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California Real Estate Contracts

There are many important clauses within a California Real Estate Purchase Agreement, such as the:

  • Date of the agreement;

  • Names and addresses of the parties to the contract;

  • Description of the property;

  • The consideration or price;

  • Financing and terms;

  • Date and place of closing; and,

  • Signatures of buyer and seller.

The Purchase Agreement is the main contract between the buyer and seller and covers contingencies, various inspections, mandatory disclosures, and buyer’s rights to investigate the property, how the buyer will take title, damages and dispute resolution, escrow instructions, compensation to the brokers, and acceptance of the offer.

The contract includes the following to pay attention to:

  • offer- This paragraph shows the names of the parties, the property information, the purchase price and more.

  • financial terms- This section addresses whether there will be financing involved and the amount of the initial deposit.

  • Allocation of costs- The buyer and seller agree to who will be responsible for the inspection fees and select the escrow and title provider.

  • Closing and possession- This section covers the intent of the buyer to occupy the property as a residence and the date the seller will turn over possession of property.

  • Statutory disclosures- A seller is required by law to give the buyer several disclosures about the property and the surrounding area.

  • Items included in the purchase price- Sometimes a seller will remove fixtures from the property as personal property. This is outlined in the agreement.

  • Title and vesting- It is important to review the preliminary title report with the buyer and check for undisclosed liens or easements that may affect the property.

  • Time periods- Buyers and sellers are given a specific time to meet various conditions within the contract.

  • Breach of Contract- Parties may decide in advance the amount of damages to be paid in the event that there is a breach, including a liquidated damages clause.

  • Dispute resolution- Buyer and seller may agree to alternative dispute resolution involving mediation or arbitration and both must agree to be bound to such alternative measures if they so choose.

  • Time is of the essence- Time is significant in a contract and performance may be due within a specified time.

  • Expiration of the offer- If an offer is not accepted by a seller within a reasonable time frame it may be revoked under the agreement.

  • Acceptance of the offer- A purchase agreement, once signed and accepted is a legally binding contract. Death or incapacity does not automatically cancel a contract. In this way, after acceptance of an offer, the seller's heirs must complete the sale of real property if the seller dies or becomes incapacitated.

California Lease Agreement

A lease is a contract between a property owner (lessor or landlord) and a renter (a lessee or tenant) which gives the tenant a tenancy. Tenancy is defined as the interest of a person holding the property by right of title. Under a lease the tenant takes possession and use of the property in return for rent payment. The lease is usually written and transfers the right of exclusive possession and use of real estate for a certain time period under a rental agreement.

Leases longer than 1 year must be in writing under the Statute of Frauds signed by the landlord.

Do you need assistance reviewing your real estate contract or lease agreement? If so, please contact Aziz Legal by phone at (408) 203-4627 or email us at

This article is merely informational and is not intended to be used as legal advice. Use of any information from this article is for general information only and does not represent personal legal or tax advice, either express or implied. Readers are encouraged to consult Aziz Legal, or another attorney, for any specific legal matters.

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