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What You Should Know Before You Sign By Anne Sadler

If you plan on buying or selling real estate you will most likely be presented with a contract to sign. The contract is the basis for your transaction and contains all the information that is needed for the purchase or sale. The contract is the blueprint for the timeline of activity and spells out the responsibilities and expectations of both parties. Buying and selling property is serious business and most often involves a large financial transaction. Both parties need to know what they are signing before they sign on the dotted line. The first thing you need to know is that you are signing a contract. It is a legal, binding document and not just a piece of paper. You are agreeing to perform according to the language in the contract and there are legal consequences if you don’t. A contract is a legal promise to perform and you should never sign a contract until you know what you are signing. As Realtors, we use standard contracts that have been approved by our local Association and we fill in the blanks on these pre-printed forms. We are not allowed to interpret the language of the contracts since that would be practicing law. You should always have your attorney review any contract before you sign it or make it contingent on your attorney reviewing it. Any questions or concerns you have can be addressed by your attorney to your satisfaction before you become obligated. You should also read the contract thoroughly before you sign anything. Our purchase contracts are multi page contracts and there can also be several pages of...

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