One of the biggest items people are concerned about as they begin the process of finding a new home is the paperwork. Everyone enjoys the hunt for a home: the search on-line, the discovery of new areas, and the rush of walking into that new great space, but no one really enjoys the paperwork that this leads to.
Once familiar with the forms, however, it becomes much easier to write up a contract and stay focused on the end goal of owning the new property. In order to help ease this process, I have included links to some of the common forms as found directly on the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors' site. This will allow you to review the forms prior to looking at any homes and certainly prior to writing up an offer. This is by no means all inclusive as each transaction is different and each real estate office can require additional forms and disclosures.
The key thing to remember in real estate is that all contracts must be in writing to be legally enforceable. As a result, every year new and updated forms, contracts and disclosures are mandated by the various federal, state, and local agencies that have some input on the real estate transaction. These forms and requirements vary by state, local requirements, and local custom. The following are some of the primary forms used in the state. Other disclosures are required, but these will provide you with a good overview of some key documents in the transaction. The links take you directly to the association site.
Pennsylvania Consumer Notice:
Drafted by the Pennsylvania State Real Estate Commission, this notice must be provided at the first contact where a substantive discussion about real estate occurs. Please click here to see the entire notice.
Business Relationship Between Broker and Buyer:
Satisfies Agency Law requirements when working with buyers as a buyer's agent, a subagent, or a transaction licensee. Includes a buyer agency contract (for buyer's agents) and a disclosure notice (for subagents and transaction licensees). This creates the agency relationship.
Agreement of Sale - Residential:
All inclusive residential Agreement of Sale. Contains most commonly used clauses including the lead based paint disclosure. This is the primary form for the transaction. It describes all aspects of the sale and inspections. It also confirms the agency relationships.
Seller's Property Disclosure Statement:
Buyer's Financial Information:
Deposit Money Notice:
This is clearly not an all-inclusive list and there are many additional forms that can be used for any given situation. In addition, most real estate firms have their own forms and disclosures that are required based on their business relationships and local area requirements. All the above forms are generally required for a purchase of residential property in the state.
I hope this helps. As always, should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me anytime. The process and the forms will continue to evolve and change, but at the end of the process you should have a new home with no surprises that you will be able to enjoy for years to come.