Drafting & Negotiating Real Estate Contracts

The real estate contract is at the heart of a real estate deal–critically important to both buyers and sellers. This contract locks in the purchase price and timetable, of course. But it also commits the real estate buyer and the seller to other conditions, too.


In Florida it is often customary for a buyer to make an offer through their Realtor without having a lawyer review the contract. Ideally, however, the real estate purchaser and seller should each run that contract by their own (separate) real estate lawyers experienced in negotiating such contracts before the offer is presented or accepted. If this cannot be done, the parties should add the words “subject to my attorney’s review within 3 business days” into the contract they do submit, and then get it to a Florida real estate lawyer within a day.


Too often, people who have not done this come to me with a contract that is already signed and therefore can’t be negotiated, even though it may contain provisions they don’t like or understand. Many attorneys, myself included, will waive their fee for performing a contract review when they are hired as the closing agent on the deal.


A Florida real estate lawyer can also draft a real estate contract for you, especially helpful if you are buying or selling in a “for sale by owner” situation without a Realtor involved. The Law Office of Gary M. Landau, located in Coral Springs, Florida, frequently drafts contracts for South Florida real estate deals.


Although some people believe there is a “standard contract,” that is not actually true. There are several preprinted contracts often used in Florida real estate deals, but clauses in each of these can be negotiated by the buyer or seller when agreeing to their deal on their home, condo, or business office.


When negotiating or reviewing a real estate contract, our law office especially focuses on the following:


              • What is the purchase price and closing date?
              • How much money is the buyer putting down as a deposit?
              • What is the financing contingency (e.g., what happens if the buyer can’t get a mortgage)?
              • How long is the inspection period? (This is the time the buyer has to get the property inspected and to back out of the deal if something turns up.)
              • Are any fixtures or other items being sold with the unit?
              • Is the seller disclosing any hazardous conditions such as radon gas in the home?
              • Is the seller making any other disclosures, such as plumbing or roofing problems and the like?
              • Who pays if the condominium or homeowners association issues a special assessment before the closing?

Contact us by phone or email for a FREE consultation to learn more about our firm and how we can help you with your real estate contract negotiation, purchase or sale. Attorney Gary Landau personally returns all calls to him.