So...You want to buy a house?

The Contract

By Sara W.Peterson

We use our version of the eight page California Association of Realtors� contract with various addenda that are important for your protection or are required by the lender as part of their package. We keep these forms on our computers which allow us to write clean, concise documents that are legible and which also limit the number of copies that need to be created. Each time we make a change during the course of the negotiations, that change is annotated on the timeline and logged in your file.

The record for the most pages in a contract that we have been associated with was 62. Hopefully, your contract won't be so wordy or lengthy. But if it has to be done, it will be done correctly. You will be given a copy of the contract as it initially is to be presented for your signature(s). After you determine that the contract offer as written is acceptable to you and you have signed on the line, the contract is presented to the sellers' agent or the sellers as appropriate.

As part of the offer preparation, we will discuss the deposit check amount that is appropriate to accompany the offer. This amount assures the sellers that you have a stake in the process. Under some circumstances, which are spelled out in the contract offer, the sellers may have a claim to the escrow funds if you fail to perform as stated in your contract offer.

As the contract is amended or countered, you will receive copies of all those papers as well. We will have a duplicate set and the sellers or their agent will have the other set. Once everything is worked out to everyone's mutual satisfaction, a new set with appropriate signatures will be made for you, the sellers, myself, the lender and the title company. Those other copies can be kept by you or not as you see fit. We maintain those records as is required by law for a specified time period.

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