12 Common Sales Contract Points

An offer is finally accepted when the seller signs it and communicates that fact to the buyer. The most common way to communicate acceptance is by delivering the signed offer to the buyer.

Thirty years ago, the sales agreement was a single-page document with a few preprinted lines. Everything was filled in by the salesperson or the principals. Today's agreement is a multiple-page document consisting largely of legal boilerplate. Most agreements have room to write in only the address, price, down payment, and loan amount. Everything else, including a long list of contingency clauses, is usually preprinted to be crossed out if inapplicable.

  1. The date the contract was executed.
  2. The full correct name of all parties, along with their addresses.
  3. A legal description of the property being sold.
  4. The full purchase price, broken down to show the portion that was made as a downpayment and the balance due.
  5. A “subject to” provision covering zoning, covenants, easements, and restrictions of record.
  6. Fixtures and personal property that will pass with the property.
  7. Specific items that will be apportioned, such as taxes, insurance, water, and utilities.
  8. The date and location of the closing.
  9. The name of the broker who brought about the sale and who will be responsible for paying commissions to agents and subagents.
  10. To whom and how (such as certified mail) any notices affecting contract contingencies will be sent.
  11. A seller’s right of cancellation if clear title cannot be delivered.
  12. The signatures of all parties.
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