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What is in a residential real estate contract matters

When buying or selling a home in Florida or elsewhere, there is a lot of paperwork involved. So much so, not everyone reads every single page. In truth, when a residential real estate contract is written, there is a lot of information that one may or may not want to include. By not carefully reviewing a contract, it is possible that some information may be missed or that what is included may not be in one's best interests.

A real estate offer contract generally covers a variety of subjects, including, but not limited to, financing, inspection and closing costs. For a potential buyer, he or she may want to make sure that a contingency clause is included under the financing section. Loans do no always work out, and if a financing contingency clause is not included in an offer contract, the buyer may lose any earnest money already invested in the home, and he or she may not be released from his or her contractual obligation. This is a great thing to have from a buyer's perspective, but from a seller's point of view, this contingency clause may hurt in the long-run.

Inspections are an important part of the home buying/selling process. Buyers want to make sure they know of any problems before fully committing to a home. An inspection contingency allows buyers to bow out of a purchase if the inspection reveals defects, or the buyers can request that the repairs be made at the current owner's expense.

Finally, who is responsible for closing costs is usually included in an offer contract. It is not uncommon for buyers to request that sellers pay any fees associated with closing on homes -- such as loan fess, appraisals and escrow fees. While this can save buyers quite a bit, sellers can lose a lot by having to cover these costs.

Depending on which side of the table one sits, either as a buyer or seller, what is included in a residential real estate contract can really make or break the deal. Legal assistance is available to those in Florida who are working through the home buying/selling process so that nothing is overlooked. By seeking help, one can ensure that his or her best interests are being protected.

Source:, "What to Look for in a Real Estate Offer Contract", Meribeth Phipps, Accessed on Jan. 27, 2016

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