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San Diego downtown real estate broker

Bob Schwartz, CRS, GRI 

Certified Residential Specialist


San Diego, California 92101

Telephone - Cell:
(619) 300-8819

(619) 229-0048

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Real Estate – Becoming Familiar with a real estate sales contract


Most real estate contracts can seem extremely overwhelming with their complex real estate terms that you might not understand. This article helps describe different terms in an easier way.

So, the obvious is stated, who is buying the property from whom. It also lists the property address as well as the legal description. This is for everyone's well being. There have been times when a property was offered for sale at a particular address. The transaction took place and the deal was closed. Later it was discovered the property sold was actually adjacent to the one on the contract. This has actually happened quite often with vacant land. By using the legal description on the real estate sales contract there is no doubt which property is involved in the transaction.

The purchase offer is also listed along with any down payment, or earnest money, the buyer may have put down. The terms clarified here as to when the buyer will obtain the loan and how much the loan will be for. You will find a date for closing in this area as well. The closing date is given as an approximate. This is because circumstances may arise which could delay the closing. This is taken into consideration. There could be a section about the appraisal of the property, depending on how your contract reads.

You will attain information on the sales agreement concerning inspections. This is because every buyer has the right to have the home inspected before the contract is finalized. This is encouraged because there could be hidden damage that no one knew about. Things like termites and other infestations can be checked for with a quality inspection. Many times the seller must have a termite inspection done before closing.

The real estate sales contract lays out a warning clause for the buyer. This is the “As Is” terms the buyer is purchasing the property under. He or she has entitlement to have the home inspected. Any thing which is not addressed in the contract or during the inspection becomes an “as is” issue. The seller can not be held responsible for any damages unless it was proven the problem was known and not disclosed to the buyer. For instance, if the basement floods every year and no one said anything, the seller can be held responsible for taking care of the problem.

The real estate sales contract will list any options the buyer wishes to add. For instance, they can ask the seller leave the appliances or other things. In addition, they can ask the seller to pay certain closing costs or hold a note for a set period of time. There may be other terms the buyer may wish to add.

The seller has the right to reject the contract completely, accept it as is, or counter with an offer of his own. The seller can ask the purchase offer listed to be higher, if it is not the asking price. This is where the negotiations come into play. Not every real estate purchase contract is accepted the first time it is submitted. Negotiating the deal is not unusual. It is acceptable to ensure both parties are happy with the agreement. This is why the real estate sales contract usually states at the top that it is a real estate purchase agreement.

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