What Is a Home Purchase Agreement?

Published January 9, 2013 by

The process of buying a home is rife with unfamiliar terms, Familiarizing yourself with the meaning of these terms and how they apply to you, the buyer, will help you go through the process with less confusion and make the entire transaction less problematic.

Home buying starts with the home purchase agreement. The home purchase agreement is a key element in the purchase process. What is this agreement? How does it affect you?

The home purchase agreement is also known as a purchase agreement form, or purchase contract. It is a legally binding document that states your intention to purchase a home or piece of property from the seller, as well as several other pieces of information. Your real estate agent may be able to provide you with assistance on this form, but the best idea is to hire a professional real estate attorney to assist you through the process.

A home purchase agreement states several things and is designed to protect both the buyer (you) and the seller. To do this, the agreement must cover several areas of interest. These areas include:

  • Your purchase offer
  • An inspection clause
  • A mortgage contingency plan
  • A closing date
  • A legal description of the property in question
  • A guarantee of clear title to the property from the seller
  • Specifications for walk-through inspections of the property
  • Requirements for professional inspections of the property
  • A clause that makes buying said property only viable after the sale of your existing home

The home purchase agreement covers a lot of legal ground. A qualified attorney is the best person to ensure that all items are covered sufficiently and that you, the buyer, are not in jeopardy of losing your rights or of making a potentially disastrous purchase.

A home purchase agreement should be scrutinized very carefully, in order to ensure it contains all the appropriate clauses and contingencies. Any contract that does not offer all the required areas should be redrafted immediately.

One of the areas of greatest interest to you is the clause pertaining to inspection deadlines. It is inadvisable that you purchase a home without a thorough inspection by a certified inspector. Another area that should be covered is that of warranty coverage on the home, for areas such as the roof, the plumbing and any other part inclusive to the dwelling. With the help of a skilled real estate attorney, you can ensure that any home purchase agreement is mutually beneficial and your interests are adequately covered.