Abstract View of Urban Scene and Skyscrapers

Purchase and Sale Agreements

Real Estate Lawyers Advising Residents of the Ocala Area

Buying or selling a home is usually a significant financial and emotional decision that can affect you far into the future. Similarly, buying commercial property can have significant financial consequences. The buyer, seller, and realtor often have divergent interests in a deal for real estate. When negotiating a purchase and sale agreement, it is important to retain experienced attorneys who have your interests in mind. At the Dean Law Firm, our Ocala real estate lawyers understand purchase and sale agreements and the consequences of particular terms. We can help you determine whether or not a deal will work for you.

Purchase and Sale Agreements

A purchase and sale agreement is a legally binding agreement between a buyer and seller to express the terms and conditions of a real estate sales deal between them. It must be in writing to be enforceable, and it must identify who the buyer and the seller are. It must also identify the real property.

Sometimes a standard form is used for a real estate transaction. It is a written offer that follows a standard form that is submitted to the seller, and if the seller accepts the offer, the form becomes the final Purchase and Sale Agreement. However, for many people, the standard form will not address all of their issues or will not address them in the way that would be most beneficial to them. An experienced real estate attorney can craft a purchase and sale agreement that particularly takes into account your interests and needs.

Issues that should be negotiated include how to apportion closing costs, the amount of a good-faith deposit, contingencies and conditions, whether good marketable title is being conveyed, who is responsible for inspections and repairs, and financing. Usually in Florida, closing costs include the lender's costs, attorneys' fees, title insurance, the registration of the deed, and the mortgage. The amount of the good-faith deposit is based on a percentage of the purchase price. It is usually paid to an escrow agent. If the deal does not close, and it is not the buyer's fault, the buyer gets the deposit back. Otherwise, the deposit will be credited toward the purchase price.

The buyer should order inspections of the home, including inspections for termites, electrical issues, plumbing, and roofing problems. The contract should state who will be responsible for making any repairs, should problems be discovered.

The contingencies may include terms related to financing and inspections. For example, if the purchase requires financing, a contingency may spell out that the buyer need not buy the real estate if they cannot obtain the required financing. Similarly, a contingency might specify that the buyer should perform inspections but can withdraw if the property inspection reveals structural problems.

A buyer’s attorney will do a title search to ensure that the seller has the authority to sell the buyer the property and find out whether there is anything encumbering the property, such as liens, mortgages, or debts that could affect the buyer's right to enjoy the property down the road. Good and marketable title is title that is clear of any defects and other problems.

When a condominium is being sold, the seller needs to provide copies of HOA or Condominium Association documents to the buyer so that the buyer can understand whether there will be restrictions on their use of the property and how much the annual or monthly fees are. For example, the HOA documents may specify that only one pet is allowed, and this might be a deal-breaker for a buyer who has two cats. Similarly, HOA documents might specify quiet hours after 9 p.m., and this might not be appealing to a young professional who is hoping to entertain guests frequently at night.

Consult a Property Transaction Attorney in the Ocala Area

At the Dean Law Firm, our Ocala lawyers may be able to negotiate and draft a purchase and sale agreement that takes into account your interests in buying or selling a piece of property. We serve buyers and sellers of real property in Ocala, Crystal River, and other communities in Citrus, Levy, Sumter, Marion, and Lake Counties. Contact us at 352-387-8700 or via our online form for an appointment.