Ask an Attorney: What information is needed for a real estate purchase agreement?

Since our founding in 2004, Whitaker & Hamer, PLLC has handled over 62,000 real estate closings in the state of North Carolina. Our dedicated Real Estate Transactions team combines years of experience with an approach that centers on delivering a smooth closing experience for each client.

We know that real estate transactions can be confusing – especially if you’re unfamiliar with the nuances of buying and selling property – so we’ve outlined answers to common questions below.

Do I need a real estate agent to buy a house?

Many clients often wonder whether it’s necessary to secure a real estate agent before purchasing a house. The short answer is no – buyers and sellers always have the option to represent themselves – but you will need to work with a licensed attorney. 

In real estate matters, the agents typically negotiate and communicate on behalf of the buyer and seller. Without an agent present, the back-and-forth communication falls to the buyer and seller directly. Both parties would need to come to an agreement on their own and then call on an attorney to draft the official legal contracts and documents. More on that next. 

What is an attorney’s role in a real estate transaction?

In North Carolina, state law requires that you retain a licensed attorney to represent you during any real estate transaction. 

For a real estate purchase agreement, the attorney would begin by drafting an Offer to Purchase contract for the buyer. The Offer to Purchase is a legal document that contains basic information about the property – details like the names of the buyer and seller, the purchase price, earnest money details, closing costs, disclaimers and contingencies related to the sale, and the closing date. 

Once the contract has been signed by both the buyer and the seller, the attorney and their firm would move ahead with several processes related to the title. Generally speaking, those steps include a title search, a written title opinion, verification of the provided documents, and the closing. 

To learn more about the real estate closing process, head over to our blog post on Residential Real Estate Closing in North Carolina.

For More Information: Contracts 101

While we’ve covered the basics of a purchase agreement here, there are many more details that figure into the process. Hear directly from one of our team members in Contracts 101: Office to Purchase, and feel free to reach out with additional questions or for help getting started. You can contact our real estate team through our website or by calling 919-772-7000.