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Understanding your real estate contract

On Behalf of | Oct 6, 2023 | Real Estate Law

Purchasing a home in California can be a complicated process, filled with many steps and forms to sign. One of these is your real estate contract itself.

If you have never purchased a home before, you are probably not familiar with a typical real estate contract. It is helpful to have a basic understanding of some common conditions that should be included in every real estate contract and what they mean.

Financing terms and inspections

The financing terms are one of the most important pieces of a real estate contract. Your real estate contract should clearly spell out the financing terms, including the interest rate. You should research interest rates before you make your offer to purchase and make sure the interest rate in your real estate contract is one you can afford.

A home inspection condition is another vital component of a real estate contract. This is a term that allows you to back out of the sale if a home inspection reveals major defects or problems with the home.

Appliances and fixtures

You might be thinking only about the home itself when negotiating the contract, but do not overlook things like appliances or fixtures. Fixtures are things such as ceiling fans, window treatments or anything else that is permanently attached to the home.

If you want certain fixtures to come with the home, make sure they are included in your written agreement. Do not assume they come with the home or rely on the seller’s promise that they will be there.

Closing costs and date

Your real estate contract should detail the exact amount of closing costs and who pays them. These include any costs associated with title insurance, escrow or title fees, taxes and any other necessary fees to close on the home.

Finally, the closing date is an important part of your real estate contract. Closing dates are usually anywhere between 30 and 60 days. They are dependent on various things, such as the seller finding a new place to live or the time you need to relocate.

Overall, the real estate contract should cover every aspect of the legal transaction. You should not sign it unless you understand and are satisfied with all its terms.