Should a surveyor be employed to locate the improvements on the property and confirm that there are no encroachments onto or from abutting properties? Who should pay for the cost of the survey? If there are issues that will affect the title, what remedies are listed in the contract?

If a loan is to be obtained from an outside lender, who will pay the loan closing costs? There are usually local customs as to which costs are paid by the buyer or the seller, but it is better to make this explicit in the contract.

Can the buyer cancel the contract and obtain a refund of the deposits if the buyer is denied a loan, and, if so, under what conditions?

If termite damage is found, will the seller have to pay the cost of repairs and treatment? If so, is there a limit?

What are the zoning regulations, or other restrictions, on the use of the property?


Should the purchase be contingent on any outside matters such as the availability of financing on acceptable terms or the sale of the house that you currently own? 

Whose responsibility is it to pay for the real estate broker?

Whose responsibility is it to pay for governmental special assessments that arise before closing? What is payable after closing? What about homeowner or condominium association assessments? Are the appropriate HOA addendums completed? Does the contract allow time for you to review any and all applicable bylaws?

How long should the buyer have to inspect the property?Does the seller know of any defects?  Has a written disclosure or denial of any defects been completed?

William A. Brightwell IV

21 S Tarragona St.

Suite 103

Pensacola, FL 32502


Buying a home may be the biggest single investment of your lifetime. Your life's savings may be invested in this one venture. Thus, it is extremely important that you, the prospective buyer, understand what you are signing when you sign the contract to purchase a home. It is also very helpful to understand the closing process and terms you will encounter during this process. For your protection, you may need to consult a lawyer before you sign a purchase contract. Not all lawyers have experience in reviewing real estate contracts, so be sure to ask about the lawyer’s experience.  In the videos listed below, I will review some of the key areas that are important for you to know, when purchasing a home in Escambia or Santa Rosa Counties.

What is the time within which the offer to purchase should be accepted or refused? Is the date of such acceptance to be vital to the offer?

If your offer is accepted, what steps should be taken with respect to insuring the improvements to protect you, the prospective buyer, pending the final closing? Who should be required to sign and accept the offer to make it binding?

Are boundary lines properly specified? If not, will such deviations result in cancellation of the contract? Are timber, mineral and water rights, if any, properly covered? Who is responsible for paying property taxes?

What are the remedies if the buyer or seller defaults?

One of the first documents given to a prospective buyer by a real estate agent/broker is the purchase and sale agreement or contract.  Few people realize that this paper is the most important step in purchasing a home; the details of this agreement determine the terms of your purchase. There are several items on the contract that you need to make sure you understand before you sign the contract. I will go over some of the important items, but make sure to ask your REALTOR® to explain them, or you are welcome to give me a call, send me an email, or come by my Pensacola office.

William A. Brightwell IV

Items to Look for in a Real Estate Sales Contract (4)

A real estate transaction is the process whereby rights in a unit of property (real estate) is transferred between two or more parties, e.g. when a buyer purchases a house from a seller.  It is often be quite complicated due to complex property rights being transferred, the amount of money being exchanged, and government regulations.

At West Florida Law PA, we assure the desired property rights are being transferred and that the seller owns the property rights.  While this process can be complex, it is very enjoyable due to past experience and the results of the property transfer.  If you are buying, selling, or leasing property rights, contact us at West Florida Law PA and we can help ensure the transfer is done correctly and provide a weekly update as to the status of your transaction.

The Contract of Sale

Items to Look for in a Real Estate Sales Contract

Items to Look for in a Real Estate Sales Contract (3)

Items to Look for in a Real Estate Sales Contract (4)

Introduction to Buying a Home

Items to Look for in a Real Estate Sales Contract (2)

Is the seller to furnish you with a good, marketable title? If not, you may be purchasing the property even though other people may have previously asserted claims to all or some of the property, or there may be claims that have been brought by those involved in construction or remodeling of a home.

Which kind of deed should the seller give? Be sure to discuss the difference between a warranty deed and quit claim deed. If you are taking title either as a trustee or as joint tenants with right of survivorship, be sure that you understand your obligations thereunder.

Who selects the escrow agent and who pays for the title insurance for the property in the event the offer is accepted?

Have utilities been installed and paid for? Are the utilities ready to transfer on the closing date?

The Pensacola Law Firm That Ensures Your Interests are Met


Real Estate Transactions

Florida Real Estate Transactions are my favorite type of law.  I refer to it as "Happy Law."  This is because, when I do my job correctly, everyone leaves happy.  A buyer is buying the perfect home for them, a seller is obtaining the money they need to buy another home, retire, or the like, and a REALTOR® will receive a paycheck.  Everyone is happy. 

Exactly what land, buildings and furnishings are included in your offer?  Are the window treatments, fixtures, the stove, outbuildings, refrigerator and the like included? Which items are excluded? 

It is not always easy to know whether something is being sold with the home. 

Confirm the agreement you sign lists the correct property address, legal description and/or parcel identification number that corresponds to that listed on the deed. 

What payments are due under the contract?  When can you take possession? If other than the date of closing, is there an Occupancy (pre or post) Agreement?