chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.
April 10, 2012

Buying or Selling a Home

The Purchase Contract

What might I include in my offer to purchase a home?

If you intend to have the home inspected, it should include an inspection rider; if you intend to apply for a mortgage, it should include a mortgage-contingency clause; if your attorney has not reviewed the contract, it should include an attorney-approval rider. In other words, it should cover the basics. Remember, once this document is signed by both parties, it is legally binding.

The offer should specify a date after which it is no longer valid. This may be as little as 24 hours from the time the seller or the seller's agent receives it. The offer to purchase also is usually valid only if both the buyer and seller sign it within a certain time period. As a general rule, an earnest money deposit of perhaps $500 or $1,000 accompanies the offer to purchase.

>>What is an offer to purchase?
>>What might I include in my offer to purchase a home?
>>What is earnest money?
>>How is the offer negotiated?
>>How does an offer relate to the purchase contract?
>>Can oral promises constitute a contract?
>>When should we involve a lawyer?
>>What are the key provisions of the purchase contract?
>>What is an inspection rider?
>>What is an attorney-approval rider?
>>What is a mortgage-contingency rider?
>>May the seller refuse a mortgage-contingency rider or an inspection-contingency rider?
>>What happens to my earnest money deposit if we do not complete the sale?
>>Can a buyer sue a seller for backing out of the contract?
>>Are there any special considerations when you are buying a home from a builder?

Practical Law Home | Buying or Selling a Home | Basics of Buying a Home
Basics of Selling a Home | Why Real Estate Is Covered By Special Laws | Real Estate Brokers
*The Purchase Contract* | Financing a Home Purchase | The Closing | The Fair Housing Act
Where to Get More Information