CAR Residential Property Purchase Agreements

Understanding CAR Residential Property Purchase and Sale Agreements in California

CAR (California Association of Realtors) residential purchase and sale agreements are widely used in real estate transactions throughout California. These standardized contracts provide a framework for buying and selling residential properties and include various clauses that protect the rights and interests of both buyers and sellers. Understanding the common contingencies and important provisions in CAR residential purchase and sale agreements is essential for navigating a successful transaction. This page aims to provide valuable information about CAR residential purchase and sale agreements, their key components, common contingencies, and other important provisions to help buyers and sellers make informed decisions.

Key Components of CAR Residential Purchase and Sale Agreements

1- Identification of Parties: The agreement identifies the buyer(s) and seller(s) involved in the transaction, including their contact information and legal representation if applicable.

2- Property Description: The agreement includes a detailed description of the property being sold, including its address, legal description, and any other relevant information to accurately identify the property.

3- Purchase Price and Financing: The agreement specifies the purchase price, deposit amount, and details regarding the financing, such as whether it is contingent upon obtaining a loan and the timeline for loan approval.

4- Contingencies: CAR agreements commonly include contingencies that protect the buyer’s interests. These may include contingencies related to property inspections, financing, appraisal, and the sale of the buyer’s existing property, among others.

5- Property Disclosures: Sellers are required to provide certain disclosures regarding the property’s condition, known defects, and other relevant information that may impact the buyer’s decision to proceed with the purchase.

6- Title and Closing: The agreement addresses matters related to title and closing, including the timeframe for obtaining title insurance, the allocation of closing costs, and the procedure for transferring ownership.

Common Contingencies in CAR Residential Purchase and Sale Agreements

CAR residential purchase and sale agreements often include various contingencies that protect the interests of buyers and provide opportunities for thorough due diligence. Understanding the common contingencies in CAR agreements is crucial for buyers to navigate the transaction process effectively and ensure their interests are safeguarded.

1- Inspection Contingency: This contingency allows the buyer to have the property professionally inspected within a specified timeframe. If significant issues are discovered, the buyer may negotiate repairs, credits, or cancel the agreement.

2- Financing Contingency: This contingency gives the buyer a specified period to secure financing for the purchase. If the buyer fails to obtain financing within the agreed-upon timeframe, they may cancel the agreement.

3- Appraisal Contingency: This contingency allows the buyer to request an appraisal to determine the property’s fair market value. If the appraisal comes in lower than the purchase price, the buyer may negotiate with the seller or potentially cancel the agreement.

4- Sale of Existing Property Contingency: If the buyer needs to sell their current property to finance the purchase, this contingency allows them a certain timeframe to sell their property. If the buyer is unable to sell their property within the specified timeframe, they may cancel the agreement.

Other Important Provisions in CAR Residential Purchase and Sale Agreements

In addition to contingencies, CAR residential purchase and sale agreements also contain several other important provisions that govern the rights and obligations of both buyers and sellers. These provisions cover various aspects of the transaction, such as the allocation of costs and responsibilities, dispute resolution mechanisms, disclosure requirements, and timelines for performance. Understanding these provisions is essential for both parties to ensure a smooth and successful real estate transaction.

1- Liquidated Damages: The agreement may include provisions specifying the amount of liquidated damages that the seller can retain if the buyer breaches the agreement.

2- Mediation and Arbitration: CAR agreements often contain provisions requiring the parties to participate in mediation or arbitration to resolve disputes, providing an alternative to litigation.

3- Default and Remedies: The agreement outlines the rights and remedies of the parties in case of default, including potential remedies such as specific performance, cancellation, or damages.

4- Governing Law: CAR agreements typically specify that California law governs the interpretation and enforcement of the contract.

5- Additional Terms and Addenda: CAR agreements can be supplemented with additional terms and addenda, addressing specific circumstances or contingencies unique to the transaction.

Frequently Asked Questions about CAR Residential Purchase and Sale Agreements

Generally, a buyer cannot cancel the purchase agreement simply because they changed their mind. However, there are certain contingencies, such as the inspection contingency or loan contingency, which may allow the buyer to cancel the agreement under specific circumstances.

The loan contingency allows the buyer to cancel the agreement if they are unable to secure financing on satisfactory terms. It provides protection for the buyer in case their loan application is denied or they are unable to obtain financing within the specified timeframe.

Yes, sellers in California are required to provide a Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS) disclosing all known material defects and other important information about the property. This disclosure helps buyers make informed decisions and assess the condition of the property.

Yes, buyers can request repairs or credits from the seller based on the property inspection report. The purchase agreement may include provisions that allow the buyer to negotiate repairs or seek financial compensation for any issues revealed during the inspection.

If the purchase agreement includes an appraisal contingency, the buyer may have the option to cancel the agreement or renegotiate the purchase price if the property appraises for less than the agreed-upon amount.

The timeframe for completing the buyer's due diligence, including inspections, reviewing disclosures, and obtaining financing, is typically specified in the purchase agreement. It is important for buyers to adhere to these deadlines to ensure their rights under the agreement.


Yes, unless otherwise specified in the purchase agreement, the seller may accept backup offers while under contract with a buyer. This allows the seller to have alternative options if the current transaction falls through.

Yes, CAR purchase agreements usually include default provisions that outline the rights and remedies of the parties in case of a breach or default by either the buyer or the seller. These provisions help protect the parties' interests and provide a framework for resolving disputes.

The ability to assign the purchase agreement to another party is typically addressed in the agreement. Some purchase agreements may allow assignment with the written consent of all parties involved, while others may restrict or prohibit assignment altogether.

Yes, it is highly recommended to consult with a real estate attorney before signing a CAR residential purchase agreement. An attorney can review the agreement, explain its provisions, and ensure that your rights and interests are protected throughout the transaction process.

Contact Our Top Rated Real Estate Attorneys

If you are facing a dispute involving a CAR purchase and sale agreement, don’t navigate the complex legal process alone. Contact our top-rated real estate attorneys at Real Estate Law Corporation for expert guidance and representation. With our extensive experience in handling disputes related to CAR agreements, we have the knowledge and skills necessary to protect your rights and advocate for your best interests. Schedule a consultation today and let our team assist you in resolving your CAR agreement dispute effectively and efficiently.

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