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Offer to Purchase

It’s exactly the right property; you’ve got great plans and can’t wait until it’s yours!

You set things in motion by signing an Offer to Purchase.  In Massachusetts, agreements to buy or sell real estate are not enforceable unless in writing.  Typical components include; the purchase price; a description of the property; expiration date of the Offer; the date for execution of the Purchase and Sale Agreement by both buyer and seller; a specified date when the parties shall transfer title; language regarding whom shall hold the deposit; and space for any additional provisions.

Is the standard Offer to Purchase a legally binding document? In Massachusetts, the premise of a decision relevant to whether a signed document constitutes a binding agreement centers on the determination of what the parties intended. An Offer stipulating all material terms pertinent to the sale, and revealing an intention to be bound, is an enforceable document. If, however, material terms remain still to be negotiated before proceeding to a Purchase and Sale Agreement, the same document would be viewed as non-enforceable.

It is interesting to note that an Offer can be considered binding even if it states that the parties “shall sign a standard Purchase and Sale Agreement.”  Therefore, it behooves both the buyer and seller to resolve all potential problem issues prior to negotiating the Purchase and Sale contract.

In the end though, as always, the combination of your attorney’s sound counsel and the guidance of an experienced real estate professional will prove invaluable to all of your real estate transactions.