Terms You Might Overlook in a Real Estate Contract


Buying, renting, or leasing a new home can be a big, exciting step for many people. It means a new living situation and a new future. However, in the process of getting a new home, you will be presented with a real estate contract. In the midst of all the excitement, it could be tempting to simply save time and sign whatever is put in front of you. This, however, can be a huge mistake. A real estate contract can be loaded with terms you may not understand without the help of a real estate lawyer. Here are a few common terms you might overlook in a real estate contract:

Personal Property / Fixtures

Buried within your real estate contract is a section that goes over exactly what is included in the property you are acquiring. It’s not uncommon for a home to be shown featuring chandeliers, lighting fixtures, appliances, ceiling fans and more. However, this could all be for just display. Overlooking this section could mean that the seller of the property intends to sell you a barren property with no fixtures, appliances or even carpeting.

Plat of Land Survey

When viewing and buying a property, many assumptions are made on the part of the buyer. Just as with personal property and fixtures, it is important that the premises be completely defined. For example, where does your lawn begin and end? How much space on the property is actually yours? This section is often overlooked and takes a trained eye to read and define thoroughly.

Home Inspection

Often an afterthought, homebuyers often overlook performing a home inspection or often pay out-of-pocket. Terms in your real estate contract can outline whether or not your home has been inspected or is simply being sold “as-is”. While a home may look normal and functioning cosmetically, it could be hiding dangerous inefficiencies.

As a general rule, real estate contracts are not written in plain English and are often extremely long. Though you should read through your real estate contract, it’s perfectly understandable that it may not be easy to understand.


When buying a new home, it pays to secure your investment by hiring a real estate attorney who can read over your real estate contract so that you don’t get locked into a troublesome situation. Joel R. Spivack, Esq., is an experienced real estate lawyer who can help you with any legal issues that might arise during the home purchasing or home selling processes. Contact Mr. Spivack today to schedule a consultation.

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Attorney Joel R. Spivack is an experienced bankruptcy and residential real estate transactions lawyer in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Clients come to us for legal services, but what we really provide is peace of mind. For more than 30 years, Attorney Spivack has helped people make wise, informed decisions about bankruptcy filings, debt relief options and residential real estate transactions.
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