Contracts are created to focus on the legally binding aspects of the real estate transaction. The good news is contracts come pre-printed for easy use in FSBO transactions.
When we talk about a contract for the sale of a property, we are talking about a buyer and seller getting to the heart of the matter. A contract is a binding agreement where each party agrees to provide consideration for the other party doing something. In the case of the buyer, he or she agrees to pay money on a specified date in exchange for the title to the property in question. As you might guess, the consideration of the seller is the transfer of title upon receipt of said funds. This is how contracts work in FSBO transactions when boiled down to their basic function.
As you might imagine, these contracts also cover more than the basic funds and title transfer. The contract should include representations from the seller that they are transferring “good title" to the property, to wit, they actually own the property and no outstanding debts are recorded against it such as lawsuits. Other conditions that can arise include things such the transaction being conditioned upon the buyer obtaining financing, the completion of a home inspection, certain assets being left with the property such as furniture and the deposit of an earnest money deposit by the buyer to show he or she is serious. The beauty of a contract is that it is a negotiable document, to wit, you and the other party can put in writing practically any reasonable terms you agree on.
As you know, owning a home is part of the American Dream. One characteristic of this dream is the fact that people have been buying and selling property for hundreds of years. Given this history, it is not particularly surprising that contracts for property have evolved into pre-printed forms. In fact, these are the very forms being used by realtors!
In most situations, you can go ahead and use pre-printed contracts without any problem. If there is something out of the norm with what you are buying or selling, however, you may want to use a lawyer to handle the transaction. Obviously, that is going to cost a bit more!
Raynor James is with the site - FSBO America - FSBO homes for sale by owner.