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Step 12:  Understand Purchase Contracts

Once you begin receiving offers, you will have to choose one you would like to accept or one on which you wish to negotiate.  Make sure you have a written offer, also called a "purchase contract" or "purchase offer."  A contract to buy real property must be in writing to be enforceable in a court of law.  Therefore, accept no verbal promises to buy your home.

Purchase contracts vary by locale, but they usually contain similar elements.  Some are much longer than others.  The contract is generally comprised of several sections each dealing with a particular aspect of the offer.  The document below discusses elements that are common to most contracts.

Understand Contracts
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