Buying a home in Texas is one of the biggest and most important transactions one can make in their life. As such, legal safeguards are in place to help buyers and sellers ensure the deal goes smoothly and that everyone is protected.
Understanding real estate purchase and sale agreement
A real estate purchase and sale agreement is a legally binding contract between a buyer and seller that outlines the terms of a transaction. They are usually prepared by the seller’s agent or attorney and countersigned by the buyer.
The agreement covers all the major terms of the deal, such as purchase price, earnest money deposit, financing contingencies, inspections, seller disclosures, closing date and more. It’s essential for both the buyer and seller to review the agreement carefully before signing to make sure they understand and accept all the terms.
How the contract works
In Texas, real estate purchase and sale agreements are typically “as-is” contracts, meaning the property is sold in its current condition with no warranties from the seller. This is different from many other states, where sellers must provide disclosures about the property’s condition and any known defects.
As-is contracts can be beneficial to both buyers and sellers. For buyers, it means they can do their due diligence on the property before signing the contract and know for sure what they’re getting into. For sellers, it protects them from having to make repairs or offer compensation after the transaction if problems are found later on.
It’s important to keep in mind that an as-is contract does not relieve a seller of their duty to disclose known defects. If the seller is aware of any problems with the property, they must disclose them to the buyer before entering into a contract.
Before signing the agreement, it may be helpful to ensure you understand all the contract terms and that you agree to them. If there’s anything you’re not sure about, have your agent or attorney explain it to you. Also, pay attention to the contingencies in the contract, as these can impact your ability to back out or get your earnest money deposit back if something goes wrong. Lastly, get everything in writing. If the seller verbally agrees to make repairs or offer compensation, be sure to have it added to the contract before you sign.