How to Navigate Real Estate Contracts

Most people hire an experienced real estate attorney to handle the legal side of buying or selling real estate, but it is still important for the client to understand the basics of the contract they are signing. Both the buyer and seller in any real estate transaction should understand how to properly review their real estate contract and know what tools they should use to make sense of the information they are being asked to review.

Learn the Basic Legal Terms

Your attorney's website might have information on the language used in real estate contracts, or you can find a resource on your own that you can use. As the client, you are not expected to understand the detailed terms used throughout the contract. But you will be able to speak more confidently about the agreement when you understand basic terms and ideas.

Look for any Errors

Your attorney has already reviewed the contract before you see it, but even attorney's can make mistakes. Take the time to look through the agreement to make sure important information such as your name, the address of the property you are buying, and the purchase price are all correct. A quick look at your contract could reveal mistakes that might cost a lot of money to fix later on.

Check for Special Conditions

During the negotiation process, you or the other party might have asked for special conditions to make the deal possible. Before you sign the agreement, check to make sure those special conditions are part of the wording. At the same time, you should also check to make sure that nothing was added to the contract that you were unaware of. If you see errors in the contract terms, then bring them to the attention of your attorney immediately.

Know Your Rights to Cancel

Every real estate contract has a provision that outlines how the contract can be canceled by either side. While your intention is not to back out on the deal, you should still review these provisions so that you understand the process. If the other party tries to cancel the agreement in a way that is not outlined in the terms, then you should be able to protect yourself by recognizing the potential issue.

Ask Questions

Most people involved in real estate transactions as a buyer or seller are unfamiliar with how the process works. However, many do not ask questions because they either feel intimidated or they just want the process to be over. If you have questions about your real estate contract as you review it, you should never hesitate to ask your attorney for answers. You are involved in a high value transaction that requires precise paperwork to go through properly. If you don't ask questions, then you run the risk of losing out on some of that money or having to spend money later on to repair the problem.

Real estate buyers and sellers hire lawyers to avoid having to deal with how a real estate contract works. But it is still important for both sides of the agreement to understand the basics of the contract, and to understand how the process works. You should take some time to review your real estate contract and make sure you are completely satisfied with it before putting your signature on the dotted line.


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