What is the purpose of a real estate sales agreement?

UPDATED: Jan 8, 2012

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What is the purpose of a real estate sales agreement?

The city told the landlord he has 48 hours to register our house or it will be condemned. The landlord told us that we have to sign the sales agreement or we will be homeless. He refuses to register the house with the city because he doesn’t want the house inspected as a rental property. I don’t know what to do. If I sign a sales agreement what does that does that mean for me? Will I legally own the house? Or will I be responsible for the taxes and such but without the rights of owning the house?

Asked on January 8, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Okay.  This question obviously deals with specifc laws and ordinances with in your state, city or county.  generally speaking, I would sign nothing unless and until an attorney has reviewed the document with your best interests in mind.  The sales agreeemnt presented to you is obiously a sham and an attempt by the landlord to circumvent the law and show that he is selling rather than renting.  It would be a contract for sale and you would be subject to the terms as would the landlord. No, you would not own it nor would you be reponsible for upkeep or taxes unless in the contract.  Seek legal help. 

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