The Purchase & Sales Agreement *
The "Offer to Purchase Agreement" outlines the initial agreement between the buyer and seller regarding the purchase price and any provisions to be included in the subsequent "Purchase and Sales Agreement." Depending upon the intentions of the buyer and seller and the language contained in the agreement, acceptance of an offer may be sufficient to create a binding contract between the parties. Precedence for this was established a few years ago in a Boston court case and was the basis for a sale of mine in which the Purchase & Sales Agreement was not signed by either party to the transaction.
The purchase and sale agreement contains a list of inspections, services and fees agreed upon by both buyer and seller. There may be as many as 30 clauses in a purchase and sale agreement, so buyers should be intimately aware of their responsibilities prior to signing. Because most sellers typically require a larger deposit when the Purchase and Sale Agreement is signed, buyers should make sure they understand their rights and obligations before signing. Buyers with specific legal questions or concerns should consult an attorney who is familiar with real estate law.
Although brokers are not attorneys, they may complete a standard offer to purchase form and are aware of its content and importance in the home buying process. In most cases, the purchase and sale agreement is the final written and binding agreement for all terms and conditions of the transaction.
* From the MA Association of Realtors Website - Buyers Toolkit
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