastal wetlands and tidal waters; and all land areas within 75 feet of certain streams. Any property that falls within one of these descriptions is part of the Shoreland Zone.

Property Condition

Check off any statement, if applicable

Frequently Asked Questions

Only check off this condition for a new home that has been completed before the Buyer takes possession or the Contract closes.The District of Columbia Code requires the Seller to provide a disclosure statement prior to the execution of the Sales Agreement only if the Buyer has expressed a written intent to reside on the Property after the sale is complete.The Maine Revised Statutes require the Seller to disclose certain facts about the property if there is no licenced real estate broker involved with the transaction. However, it is recommended that the Seller should disclose all known facts which would materially affect the value of the Property and to consult a local real estate attorney as non-disclosure of known defects may subject the Seller to civil liability.The Mississippi Code requires the Seller to deliver to the Buyer a completed disclosure form created by the Mississippi Real Estate Commission, but only if the real estate transaction involves a licenced real estate broker or salesperson. However, it is recommended that the Seller should disclose all known facts which would materially affect the value of the Property and to consult a local real estate attorney as non-disclosure of known defects may subject the Seller to civil liability.The Minnesota Statutes require certain facts pertaining to the Property to be disclosed by the Seller, unless the Buyer and Seller have agreed in writing to waive all disclosures. However, it is recommended that the Seller should disclose all known facts which would materially affect the value of the Property and to consult a local real estate attorney as non-disclosure may subject the Seller to civil liability.The R-value of a building material is the resistance the material has to the movement of heat. The higher the R-value the better your house will be insulated against the cold or the heat. The R-value of a material can be found by looking on the packaging or by phoning the manufacturer.Impact fees are charges imposed by local government on new development.What is an environmental assessment report?An environmental assessment report is created by an environmental specialist who examines the property to determine if there are any characteristics of the property that are having a negative environmental impact on the property. For example, this report would inform the Buyer if there were any underground storage tanks on the property that were leaking a contaminant into the soil.The property is in an agricultural district if it is within one mile of a farm or a farm operation.Mine subsidence as defined by the Mine Subsidence Disclosure Act is "lateral or vertical ground movement that directly damages a structure and that results from the collapse of a man-made underground mine."What is a residential service contract?A residential service contract is an optional warranty offered by private companies that generally covers the Purchaser's Property in plumbing, mechanical, and electrical systems. However, other areas may be covered depending on the options selected.In California, this term is used to refer to new communities in which a special tax is levied in order to help defray some of the costs of developing and maintaining the infrastructure of the community.

Sales Price and Financing

(e.g. 150,000.00).

(e.g. 100,000.00)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Sales Price?The Sales Price is how much the Buyer is paying the Seller for the Property.What is third party financing?Financing from a bank or private source other than the Seller.What is seller financing?Financing that the Seller provides to the Buyer in the form of an attached promissory note.What is assumption?Assumption of the unpaid principal balance of one or more promissory notes or mortgages.What is no financing?The Buyer is paying the full amount of the Sales Price with cash.

Earnest Money

(e.g. $50,000.00)
(e.g. five business days)
(e.g. Street, City, State, ZIP Code)
Frequently Asked Questions

What is the earnest money?Earnest money is the deposit that the Buyer is required to provide to the Seller up front, in order to convey that the Buyer is serious about purchasing the property. It is the cash deposit paid by the prospective Buyer to the Seller, as evidence of good faith to complete the purchase transaction.

This deposit will be credited to the sales price upon closing but will be forfeited if the Buyer defaults. It ensures that the Buyer is serious about obtaining the necessary financing and fulfilling the other conditions necessary to purchase the house. Without earnest money, some buyers may not use their best efforts to obtain financing and may still be looking for a better deal on other houses. Often, if the Buyer does not proceed with the transaction, the Seller can keep the earnest money as damages.
What is the Effective Date of the Agreement?The effective date is the date on which both parties sign the contract. If the parties sign separately, the date the last person signs is the effective date. Please indicate the maximum number of days after this date that the earnest money must be given.What is escrow?Escrow refers to the situation where property is held by a neutral third party (the escrow agent) until closing (when all the terms of the contract have been satisfied). At closing, this third party transfers title to the property to the Buyer.

The escrow agent will be acting for both parties pursuant to instructions. Typically, the agent is a person (commonly an attorney), escrow company or title company, depending on local practice.

Title Policy & Survey


(e.g. five business days)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is title insurance?Title insurance is a form of insurance in which the insurer agrees to indemnify the insured party for any loss suffered that results from a defect in the title to the property that was unknown to the buyer at the time of the sale. A title policy of insurance insures the homebuyer against any encumbrances that may affect the title to their property. The policy is required by most institutional lenders in order to get a mortgage and will pay the value of the mortgage in the event that there is a defect in the title that voids the buyers title to the property. It is an alternative to getting a municipal compliance certificate or real property report.What is survey of the Property?A survey shows the location of improvements, easements, rights of way, encroachments, and other physical features of the property. It is done to ensure the boundaries of the property are properly described in the Sales Agreement.

Even if the Seller can provide a copy of a survey that was completed within the past year, you should still request a new survey in case there has been a change in the Property since the last survey was completed. Alternatively, you could request a declaration that there have been no additions to the envelopes of the buildings on the Property.
What is a commitment?A commitment is a promise by an insurance company to issue a title insurance policy on a particular piece of property.What are exception documents?Exception documents are items evidencing matters affecting title to the property which are excluded from coverage of the title insurance policy.

Closing and Possession

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Settlement Expenses

(e.g. 2,000.00, 3,500.00)

Certain costs associated with loans, such as FHA (Federal Housing Administration) or VA (Veterans Administration) loans, cannot be paid by the Buyer. (e.g. Release of liens, recording fees, release of seller's loan liability etc.) Please list the maximum amount the Seller is willing to pay towards those expenses.

Mediation/Arbitration

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between mediation and arbitration?Mediation involves a neutral third party that attempts to facilitate a compromise between the Seller and the Buyer. The mediator will not decide an issue nor will the result be binding upon the parties.

Arbitration involves a neutral third party that attempts to decide an issue between the Seller and the Buyer. The result will be binding on the parties.

Attorney Fees

Option to Terminate

Under the Code of Virginia, if any required disclosure is delivered after the execution of an offer to purchase, the buyer will have three days after delivery in person or five days after delivery by deposit in the mail, to terminate his or her offer by delivery of a written notice of termination to the seller or the seller's agent. In addition to that right, please state how many days will the Buyer have to terminate the contract for any reason after the signing of this contract. An opt-out fee paid by the Buyer to the Seller creates this right.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can a real estate contract be terminated?There are two ways to terminate a real estate contract - you can either include an option to terminate in the contract, or rely on the statutory provisions of your state. State laws commonly allow a real estate contract to be terminated for the Seller's failure to disclose material facts to the Buyer. To get a better idea of what your state law permits, please consult the statutes of your state.What is the option to terminate?It is the right of the Buyer to terminate the contract for any reason within a certain number of days after the signing of this contract. This right is granted in exchange for an opt out fee paid by the Buyer to the Seller.

This right cannot override or be less than any statutory right to terminate for the Buyer.

Additional Clauses

Additional Clauses

Click here for tips on drafting your additional clauses.
Drafting Tips

How should I refer to people and terms in the clause?Do not use several names or words to refer to the same person or thing as it could cause confusion and ambiguity by seemingly introducing new or different people or items.

Certain words were capitalized and defined already in this Agreement. For example, the purchaser is called the "Buyer", and the property is called the "Property". Use the same predefined terms in your additional clauses.

Do not use pronouns such as: they, us, we, our, you, or me. Pronouns may be ambiguous and can cause confusion. (e.g. The Tenant shall keep the patio free of lawn furniture, instead of He must keep the patio free of lawn furniture.)
How do I draft the clause in plain English?Plain English means language that is simple and conveys ideas with the greatest possible clarity and avoids using legalese.

Legalistic StylePlain English
at the present time now
due to the fact that because; since
during such time aswhile
for the duration ofduring
inasmuch asbecause; since
in the event thatif
notwithstanding the fact that although; even if
prior to before
pursuant to under; in accordance with
subsequent toafter
that certaina
with reference toabout

Miscellaneous tipsDo not abbreviate words.

Use numerals, not words, to denote amounts.

Try not to repeat or contradict what has already been stated in the residential lease agreement.

Only put one paragraph per additional clause.

Signing Details

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Effective Date?The effective date is the date on which both parties sign the contract. If the parties sign separately, the date the last person signs is the effective date.
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