The first time you see home purchase documents, it can be overwhelming. Below are common documents so you’ll be more comfortable when you write an offer.
Offer paperwork only consists of two things:”fill in the blanks” where you have decisions to make, and legal wording that you generally can’t make many changes to or you’ll have a difficult time negotiating with the seller.
Offer form. The main document of the home purchase paperwork is the offer form. It goes by several different names: Sale Agreement, Earnest Money Agreement, Purchase & Sale, and more. To write an offer, you fill in the blanks. Usually with an offer price, downpayment amount, financing, any personal property, inspection timelines, and closing & possession dates. Full details are in How to Write an Offer on a House.
Legal wording in the home purchase paperwork is there to help you avoid the many misunderstandings & disputes that have come up between buyers and sellers in the past.
Inspection addendum(s). You’ll need to decide what inspections you want to have, but you also need to notify the seller of these as well. This paperwork will lay out how long you have to complete each inspection. See What to Inspect when You’re Inspecting.
HOA/Condo addendum. This document asks for a long list of items regarding homeowner or condo associations so you’ll get all the facts about their finances and operations. Our What to Review Before Buying a Condo/Townhouse/HOA download has a full list.
Bank addendums. If you’re buying a bank owned home, they will have lots of documents saying what they will and will not do.
Don’t fear the legal wording – take your time, read through it and ask your Buyer’s Agent to explain anything you don’t understand.
Preapproval. Your Mortgage Professional will provide you with a preapproval letter that states you are able to buy a home at your offer price.
Agency disclosures. Real estate agents need to disclose who they work for: Buyer, Seller, or both. (you only want your agent to represent you!)
Promissory Note or Earnest Money Deposit. You may write a check for the deposit or you may use a promissory note saying you’ll provide the money once the seller accepts your offer.