In our previous post, we talked about the basics of real estate purchase agreement. Now, we’re going to learn more about it by discussing earnest money deposit and closing expenses while answering some of the most frequently asked questions about real estate purchase agreements.

So, What Is An Earnest Money Deposit

Consider earnest money as a deposit made in good faith by a buyer to a seller to demonstrate the buyer's commitment to their deal to buy a house. A buyer may withdraw from this deal at any time but will forfeit the earnest money deposit, save if the seller fails to satisfy specified restrictions.

The purchase agreement will specify how much earnest money is needed for the real estate contract. In a sense, it acts as insurance for sellers who usually want to make sure they aren't wasting their time or missing out on other chances by pursuing a contract that won't close.

To prevent any problems and guarantee that it is distributed properly and on schedule, this earnest money is often kept in escrow by a third party. When you close on the property, any funds deposited into escrow will be used for your closing expenses or down payment. 

real estate agent showing house to couple home buyers

What Are Closing Expenses?

Closing costs are the additional charges that purchasers and sellers must pay in order to finalize a real estate transaction. Loan origination fees, discount points, appraisal fees, title search fees, title insurance, surveys, taxes, deed recording fees, and credit report fees are a few examples of these expenses. Three business days prior to a scheduled closing or settlement date, lenders are required by law to give buyers a closing disclosure.

What fees apply to closing? They are essentially processing costs and ongoing costs that you will pay to your lender after you close on a home.

Amounts for typical expenses including home appraisals, title searches, property taxes, homeowners insurance, lender's fees, and ownership transfers are included in closing costs. Your purchase agreement should specify who is responsible for paying these closing charges (parts of which may be divided between the buyer and seller).

Final closing fees may range from 3% to 6% of the cost of a home.

Real Estate Purchase Agreements FAQs

The most frequently asked queries about real estate acquisition agreements are listed below.

Does a real estate acquisition contract require notarization?

A real estate purchase agreement is not filed with county records, so it does not need to be notarized in order for it to be legally binding.

Can a real estate agreement be canceled?

When the option is specified in the real estate contract or when the laws of your state permit it, a real estate contract may be ended. State laws typically permit the termination of a contract when a seller omits to disclose any significant problems with the property.

The purchase agreement's cost is borne by who?

The costs involved with creating this contract are normally covered by the seller's agent commission charge, which is paid as part of the closing costs.

Final Note

The terms and conditions under which a property will be sold are clearly spelled out in a real estate purchase agreement, which is a binding legal instrument. It's created to assist you prevent hitches by taking into consideration aspects related to a property purchase and sale. It's built to safeguard both buyers and sellers and ensure a smooth transaction.

As you go about buying or selling a home, being aware of the fundamentals of this document can help you avoid any potential hazards.

A property purchase might fall through for a variety of reasons. What if you suddenly change your mind, though? Things can get tricky if you're under contract to buy a house but are having second thoughts and want to withdraw so you’re wondering how to back out of an accepted home purchase offer.

Although it's not impossible, there may be consequences if a buyer decides to break a signed real estate contract with a seller. This is especially true if there are no escape clauses in the agreement. It is crucial to comprehend your legal and financial rights as a house buyer. If you're considering rejecting an offer, take these things into account. 

Can A Homebuyer Back Out After Accepting A House Purchase Offer?

The short answer: is yes. When you sign a purchase agreement for real estate, you’re legally bound to the contract terms, and you’ll give the seller an upfront deposit called earnest money. Earnest money shows the seller that you’re serious about your intention to purchase the house and plan to follow through on the agreement.

It is however absolutely permissible to withdraw from an accepted offer if specific conditions are put in place and are not met. These limitations, which shall be incorporated into the contract, set forth the circumstances under which withdrawal without penalty shall be permitted. Your earnest money will typically be returned. 

Leaving With A Backup Plan

These are the conditions that must be satisfied before you can proceed with a house purchase and are often included in a normal real estate contract. This includes a common understanding of specified activities that must be finished within a set amount of time. 

The house inspection, obtaining financing from their lender, selling their own home first, or the home appraising for less than the asking price are all examples of stipulations that buyers may include. You can easily withdraw from an offer if a predetermined contingency isn't met, and you'll still get your earnest money deposit back. 

If there are conditions, the buyer typically has additional protection if they decide not to proceed with the transaction. Consider a scenario in which a house inspection report reveals pricey problems, such as a foundational crack or a roof that needs to be replaced due to damage.

You can back out of the transaction if there is a home inspection contingency in place, particularly if the seller won't make repairs or provide credits to cover the costs. A financing contingency, which allows you a way out if your lender doesn't follow through with loan approval, is another crucial safety measure. 

To ensure your safety, carefully review the contingencies listed in the agreement, paying great attention to the timeframes associated with each. For instance, you might have to finish a house inspection (and request repairs or credits) within 14 days of the contract being issued.

For final loan approval, a financing condition might need to be satisfied in 30 days. If you require additional time to perform a conditional job, your real estate agent will often need to submit a contract addendum for the seller's approval before you can obtain the extension. 

Refusing To Prepare A Backup Plan

However, things may get complicated—and sometimes ugly—if a home buyer backs out of a deal for a reason that isn't expressly stated in the contract. You risk losing your earnest money if you reject an offer for a non-contingent cause. The seller is legally entitled to keep your money because you put that money down with the understanding that you would stick to the terms of the contract and only back out for reasons that are not specified in the contract. 

For a buyer, this may be unaffordable, especially if they still intend to purchase another home. Earnest money deposits are normally between 1 and 2 percent of the home's purchase price, but they can occasionally be more. Therefore, a buyer who backs out of a $300,000 house deal stands to lose between $3,000 and $6,000 in addition to legal fees. 

Can You Get Sued By The Seller If You Back Out Of Buying A House? 

Yes, you risk losing your earnest money and the seller may take additional legal action if you break a signed contract for a cause that was not specifically stated as a contingency. Before the purchase agreement is formally signed, it is simpler to back out of the transaction. It will be far more difficult for you to leave after that, or after the contingency periods have passed, without getting into legal or financial difficulty.

A buyer who violates the terms of the contract may be sued for "specific performance," in which case the court orders the buyer to close on the house. This scenario is not particularly typical, though.

A clause in several property purchase contracts stipulates that if a dispute arises, both parties must consent to mediation. With the aid of a third-party mediator, you will thus have the opportunity to present your case to the seller directly in the hopes of finding a non-judicial solution. 

In conclusion, a substantial commitment to homeownership shouldn't be viewed lightly. A buyer can cancel a binding real estate agreement with a seller, but there might be substantial repercussions. Including contingencies in the contract before you sign is the greatest approach to safeguard yourself. Here, working with an experienced real estate agent and possibly an estate lawyer can be essential. 

If you do need to back out of an accepted offer, be upfront with the seller as soon as you’ve made your decision. Work closely with your agent and attorney, who can help you communicate (in writing) why you want to back out. Ultimately, you may lose your earnest money deposit — but buying a home you don’t want or can’t afford would be a more expensive mistake in the long run.

An agreement that controls the acquisition and selling of real estate in Indiana is known as a real estate purchase agreement. It specifies the parameters of the transaction and the circumstances under which a sale will take place and is made between a buyer and a seller.

Make sure your contract is unbreakable whether you want to sell your permanent residence or an investment property, purchase a new house, apartment, condo, or both.

It is crucial to take the time upfront to clearly define the conditions under which a property transaction will take place and to protect against potential delays or unforeseen events since it can help you avoid financial or legal obstacles later on. 

What Exactly Is A Purchase Agreement?

An agreement between a buyer and seller to conduct a real estate transaction is outlined in a real estate purchase agreement. By signing a purchase agreement, the buyer and seller are effectively "under contract," as is the subject property.

A real estate purchase agreement, also known as a real estate sales contract, home purchase agreement, real estate purchase agreement, or house purchase agreement, is a binding legal document that outlines important terms of the home sale transaction. 

In essence, when a prospective buyer submits an offer to buy a new house, the buyer will include essential financial information, including their offer price and suggested terms for the sale. The parameters of this offer will then be open for the house seller to accept, reject, or negotiate. 

Essentially, when a potential buyer files a purchase offer for a new home, the buyer will include crucial financial information, such as their offer price and suggested parameters for the sale. The home seller will then have the option to accept, reject, or negotiate the terms of this offer. 

This contract outlines the requirements that must be satisfied for the sale to close and for the new buyer to take the title of the property, signaling the parties' intent to engage in a home-selling transaction. 

Who Drafts The Purchase Contract?

The real estate agent representing the buyer will often draft and prepare the purchase agreement for a home. The fact that agents cannot draft their contracts because they are not licensed attorneys is important to note. Instead, they often complete forms that have already been developed by a legal firm that specializes in real estate transactions, for the sake of consistency and the protection of all parties.

In other words, a pre-drafted purchase agreement template will be used to purchase the particular house, with the agent filling in any blanks with specifics on the property's particulars.

Elements Of A Real Estate Sales Contract

The facts of the property transaction are outlined in a real estate sales contract and purchase agreement. You'll discover several recurring components within its pages, such as:

Appliances and fixtures: Any home appliances, wall-mounted accessories, and fixtures that are either included in or excluded from the sale of the real estate in Indiana. 


A contingency is a requirement that needs to be satisfied and is dependent on certain occurrences in reality. A purchase agreement with contingencies in real estate specifies that even if an offer has been made and accepted on a property, there are still some conditions that must be met before the transaction is finalized. 

real estate agent giving key to new homeowner

When buying or selling a home, you could encounter many contingencies, such as:

Appraisal Contingency: To guarantee that the appraised value of a home is the same as or greater than the agreed-upon purchase price, an appraisal contingency is used.

These are the basics of real estate purchase agreement. In the next part, we’ll dive deeper into earnest money deposit and closing expenses and answer some of the most frequently asked questions on purchase agreements.

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