How long should a real estate contract take?

And so the Steinhardts’ house hunting saga continues…

Well, we found a place we like. We gave the real estate agent a number, he gave us one back and we met somewhere in the middle. So far so good.

He told us that the seller would contact his attorney to have the contract drawn up (in New York, the seller draws up the contract) and have it faxed to my attorney. Well, that was over a week ago, and the contract still hasn’t come in. I’ll be contacting the real estate agent tomorrow to find out what’s going on, but I wanted to get an idea from everyone here if it should take over a week to churn out a standard house-sale contract. To me (and I’m not a lawyer, admittedly), I would think that these things are boilerplate, where all you have to do is fill in the name, address, price and check off the contingencies that the two parties agree to. There shouldn’t really be more than that, should there? And if not, why is it taking so long for them to get the contract to us?

Zev Steinhardt

My experience has been that it takes maybe a day to do this. They use a standard form with a few fill-in-the-blanks. Sounds like either someone is stalling (maybe they’re courting a better offer) or the seller’s attorney is terribly backlogged.

BTW my experience is also that the real estate agents do the contracts, rarely do both parties also need lawyers.

I refer you to my similar question:

I second the “this is boilerplate stuff that should only take a day or so” response. For most home sales, the seller’s agent prepares the contract, which is usually a blank sheet with a list of contingencies and conditions that read “check box if applicable.”

It may take longer to prepare if there’s some craziness in the title or other unusual conditions of sale.

“Actually, the cats own the house. You’d be their tenants!”