What Is a Real Estate Transaction?

A transaction is an agreement between at least two people or parties to sell something tangible by one to the other. As a real estate litigation lawyer in Washington, D.C. from a firm like Eric Siegel Law can explain, a real estate transaction is no different. When it comes time to invest in a home, business venture or a future venture, understanding some of the basic types of real estate transactions may help. First comes the property, and then comes the contract.

Sale Contract

The foundation of a real estate transaction of any kind is the sale contract. This sets forth the description of the property being conveyed from the seller to the purchaser. It contains any kind of stipulation between the parties concerning the property’s condition, whether there is a site inspection and under what circumstances can the transaction be canceled. The purchase price is also stated, as is any deposit.

Residential Transactions

The most common real estate transaction involves the sale and purchase of a home. Residential contracts often involve conditions having to do with ensuring that the home is up to code and whether it can be insured. Buying a house typically also involves a lender who agrees to give the buyer a mortgage. Once a lender is involved, there may be additional conditions before the purchase can be completed. Home purchases may include:

  • Single-family home
  • Condominium
  • Duplex
  • Townhome

Commercial Transactions

A commercial transaction involves the sale and purchase of business property. Malls, stores and apartment complexes are just some examples of a commercial transaction. A real estate transaction involving a commercial element usually occurs between business entities. These contracts are also much more complex and involve various benchmark dates and conditions. For instance, when buying an existing building with tenants, a condition of the contract may be that all leases are terminated or transferred. Commercial real estate transactions may become bogged down by governmental permit requirements and land-use zoning.

Unimproved Land Transactions

Vacant land can become a hot commodity for those looking to invest or build from scratch. The conveyance of a vacant piece of property may seem relatively easy, but this is not always the case. The zoning may become a central point of contention. Easements that encumber the property may force the seller to get waivers or the buyer to purchase the property as-is.

There are local and state laws that may impact elements of a real estate transaction. A real estate lawyer will know how best to handle the entire thing from start to finish. Consult with one before embarking on a purchase or sale.