Now what???

With your real estate agent's assistance, offer the seller a written contract setting out the commitments and promises that you and the seller need to agree on and fulfill in order to make the sale. A well-drawn contract should protect all parties.

The first contract you submit should be comprehensive and include everything of any importance. Keep in mind, once the seller accepts the contract, it may be too late to add or change anything. In some states, there may be standard real estate contracts. However, you should make sure that your contract includes at least the following:

  • The offering price
  • Down payment
  • Legal description of the property
  • Method of conveying the title
  • Fees to be paid and who will pay them
  • Amount of deposit
  • Conditions under which the seller and buyer can void the contract
  • The settlement date
  • Financing arrangements
  • A list of appliances, furnishings and personal property being sold with the home