How to write up a purchase agreement.

Whether you’re a home buyer, a real estate agent, or just looking to sell personal property, explore what makes a purchase agreement different from a sales contract and what to include in yours.

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What is a purchase agreement?

Also known as a sales contract or a purchase contract, a purchase agreement is a legal document that establishes the parameters of the sale of goods between a buyer and a seller. Typically, they are used when the value is more than $500. They can be used in any type of transaction for nearly any kind of product, though most commonly found in real estate transactions and the transfer of property. Real estate purchase agreements outline the purchase price of property and other conditions for the transfer of property.


Purchase agreements are generally reserved for more complex transactions, like a home sale, as it may include a description of the property or how the down payment will be paid. Both buyer and seller must sign it for it to be a binding contract. At that point, payments can be made and the sale of the property can be completed, according to the sale agreement’s conditions. For more straightforward transactions, a simple bill of sale or receipt should be sufficient for your records.

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How to use a purchase agreement.

Either party, the buyer or the seller, can prepare a purchase agreement. Like other contracts, it can be created from a purchase agreement template or the entire agreement can be customized and decided upon after back-and-forth negotiations between the two parties. If other conditions are negotiated at a later date, an addendum can be added containing these guidelines.


A crucial element of a purchase agreement is that it be signed by individuals who have the legal authority to make it a binding contract. If either party is a sole individual or works for themselves, they can sign the agreement. If the sale is associated with another type of company, like a corporation or an LLC, you will need an executive’s signature to make your sales contract legitimate. Seek legal advice to be sure you have the right representative’s signature.

Types of purchase agreements.

Often, purchase contracts start as purchase orders between buyers and sellers. A purchase order is a buyer’s request to a seller that specifies the details of their particular order. If and when the seller accepts the order, it becomes a binding contract.   


There are four primary types of purchase orders: standard, planned, blanket, and contract. The difference between them depends on the amount of information known when the order is made. Beyond these four categories, your purchase agreement can be as unique as your transaction or project. Learn what the necessary components are, and then customize your own to your liking.

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What’s in a purchase agreement?

Be sure to fully state both party’s responsibilities, as the only way to get out of an agreement is by breach of contract. Purchase agreements must be clear and specific in the way they outline the conditions that each party must meet to complete the transaction.



A standard purchase agreement includes:


  • Identity of buyer and seller, including names, contact info, etc.

  • Description of the property, including quantity

  • Purchase price

  • Type of sale

  • Terms of how and when payment will be made

  • Terms of how and when goods will be delivered

  • Effective date

  • Signatures by both parties



Optional details include:


  • Any amount that is to be paid as an earnest money deposit, or a down payment

  • Any warranties the seller makes about ownership and possession of the property

  • Any warranties the seller makes about the quality of goods or their suitability for their intended use

  • Consequences of default or the failure to follow through by either party

  • Any disclosures required by law



Real estate purchase contracts include:


  • Financing terms like interest rates

  • Who is responsible for closing costs

  • Home inspection results

  • Closing date

  • Contingency clauses

  • Any repairs the seller is responsible for

  • Declaration of environmental hazards by seller
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Send or sign digital purchase orders with Adobe.



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Come to an agreement.


With Adobe Sign, you can personalize your purchase agreements, whether you’re the buyer or seller. Create your own or use a template in Adobe Spark that suits your sale. A comprehensive purchase agreement can help both parties understand what’s expected and avoid costly mistakes for complicated transactions.


Edit and manage agreements with Adobe Acrobat Pro DC with e-sign

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