Selling a house by owner is tricky and requires a lot of patience and extensive paperwork. Home sellers in Maryland choose FSBO because it helps save money on the listing agent’s commissions.
To ensure a successful FSBO home sale in Maryland, you must be mindful of getting the listing paperwork right. Here’s a detailed guide on how to draw up a For Sale By Owner Contract in Maryland.
What Does For Sale By Owner Contract Mean?
An FSBO contract is a legitimate document. It contains information to safeguard your legal rights.
Home sellers in Maryland choose a sell-by-owner arrangement to avoid hiring a real estate agent and save on the 6% real estate commission.
How to Sell a House By Owner in Maryland?
When selling a home For Sale By Owner, MD, the home seller is tasked with all the listing agent’s responsibilities. FSBO sellers in Maryland consider getting their homes inspected prior to selling them.
» Selling a House in Maryland: Learn more about homes for sale by owner in Maryland.
Who Writes the FSBO Contract In Maryland?
In a conventional house sale, the seller’s realtor or agent would prepare the papers and assist with the negotiations. If you’re selling your property alone, you might be curious about the procedure.
Once you start receiving buyer’s offers, offer negotiations begin, and the contract is drawn up. Usually, a real estate attorney does it.
1. The Buyer’s Agent
You can also choose the buyer’s agent to act as your agent. A transactional agent does the task for you. They are also known as “Dual Agents.” In this scenario, the realtor will act as a third-party person and will not negotiate for either of the parties.
If you choose to do so, the cost of drawing up the paperwork will be added when closing the sale. There might be a chance that the agent’s commission would land on your plate, so make sure you ask to split the cost in the initial stage itself. However, few states prohibit the Dual Agent concept.
2. A Real Estate Attorney
Hiring a real estate attorney can be an option for drafting a Maryland real estate contract For Sale By Owner. Having an attorney by your side can be helpful. They provide professional guidance and ensure the contract is legally binding for both parties.
A real estate attorney charges around $322 an hour.
» Real Estate Attorney: Learn the role of a real estate attorney in a home sale
3. A Limited-Service Listing Agent
A limited-service real estate agent is cheaper than a traditional agent. They provide limited services at lower costs, but most of the property owners do not go in for this option. With a limited-service real estate agent, you will spend more than saving as you will handle most of the tasks yourself.
4. The Home Seller
Many property owners are unaware of the starting point for drafting an FSBO contract in Maryland. Many sellers search online for contract templates.
Drafting a For Sale By Owner Maryland Contract yourself can be difficult as many states require a realtor to draw up the contract. Title companies and escrow companies provide different Maryland FSBO contract templates.
» Selling a House As Is in Maryland: Read further to know more about selling a house as is in Maryland.
What’s Included in Your Home For Sale by Owner Contract, MD?
Selling a house without a realtor in Maryland means looking into all the details yourself. This means that from listing your home on MLS till the closing date, drawing up the contract is a part of it. Most home sellers aren’t familiar with this document and its inclusions.
» Sell your house: 7 things you need to know for condos for sale by owner.
|# No||FSBO Contract Inclusions||Description|
|1||Contract Title||Highlights purpose of the FSBO document|
|2||Names of Home Seller & Buyer||Mentions full names of both parties|
|3||Contract Date||Contains the date of execution|
|4||Property Details||Shows FSBO property location, description, etc|
|5||Payment Terms||Explains the terms of payment in full|
|6||Method of Payment||Specifies the mode of payment of both parties|
|7||Contingencies||Timeline and conditions of the event|
|8||Closing Date||Details of the closing date, location, time, and place|
|9||Signature Block||Space at the end to place the names and signatures|
|10||Property Disclosures||Discloses all the material facts|
1. Contract Title
Every document requires a title given to it explaining what the document intends to deliver. You can name it “Real Estate Contract.”
2. Names of Home Seller & Buyer
Add the full names of the parties to the contract. Later, you can refer to them as buyer and seller in the contract.
3. Contract Date
The FSBO contract shall mention the date of execution. The contract also specifies further dates by which both owners must proceed with the sale. In some FSBO contracts, there are fines for missing deadlines.
4. Property Address & Description
This is the most crucial part of drafting the contract. You need to be specific with the details of your property. Mentioning the entire property address is very important, and its legal description should be added. Now, you must start specifying the appliances you wish to carry with you or plan to leave them as is. Be as specific as possible. Do consider the below points.
- Appliances include a refrigerator, washer, dryer, toaster, etc.
- Home Decor includes decorative items such as wall art, figurines, table accents, etc.
- Furniture includes closet doors, shelves, sofa sets, etc.
- Any kind of yard or garden fixtures.
5. Terms for Payment
Because purchasing a home is a big investment, funding and payment shouldn’t be left up to chance. The buyer and seller should be transparent about their financial situation and clearly convey their expectations. Explain the terms of payment in full. You should include the following in your payment terms:
- Purchase price of the house
- Earnest money deposit
- Payment of the remaining amount
- Property taxes
- HOA fee and payment rate for the current year
6. Method of Payment
Maryland For Sale By Owner Contract contains the entire amount payable for the real estate property (the amount payable excludes the earnest money deposit). At times, the buyer is expected to make a full payment towards the home sale. Otherwise, the buyer may enter into a contract stating the amount for monthly installments for the home value.
In essence, a contingency clause allows parties in the FSBO contract the option to back out from the contract under specific future conditions that must be agreed upon by the buyer and seller. There are some common contingencies to the FSBO contract:
💲 Financing Contingency: This contingency clause gives the buyer the right to back out of the contract on failure to obtain financing within the specified time.
However, if the buyer fails to get a mortgage from the lender, he is supposed to inform the seller within that time. Failure to do so will make the buyer liable under the contract to purchase.
🕵️♂️ Inspection Contingency: The buyer gets your home inspected by a professional home inspector within a specified timeline. If the inspector reports any major defects in his report, then the buyer may ask you to repair them, or they might even terminate the contract.
🏡 Home Sale Contingency: A home sale contingency gives the buyer a specified time for selling their previous house to raise funds for the new property. This clause protects the buyer. If their house doesn’t sell for their asked price, the buyer can back out from the contract without breaching the contract terms.
» Best Month to Sell a House in Maryland: Know exactly when is the best time to plan a home sale.
💯 Appraisal Contingency: If the seller’s property is not appraised for the minimum specified amount, this condition safeguards the buyer. The buyer reserves the right to terminate the agreement; on rare occasions; even the earnest money is refunded.
The contingency clause contains a timeline and conditions as to the event of a contract. If the buyer fails to inform the seller about the appraisal report within the given time frame, then the buyer has to buy the property at a price initially agreed by both parties.
» Average Cost of Home Appraisal in Maryland: Read further to know how much is an appraisal in Maryland.
8. Closing Date & Procedures
The house for sale by owner contract is completed when it contains all the details of the closing procedure. The details related to the closing date, location, time, and place have to be mentioned. This acts like a deadline for the buyer to keep their finances ready. Changes in the closing details must be made by making amendments to the contract and filing it along with the remaining paperwork.
» Sell House Fast Maryland: Know How to Sell Your House Fast in Maryland!
9. Signature Block
Leave space at the end of the contract to place the seller and buyer names and signatures. Make sure to review your state laws to cover all bases in your FSBO contract.
10. Property Disclosures
This is also an important part of your For Sale By Owner Maryland Contract. The seller must disclose any issues the property might have that may adversely affect the property’s market value. If you fail to disclose any material defects in your property on the Maryland sellers disclosure form, chances are that you may face lawsuits in the future. Some states also provide a standardized disclosure form.
» How to Sell Your Own House in Maryland: Read further to know more about how to sell a house by owner in Maryland.
Disclosure Forms in Maryland For Sale By Owner
A Maryland Realtors (FR) form, such as the Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase or the Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase “AS IS,” is typically used by Maryland house sellers or their real estate agents.
The parties’ rights and obligations regarding inspections and the state of the house are where these two forms diverge most. A seller may be relieved from some obligations regarding the state of the house under an As-Is contract in Maryland. In contrast, the buyer may be entitled to bargain for a price reduction for some repairs under the Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase.
» Seller’s Mandatory Disclosure Statement Maryland: Understand the seller’s disclosures required in Maryland.
Checkout the Best For Sale By Owner Websites
We have summarized the best FSBO sites for you, these include paid and free websites too.
Reviews: America’s Best FSBO Websites
We’ve reviewed the best paid and free For Sale By Owner Websites in 2022
Any of these items must be present for the Maryland real estate contracts for sale by owner to be regarded as legitimate and legally enforceable. A FSBO real estate contract in Maryland must include at least this fundamental information in writing to be valid.
Other details, such as information about the property’s condition and occasionally contingency conditions based on obtaining financing or finishing an acceptable property appraisal or inspection, are typically included in most contracts. “Handshake transactions” or agreements without this information are not enforceable or legally binding.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who draws up the contract in FSBO Maryland?
The seller draws up the For Sale By Owner contract in Maryland.
2. How long does a seller have to back out of a FSBO contract in Maryland?
Maryland law does not give sellers a statutory right to cancel a contract for any kind of reason. A seller may only cancel a contract under a very restricted set of circumstances, so be careful to seek legal advice from a professional.
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