Unlike other contracts that don’t involve making an offer to buy or lease real property, real estate forms are required to be in writing. Real property transfers or leases for more than a year must be written to be enforceable. Every state’s real estate law governing home sales requires purchase contracts and other real estate contract forms, such as easements, leases for rental property for longer than a year, or seller’s disclosure statement, to be in writing to be enforceable. Lot or land purchase contracts are subject to the Statute of Frauds, the law requiring written real estate contract forms in home sales and other land contract situations.
As a licensed Realtor, EMA Real Estate is required to belong to the local MLS board and take continuing education some of which covers the latest changes in real estate law and writing and accepting contracts. Here are some brief explanations about contract documentation.
- Residential Sales Contract – often called an offer by your RealtorⓇ is a 8-15 page document that details the terms of the offer/sale and requires all parties to initial and sign off acknowledgement and agreement
- Addendum– these are additional terms and agreements often added to a contract when a counter offer is made or in instances where an extension to the closing is required. Your RealtorⓇ usually handles the negotiation on the terms and creates the document.
- Lead Base Paint Disclosure – the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 was passed to protect families from exposure to lead from paint, soil and dust. This required HUD and EPA to required the disclosure be completed in every sales contract package for home built before 1978.
- Appraisal – an analysis that is performed by a licensed professional to determine a current market price for your home. Lenders use this document as a guideline for mortgages.
- Home Inspection – this is an inspection done by a certified professional who determines the condition of the home before you buy. They will provide the buyer or homeowner with a PDF version of an inspection report detailing any issues found with the home. Most Home Inspectors are not eligible to check or report on the structure or foundation of the home so check the inspector’s credentials before you hire if you need that service.
Don’t forget to check out our FAQ page for more in-depth information about buying a home.