Legal Forms

real estate legal formsReal Estate Legal Forms

One of the biggest challenges in selling your home without a real estate agent is dealing with the legal side of things.  You successfully priced, prepared and marketed your home.  You have an interested buyer whose offer meets your satisfaction.  Now all you need is to make the deal official.  Real estate agents make hundreds of home sale transactions and have access and great knowledge about what forms are necessary.  If this is your first time selling your own home, you are likely a novice and not well-versed in real estate law.

Why Legal Forms?
Real estate legal forms exist to protect both the buyer and the seller in the event of a dispute, and ensure the transaction is an honest one.  Due to the amount of money involved in a real estate sale, everything should be in writing.  Real estate forms are usually binding.  Should there ever be a court case involving the real estate transaction, the court will only consider evidence presented in written form.  In short, when it comes to sale of real estate, you need formal documentation for everything.

The Types of Forms for Sale of a Home
Legal forms are necessary for every phase of selling a home.  If you were employing the services of a real estate agent, you would need to sign a listing agreement giving the agent legal permission to help sell your home.  Legal forms are necessary to make an offer on a home, to counter offer, and to agree to purchase and sales conditions.  Property descriptions, lot restrictions, easements, property boundaries and other identifying features of a property must also be clearly and legally documented for the sale of a home.

Real estate law varies from state to state, so this serves as an overview on the forms generally necessary in any transaction.  It’s best to check with your local property assessor to ensure you have everything that is required for the state in which your transaction is taking place.

The legal forms usually required in any real estate deal are:
•    Real Estate Purchase and Sales Agreement
•    Residential Property Disclosure Form
•    Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Form
•    Warranty Deeds
•    Seller’s “Offer to Purchase” Form
•    Buyer’s “Counter Offer” Form

Other real estate forms that may or may not be relevant to your sale:
•    Land Contract – for property sales not involving buildings
•    Quit Claim Deed – for transfers of property
•    Lease and Rental Forms
•    Addendum (Counter Offer)
•    Agreement for Deed
•    Attorney Approval
•    Bill of Sale
•    Closing Statement
•    Condominium Purchase Contract
•    Deposit Note
•    Installment Note
•    Land Contract for Buyer
•    Land Contract for Seller
•    Promissory Note
•    Property Disclosure Form

There are a number of sites and services that provide guidance on real estate legal forms.  For a reasonable fee, these sites offer downloadable legal forms to assist you in your transaction.

Important Factors
As is the nature of most legal forms, real estate documents must be completed properly in order to be valid.  Many of these forms can be extremely complex in nature.  It is advisable that you have a third party real estate attorney or someone with experience look everything over to ensure the forms are properly completed.  Both the buyer and seller put themselves at risk if there are errors or improperly filed paperwork.