prepared by Arden Law Firm’s experienced & licensed attorney(s). Our lawyers are licensed in Maryland only.
Licensed real estate brokers have access to form contracts for real estate prepared by attorneys working for the local real estate association (for example, MAR forms for members of the Maryland Association of Realtors). Under association rules, using these attorney prepared contract forms generally require a dues paying member of the association to be a part of the transaction. Parties working without agents (for example, for sale by owner or family sales) often benefit from engaging their own attorney to prepare a legally binding sales contract with necessary dislosures and addendum.
A: Under Maryland law, contracts for the sale of real property (house or land) must be in writing and signed. Oral contracts to buy or sell real estate are not valid. Of course, putting the terms in writing is just the start. Maryland has many different legal requirements for contracts and required terms that vary with the age of the house, who is selling, where the land is located, etc.
A: Generally, it is up to the parties to decide how to allocate transfer and recordation taxes. Seller could pay all, Buyer could pay all, or the parties could split. The default mode is to split 50/50 but parties may negotiate any other term, and this is often adjusted in an extreme buyer or seller market, for example. The only time Maryland law mandates a particular allocation is in the context of a first time home buyer - in that case, 1 of the 3 transfer / recordation taxes is reduced in half and the Seller must pay that half. Transfer and recordation taxes can be signi
- usually several thousand. When Arden Law prepares a real estate contract we’ll be happy to give a quick estimate of the likely transfer and recordation taxes.
A: While the parties can allocate settlement or closing costs as they agree, in most cases the buyer pays the settlement fee in Maryland and the seller pays only the cost of deed preparation and clearing any seller liens. Who pays settlement fees should be clearly spelled out in your contract.
A: There are three (3) different taxes that apply to most sales or deed transfers in this state - 1) a state transfer tax, 2) a county transfer tax and 3) a recordation tax. The state transfer tax is 1/2 of 1% while the other taxes vary by county. But other taxes may apply — for example, there may be capital gains tax. If the seller is not a Maryland resident, they may need to remit a portion of the sales price (8% or more) at the time of the sale (withholding tax).
A: A sales contract is a legally binding document and unless there are built-in contingencies, you may not be able to “back out” of the deal. You are strongly encouraged to review contracts with your attorney BEFORE signing. A contract may give the other party the right to seek “specific performance” or basically force the deal. In some cases, parties can negotiate termination of a contract, often in exchange for some sum of money. If there are contingencies (say financing contingency or an inspection contingency) the buyer may be able to terminate the contract with appropriate notice. However, note that standard MAR contracts may not automatically release the deposit and instead may require both parties to agree to return a deposit.
Our attorney prepared standard sales contract for an existing single family home includes all of the following
consultation with managing real estate attorney
Retrieving most recent deed from Land Records
Attorney-Prepared Contract of Sale
Mandatory State County-Specific Addendum
Relevant Addendum based on situation (e.g., HOA, 1st Time Homebuyer, Lead Paint, etc.)
Looking for a real estate contract to buy or sell your home or investment property?
Arden Law can prepare a Maryland contract of sale tailored to your specific transaction to comply with all state, county and local legal requirements for a reasonable flat fee. If you choose to sell by owner, you don’t need to risk cobbling together a form contract from unknown sources that might not protect you. Our pricing includes all necessary affidavits, disclosures and addendum.
Every contract includes a consultation with an experienced Maryland real estate attorney.
Tailored to comply with each county’s local requirements.
Peace of mind for clients selling property without agents (FSBO) that their contract covers mandatory terms and required legal disclosures.
Up to 1 customized Addendum where requested free of charge
1 additional client requested revision free of charge
Call us weekdays
Monday - Thursday: 9am - 5pm EST
Friday: 9am - 1pm EST
No Cost (free) Preliminary Phone Call of 5-10 minutes
Our stand-alone standard sales contract for the sale of a single unimproved residential lot (without subdivision or other development contingencies)
For residential tenancies (single family home) as an add-on to a lease agreement.
Have an experienced attorney review your Settlement papers
Review of Settlement Sheet & Deed
Review of Contract / Purchase Agreement
Review of Loan Documents
For parties selling without agents, our experienced real estate attorney can offer guidance for the full sales transaction, from offer negotiations, contract drafting and dealing with the varied players (title company, appraisers, inspectors) through sitting down at the settlement table.
Review or drafting of Contract
Estimating Transfer / Recordation Taxes
Coordinating appraisals, inspections and walk-throughs
Review of Lender’s Good Faith Estimate
Pre-Settlement review of Loan Documents, Deed, Settlement Sheet (and any associated revisions)
Representation at Settlement
We offer custom Maryland real estate contracts and forms designed to meet all necessary legal requirements. Our contracts are tailored to comply with each local county’s requirements. Contracts include a one-on-one conversation with our managing attorney.More Info
$0 - Free
No Cost 5-10 Min Phone Call
or email exchange with Attorney.
Private consultation (1 - 1.5 hours) with experienced Managing Attorney. In Person, Virtual or Over the Phone.Schedule
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