10 Essential Elements of a Real Estate Sales Contract

If you’re looking for a home or a business space in the Chicago area, the search alone can be daunting. Should you take a risk on a foreclosure and buy the property to flip, or do you hear the siren song of myriad windows and hardwood floors that makes the great room of another property feel immediately like home?

No matter what you are searching for, there are some essential parts of a real estate contract that must be included before the home or business space you are interested in can truly become yours.  Who knows – maybe you have your eye on a restaurant to rival that of Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard’s The Girl and The Goat

The essentials

Real estate purchases are complex, which buyers usually find out after they’ve found the home of their dreams. That’s why experienced attorneys do their best to make it easy for you, so you only have to sign on the many dotted lines.

Real estate contracts should contain the following to be valid:

  1. The actual homeowner should be listed as the seller. Fraud of this kind has occurred, and is a nightmare for both the buyer and the actual homeowner.
  2. The address of the property should be included.
  3. The purchase price of the property, along with details such as square footage, should be accurately listed.
  4. Earnest money, if paid as a way to secure the home by proving your interest, should be accounted for here, so the purchase price can be reduced at the time of closing.
  5. Terms of financing, including interest rate or if the purchase is contingent on selling an existing home.
  6. Details about who will cover the closing costs, either the buyer or the seller.
  7. Information about what fixtures and appliances will be included in the sale. You’d hate to find that the refrigerator you coveted along with the perfectly matching stove were not part of the purchase price, and you now have those costs added to any planned renovations.
  8. A home inspection contingency. An inspector can uncover any unpleasant surprises, or can clear your dream home for purchase.
  9. The closing date. A closing date provides a timeline for the current residents to move their belongings so the space is ready for you to make it yours.
  10. Signatures of both parties involved. A contract isn’t legal until it’s signed.

Buying a home is one of the most important purchases you can make, and contract errors can slow down the process (which has the potential to either cost you money or cause the real estate purchase to fall apart altogether). Having a clear understanding of what to expect as part of your initial paperwork – title insurance and appraisals are also important pieces of the home buying puzzle – will make sure that there are no legal surprises once you start unpacking your boxes.

A Chicago real estate lawyer understands contracts

If you’re looking to buy a home, call Auricchio Law Offices today. Our experienced team of lawyers can help you understand what to look for when you’re signing a contract. For more information, please call 312-263-0010 today.

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Auricchio Law Offices

Auricchio Law Offices in Chicago provides a complete range of real estate services. We facilitate residential and commercial real estate transactions, advise and represent condominium associations, and represent property owners in real estate litigation. Whatever your real estate issue, we will work diligently to achieve your goals in a timely and efficient manner.

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