Real estate contracts have to be in writing and signed by all parties to be valid, according to the statute of frauds. Although you can use any purchase agreement you like for an offer on a property, and there are many free contracts available on the Internet for you to use, choosing the right form for your offer is critical in terms of protecting yourself from unforeseen consequences.
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Government-Approved Real Estate Forms
Every state and province in North America has officially approved real estate forms available online for no cost. They are usually found on the real estate commission website for that jurisdiction. Some states make it easier to find the forms on their site than others, but with a little probing you can find them. Many of the forms are now available in writable pdf format, which makes it easy to complete and print the contract.
Customizing Purchase Agreements
A purchase contract can be modified with additional clauses or contingencies you wish to include, so even if you are using a state-approved purchase contract, it can be adapted to your exact intent. If there is not enough space in the additional provisions section of the contract, you can attach an addendum. If the provisions of your purchase contract are complicated, you may want to hire an attorney to write it.
Using Non-Approved Purchase Contracts
Real estate experts pitching certain investment strategies may provide purchase contracts with creative financing proposals included. Be careful that you fully understand the implications of such a contact before using it. The state-approved forms will provide the most protection in your jurisdiction, but if you chose to use a generic purchase agreement template, read through it carefully. If you are a licensed real estate agent or broker, you should always use the officially sanctioned forms.
Other Sources for Free Sales Agreements
A friendly real estate agent or title company can provide you with a purchase contract and other forms you may need to complete a real estate transaction. But unless you are willing to reciprocate with future business, a referral or some other form of compensation, they may not be willing to cooperate.