Essential Elements of a Real Estate Purchase Agreement


Purchase agreements are formal legal documents that guide both buyers and sellers through a sale’s legalities, ensuring both parties’ interests are safeguarded. To learn more about what must be included in any valid and enforceable real estate purchase agreement, read on and contact our Florida real estate and title insurance attorneys today.

What Are the Legal Foundations of a Real Estate Purchase Agreement in Florida?

Real estate transactions in Florida are governed by a mixture of statutory law and common law principles. Chapter 689 of the Florida Statutes, for instance, outlines specific requirements for real estate conveyance. These statutes emphasize the necessity for written agreements in real estate sales, underscoring the importance of having a comprehensive purchase agreement. This legal document serves as a binding contract between the buyer and seller, laying down the terms and conditions of the sale.

What Must Be Included in a Real Estate Purchase Agreement?

A well-structured real estate purchase agreement in Florida typically includes the following essential elements:

  • Identification of Parties: Clearly defines the buyer and seller involved in the transaction.
  • Legal Description of the Property: Includes the property’s precise location, boundaries, and any legal identifiers.
  • Purchase Price and Terms: States the agreed-upon price and terms of payment, including any deposits or financing arrangements.
  • Closing and Possession Dates: Specifies when the official transfer of property will occur and when the buyer will take possession.
  • Contingencies: Outlines conditions that must be met for the transaction to proceed, such as financing approval, inspections, and appraisal.
  • Disclosures: Any state-required disclosures, such as lead paint disclosures for older homes.
  • Inspection Rights and Obligations: Details the buyer’s right to inspect the property and the obligations of both parties based on the inspection results.
  • Title and Survey: Describes how the title and any surveys will be provided, including how title issues will be resolved.
  • Closing Costs and Prorations: Allocates responsibility for closing costs and details how taxes, association fees, and utility bills will be prorated at closing.
  • Signature of Parties: The legal requirement that all parties involved sign the agreement, making it binding.

Why Is Each Element Critical?

Every component of the purchase agreement plays a vital role in protecting the interests of both the buyer and seller. For instance, the legal description ensures that there’s no ambiguity about the property being sold. Contingencies protect the buyer by allowing them to back out under specific conditions without losing their deposit. Similarly, clear terms regarding closing costs prevent surprises that could derail the transaction at the last minute.

If you have further questions or need help drawing up a real estate purchase agreement, simply contact Ansbacher Law today.