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How to Write Up a Contract For Selling a House

Posted Monday, August 27, 2012

Contracts designed to fully outline the buying and selling of a home require considerable research, planning and consensus. A home is a highly valuable possession that can only be transferred through a fully legal, binding agreement.

The following information is designed to begin your knowledge base regarding real estate contract creation. In no way should this information be considered a full explanation of the steps necessary to buy and sell your home.

Step 1:

Proper real-estate sale forms can either be found online or purchased at local office supply stores. It is vital that all information entered into these forms be fully correct for both buyer and seller. Start filling out the form with both parties' full residential address.

Step 2:

Use the proper resources to enter the legal description of the property. Your local county recorder's office should have records of the property in question. Be sure this information is fully up-to-date with no discrepancies. The legal description follows the full property address on most forms.

Step 3:

Discuss and fully document the asking price for your home. Consider using simple language at this point, such as:

"I, the seller, choose to sell my house to the buyer for X dollars."

Any and all additional items, like security systems, satellite dish installations or a pool table, should be clearly enunciated in this part of the form. Again, use simple language:

"I, the seller, choose to sell my house to the buyer, which includes my particular item."

Step 4:

Discuss and fully outline the earnest money deposit. This initial deposit is often used as a proof of buyer interest in the home. This step is not completed until both buyer and seller agree to the amount of the deposit, whether it will be applied to the principle and what, if any, amount will be returned upon either buyer or seller default.

Step 5:

Any survey declaration should be entered into the contract record at this point. An initial survey is typically provided by the seller. If the buyer chooses to, he may decline the seller's survey and provide one at his own expense. Whoever provides the final survey should be noted on the contract.

Step 6:

Inspection regulations should be obtained from a local real estate agency to complete this step. This portion of the contract requires a full disclosure of necessary inspections and schedules. This section should also define which party is responsible for both inspection payments and for any repairs as a result of inspections. Consider revisiting step 4 at this point. The earnest money deposit often includes inspection payments and simple repair costs.