“Purchase and Sale Agreement” is the fancy term used to describe a contract for the purchase and sale of real estate. Other terms for such a contract include Earnest Money Agreement and even Real Estate Contract (although technically here in WA that last  one is something different).

Like any contract, a Purchase and Sale Agreement imposes obligations on the parties (the seller to sell, and the buyer to buy). The contract is born when the offer is signed by both parties and shows that everyone agreed to the same terms. It is for this reason that the parties initial and date any change to an offer. Once the signatures and initials show that everyone is in agreement – POOF! – the contract springs into existence. It is then sent to escrow, title, and any lender, and those people all follow the instructions as stated in the contract to close the transaction.

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