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What should you look for in a real estate purchase agreement?

Few things are more exciting than owning your very first home in New Jersey. That said, because the home buying process is so new to you, you may not know what to look for on your purchase agreement to ensure it protects you.

Thankfully, has you covered. Be sure these specific items are on your agreement before you sign anything.


With contingency, the agreement includes a stipulation for you, the buyer, to meet before the buying/selling process continues. For instance, you may decide to only agree to buy the home if your current property sells. The great thing about this is that it lowers your risk of feeling trapped in a home purchase you cannot afford.

Earnest money

To show sellers you are not out to waste their time, you can make an earnest money deposit. You put down a deposit in good faith and to potentially beat out others interested in the property.

Settlement date

The settlement date is the day on which the deal becomes official. You can work with the seller to decide on this specific date. When deciding, ensure you give yourself enough time for the completion of the home inspection and appraisal.


There is a lot of paperwork and money involved in a home sale, and escrow is where it is all kept. Either you or the seller, or both of you, foot the bill for escrow.

Possession date

On the agreement’s possession date, you are free to start moving into your new home. You may agree to let the seller have more time to find a new place to live and time to move out, which is generosity that can make your offer more attractive.

This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.