Post: Understanding the Real Estate Sales Contract Process


The real estate sales contract is a crucial step in the property buying process, as it signifies the final stage of the transaction. This legally binding agreement between the buyer and seller is what makes a sale official and ensures that all parties involved are aware of their rights and obligations. In this article, we will delve into the details of the real estate sales contract and provide useful information for both buyers and sellers.

The Signing of the Sales Contract

The signing of the real estate sales contract always takes place at the notary’s office, which distinguishes it from preliminary agreements that may be made directly between the seller and buyer. The involvement of the notary lends authenticity to the document and guarantees its legal validity. It is worth noting that both parties do not need to have separate notaries; one is sufficient to oversee the process.

Role of the Notary

The notary plays an essential role in ensuring the smooth execution of the sales contract and handling the post-signing formalities. Before entering into the contract, they carry out several vital checks, such as confirming the seller’s ownership of the property and assessing their financial status with the condominium board.

Once the contract is signed, the notary is responsible for registering the property, including publishing the sales contract in the local property register. This period typically takes about three months after signing the preliminary agreement due to various deadlines:

  • A 10-day cooling-off period starting from the day after signing the preliminary agreement
  • A one-and-a-half-month period for obtaining and approving a loan

Additionally, the urban pre-emptive right must be cleared before signing the sales contract. If the authority waives this right or does not respond within two months, the contract may proceed as planned with the intended buyer.

Components of a Real Estate Sales Contract

A sales contract for a house or apartment must include several crucial pieces of information, such as:

  • Seller’s and buyer’s contact details
  • Property description and address
  • Origin of the property
  • Existence of mortgages or easements
  • Sale price (excluding notary fees)
  • Payment terms
  • Amount of agency fees (if applicable)
  • Amount of notary fees
  • Date when the property will be available
  • Any suspensive conditions that may be present
  • Information regarding the right to reconsideration

Note that real estate agency fees typically range between 5% and 10% of the sale price, although some agencies offer lower rates for both buyers and sellers.

After the Sales Contract is Signed

Following the signing of the sales contract, the notary retains the original document and sends a copy to both parties in the weeks that follow. At this stage, the buyer can take advantage of a cooling-off period, giving them the option to reconsider their commitment. However, this only applies if the sales contract was not preceded by a promise of sale; otherwise, the buyer has already had their retraction period.

Conversely, buyers receive a certificate of ownership along with the keys to the property upon signing the sales contract. A copy of the contract will also be provided within a few weeks of completion.

In Conclusion

Purchasing a property is a significant event for both buyers and sellers, and understanding the real estate sales contract process is vital to ensure a smooth transaction. Remember that:

  • The real estate sales contract is a notarized document that formalizes the sale of a property
  • It typically takes three months between signing the preliminary agreement and the sales contract
  • The notary plays a crucial role in drafting the authentic act
  • Copies of the sales contract are sent to both parties following its signing

Arm yourself with knowledge about the real estate sales contract process to ensure you’re prepared when it’s time to make your move. For more tips on successfully selling or buying a property, visit our website for a free guide!