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7 Common Practices in Real Estate Contracts

Many people wonder if you need a contract to purchase real estate in Oklahoma — and you bet you do. Real estate contracts aren’t enforceable if not in writing. In most cases, Oklahoma’s standard contract will work, but each has their own intricacies that can be overlooked.

Often, a pre-printed form contract won’t provide the necessary protection, so it’s best to have a lawyer on your side to help. Keep reading to learn our 7 common contract practices in real estate!

1. Check the Finance Terms
Most of us can’t purchase a home without a mortgage. In real estate contracts, you’ll need to specify your purchase offer and that it is contingent upon obtaining financing. If you can’t get financing, and your contract is not contingent on financing, the seller could get to keep your earnest money deposit.

2. Ask for Seller Assist
Want the seller to pay some or all your closing costs? Don’t assume it’s included, you’ll need to state it in the purchase offer. Be sure to state the exact dollar amount you’re requesting.

3. Determine Who Pays Closing Costs
Real estate contracts should include who pays for the common fees associated with the home purchase — title insurance, doc stamps, mortgage tax, etc.

4. Conduct a Home Inspection
Unless you’re tearing down and starting from scratch, you’ll need to include a home inspect contingency in real estate contracts. This allows you to decline the deal and leave unscathed if a home inspection reveals major repairs or flaws.

5. Agree on Fixtures and Appliances
Wondering if the fridge, dishwasher, stove, and oven are included? Don’t take the seller’s word for it or assume that the home comes with it. This is a mistake we often see with new homeowners. In the contract, line out any fixtures and appliances that are included in the contract and get a signature from both parties. As we always say, it’s best to get everything in writing.

6. Establish the Closing Date
How soon are you hoping to move in? How long will you need to complete the purchase transaction? Map out your timeline by establishing the closing date. Most often, homeowners choose anywhere between 30 and 60 days.

7. Establish Existing Home Contingencies
If you currently own a home, you’ll most likely need the funds from the sale to purchase the home you’re want to buy. As we touched on earlier, make it a point to include this contingency in your purchasing offer and allow yourself ample time to sell your home (30 to 60 days).

A ton of components go into real estate sales, but don’t let that intimidate you. If something feels like it’s missing, don’t hesitate to give us a call. It’s important to ensure you feel safe entering a real estate deal.

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