In Rhode Island, most purchase and sale agreements (purchase and sale agreements) for single-family homes are made on a form prepared by the Rhode Island Association of Realtors. The Purchase Agreement is a very important legal document that typically sets forth the sale price, time, date and place of closing for the residential property, financing-based contingencies, as well as many other provisions.

You may attempt to negotiate modifications to this agreement and you are not required to sign the standard form. Before signing the Purchase and Sale Agreement, the buyer should contact a Rhode Island attorney who specializes in real estate law, residential real estate closings, and title law.

This agreement is intended to be fair to both buyers and sellers of residential real estate; however, the buyer should not sign this agreement without paying close attention to all of the provisions, including the following provisions:

1. The contract establishes a certain number of days within which the buyer must request his mortgage. Under the terms of the Rhode Island Standard Purchase and Sale Agreement, if the buyer does not apply for the mortgage, he will forfeit his deposit. Be sure to allow enough days for this request to be submitted.

2. The contract establishes that if the buyer requests a mortgage greater than the amount established in the Purchase Agreement, the buyer will not have the right to obtain a return of his deposit if his mortgage application is denied. The buyer must be sure that the amount entered for the proposed mortgage is, in fact, the highest amount that he intends to request.

3. The agreement states that the buyer must accept the property with any registered easements or restrictions affecting the property. The buyer must read the Rhode Island Real Estate Sales Disclosure Form before signing the Purchase and Sale Agreement. Rhode Island law requires the seller of residential real estate in Rhode Island to notify the buyer of any restrictions or easements. The buyer must review the disclosure form and if the seller indicates that there are restrictions or easements, the buyer must read them before signing the Purchase and Sale Agreement. If the buyer does not understand the legal implications of the restraint or easement, he should contact his real estate attorney.

4. Buyer’s right to a refund of their deposit in the event they are dissatisfied with home inspections, such as physical/mechanical, pest infestation, and septic system, is dependent on the inspector finding a substantially/materially deficient condition that has not been disclosed to the buyer prior to the execution of the Purchase and Sale Agreement. This means that the buyer should carefully read the Real Estate Disclosure provided by the seller prior to signing the Purchase and Sale Agreement to ensure that the seller has not disclosed existing substandard conditions of the property on this form. If deficient conditions have been disclosed, the Purchase and Sale Agreement must be amended to indicate that the buyer may terminate the agreement based on these deficient conditions.

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