Real Estate Forms

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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There are two routes to take when it comes to buying and selling and renting real estate. One is to find a real estate agent you both trust and are comfortable with, and turning the whole mess over to her or him. The other is to do it largely or completely on your own, discussing various options and clauses with someone whose legal and real estate judgment you trust.

The second option is FSBO, which means "for sale by owner" and is pronounced "fizbo." It means, of course, that you save perhaps as much as $5,000 or even $20,000 in real estate fees. It also means that you shoulder the administrative responsibilities, which may or may not include financial and bank transactions, but usually does not. Mortgage banking is a complex specialty field. You can handle your own real estate transactions, yet leave the financial components of the deals to the respective mortgage agents.

Real Estate Forms and Transactions

Legal transactions mean legal forms. Real estate transactions are a subset, and thus have their own set of forms. From simple tenant leases to house inspections, to property management, to deed transfers, to sale agreements, to sublease agreements, to escrow transactions, the list of real estate forms is robust and often intimidating. You need to sort out which you need for the transaction you're facing. It's therefore in your interest to choose a reliable vendor that offers not only a good library of articles and resources but an advisory board of sorts that includes attorneys, CPAs, real estate specialists, and other professionals.

A good understanding of real estate terms is critical not only to making good decisions along the way, but to having the appropriate forms for each step of the transaction. Running down the alphabet, we start with appraisals, which are unbiased reports by a licensed professional on the condition of the property. Appraisals are mandatory. Concessions are discounts or other benefits to speed a sale or lease along. Escalations are clauses built into leases. Liens are legal claims on property to satisfy debt.

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