Free FSBO Contract: A Purchase Agreement like TurboTax

A hand signing a real estate contract. For Sale by Owner.

by Homepie | Published Feb 4, 2021 | } 10 Minutes

A residential purchase agreement is a binding contract that outlines all the terms and details of a home sale. This includes things like the selling price, the closing date, and an earnest money deposit. The contract is typically provided by the seller’s agent and then signed by both parties.

A real estate contract isn’t only beneficial; a written purchase agreement (or deed) is actually required by law to transfer the ownership of real property.[1]

This typically includes contingencies allowing a buyer to do their due diligence and ensure the transfer of clear title.

If one doesn’t have an agent, finding paperwork for selling a house by owner isn’t easy.

While there are many ways to obtain a purchase agreement, the process can be costly and time-consuming. But new advances in tech are providing simplified and streamlined solutions to such challenges that homeowners face.

Why List Your Home For Sale by Owner (FSBO)?

Let’s backup for a minute and see why more and more people are choosing to sell their home without an agent.

In California, approximately 437,500 homes were sold last year. Nearly 90% of those were sold with the assistance of a realtor. The average selling price was $524,000. While some agents charged upwards of 8%, the average real estate sales commission in California during the same period was just over 5%.

What that means is that the average California home seller who used the services of a realtor to sell their home lost more than $26,000 in equity to commissions.

That’s no small potatoes by any measure.

There’s an awful lot the average Californian homeowner could do with an extra $26K. Most people worked hard for that equity, putting in plenty of hours, dollars, and elbow grease to increase the value of their most valuable asset.

As a home seller, you have every right to sell your house privately and without the help of a real estate agent. You can opt to sell it “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) instead. But it makes you wonder, doesn’t it, why don’t more people sell their homes themselves?

FSBO Contract & Paperwork

The truth is, it takes work to sell a home and selling FSBO doesn’t come without challenges.

You can’t just put a sign up in your yard and expect the offers to come rolling in. You need to do your homework on matters like comps, or comparable sales, so that you don’t price it too high or too low.

You’ll have to market your property. That might sound easy, but it’s not.

And then there’s the seemingly endless flow of paperwork. Oh my, the paperwork. There’s so much of it. From purchase agreements and contracts to inspection reports and required legal compliance documents. Make a mistake in the paperwork or compliance, and you could face legal or financial repercussions.

But the paperwork is necessary, and it all starts with the Purchase Agreement. This contract outlines the terms of sale, agreed upon timelines, financing information, inspection allowances and ensuing obligations, title clearance, and legal disclosures.

A seller and buyer holding a FSBO contract with a house in background.

Where does one even begin? Head to the bookstore or even your public library and you’re bound to be overwhelmed by all the information you find. Internet search? Even more confusing. Which forms do you really need? How do you use them? And who has time for all this research and paper pushing?

Yes, it can be difficult and time-consuming.

Real estate agents should be fairly adept at navigating the ins and outs of real estate contracts. But they aren’t legal experts any more than you are. And they can and do make mistakes.

Where Can I Find a Purchase Agreement?

There are many ways to obtain a residential purchase agreement for California. It mostly comes down to time, money, and convenience. Here are some options.

  • Hire a real estate lawyer. One option is to hire a real estate lawyer to prepare and review all documents signed. But as you can imagine, attorney fees aren’t cheap. Many charge by the hour, but some prefer a flat rate. Either way, you’re probably looking to spend $500 to $1,500.[2]
  • Download a PDF form from the internet. There are many sites online where you can simply pay to download the form. However, you’ll need to cancel those dinner appointments and carve out a decent amount of time to know how to complete them. Consider the fact that selling and buying a home is enough stress to deal with. Juggling that transition along with studying the intricacies of legal forms might just push you over the edge.
  • Ask your buyer’s agent. If the buyer is represented by an agent, you could request that the agent provide the contract. But there’s a huge potential problem here. The California Real Estate Purchase Agreement that agents use has a ton of nuances. There are upwards of 50 different fields where agents can sneak in various terms that only benefit them and their client. Lastly, it takes an inordinate amount of time and effort to sort through. If you decide to use the agent’s contract, it’s highly recommended that you have a lawyer review it.  Note: Some agents may try to force you to use their contract, but you can insist on using your Homepie contract instead – the one that was written with FSBO sellers in mind.

The Best Place to Find a FSBO Purchase Agreement

If none of the above options get you too excited, there’s something new to consider. But first, dream with me for a minute.

Imagine a place like Zillow, where a buyer could find your property and make you an offer. You’re able to decline, accept, or counter every offer you receive. To make things incredibly easy, the software asks a series of questions to both buyer and seller to help both parties reach an agreement. Think TurboTax, but for real estate.

Then, best of all, the software takes all the purchase details and agreed-upon terms and automatically generates a purchase agreement for you.

And it’s free.

Sounds too good to be true? Well, the great news is that it’s available right now for California homeowners. You can list your home, manage your sale, and utilize the real estate contract generation feature without spending anything. All this is available and more at homepie.com.

eSign Your Purchase Agreement

Homepie.com is a free and commission-free real estate selling platform created to help you through all facets of the home-selling process.

The platform comes with all the tools you need to sell your home successfully, and the most valuable tool it provides is its contract creation tool. Agree to the sale and it will auto-populate an instant purchase agreement.

No need to wait for an agent to draft anything. Even better, you won’t need to download and print a phone book size contract. It’s all done electronically.

As the first and arguably most important step in selling FSBO, it’s critical that your Purchase Agreement be letter perfect. You can rest assured, knowing the form available on homepie.com was developed by California real estate attorneys for use in the sale of homes in California. Once signed by all involved parties, it is legally binding.

The digital Purchase Agreement is perfect for standard, residential scenarios, ensuring that even as a FSBO seller, you have covered all the bases. And, should you have any questions or run into any issues, support is always available via the chat button located on every screen of the website.[3]

In addition to offering an easy-to-use, specially drafted eSign Purchase Agreement, Homepie offers a free marketplace for both homebuyers and sellers that allows sellers to list their home in minutes.

Homepie delivers an all-in-one solution for any Californian who desires to sell on their own without a realtor. No longer is there any need to go it alone.

Two hands signing a FSBO contract digitally with a computer

Paperwork Management at Your Fingertips

It’s a fairly well-kept secret in the industry, but it’s not the agent you hire who is managing or completing all the paperwork.

After a real estate contract is signed, an agent typically hands over everything to someone known as a “T.C.” or “transaction coordinator.” They facilitate the smooth completion of your sale.

After the purchase agreement is signed, a transaction coordinator begins working behind the scenes to ensure all contractual obligations and deadlines are met.

The good news is that you can hire a transaction coordinator yourself on homepie.com. Not only is it a weight off your shoulders, but receiving that dedicated support provides peace of mind. As many relieved sellers have noted, it’s worth every penny.

The Best Solution for Real Estate Contracts & More

As the first free marketplace for homes, homepie.com is transforming the real estate industry and provides numerous features and services. That way you can conveniently manage your home sale all in one place.

Built-in features provided as a part of this commission-free platform include:

  • Property Listing
  • Offer Management
  • Value Estimate (helps you to price your home)
  • Guided Negotiation (like TurboTax)
  • Instant Messenger (to chat with buyers)
  • Identity Verification (to screen buyers)
  • Roadmap Tracker (to guide you in the selling process)
  • Contract Generator (that instant Purchase Agreement!)
  • Live Support

In addition to these free features, there are many affordable upgrades to help you sell effectively. Essential add-ons like photography, MLS marketing, transaction coordinator support, and more are just a click away.

This robust marketplace is here to show sellers that yes, it is worth it to go the FSBO route. And now you can handle every part of the process, from listing through closing, on your own.

Homepie is creating a real estate revolution, and you are invited to join and free yourself from high commissions. Get started by creating your free home listing today.
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[1] Legal Dictionary. “Statute of Frauds.” Accessed Feb. 4, 2021.

[2] Investopedia. “What Does a Real Estate Attorney Do?” Accessed Feb. 4, 2021.

[3] Please note that Homepie employees are not attorneys and cannot provide legal advice. For specific legal questions, homepie recommends you consult an attorney.

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