Is This a Legally Binding St. Louis Real Estate Contract?

Real Estate Agent with The Fisher Group / ReMax Results

Modern technology is a wonderful thing, creating easy "connectivity" between people all over the nation.  But it's also causing problems in many areas, and buying St. Louis  real estate is one of them. 

Here's the problem: Many people selling St. Louis homes and condo's  may live in another city or state. In this case, negotiations may be conducted over the phone, through email, via Yahoo conversations - some even use Twitter for real estate deals and information. 

At the same time, this also means that legal documents may be passed through email, uploaded to a website for easy viewing or through any number of other online methods. PDF documents, for instance, have become a very popular way to pass on legal forms because they're easy to fill out, don't have to printed, etc. 

As the buyer, you can't afford to take the seller's word that they've accepted your position - especially through email. For instance, a buyer recently had a home sale fall through. The seller accepted the terms through email, told the buyer that the seller had signed the contract and sent it on to the agent. Somehow, even though the buyer was positive the contract had been agreed upon, the house was sold to another buyer. 

Although laws change from state to state, it's always best to have the contract in printed form, with an actual signature - in ink. Without the actual contract, all you have is an email. Although emails can be legally binding, they don't hold a candle to having the printed and signed contract in hand. 

Here are a few tips to make sure your housing purchase goes off without a hitch: 

  • Meet in person - This may be a difficult prospect, especially if the seller lives out of state. However, if you can't meet them in person, their agent should at least be local. Meeting with the home seller's legal representative (i.e. Real estate agent) is the next best thing. 
  • Get it in writing, and get it in print - Who wants to wait for the post office to deliver a paper contract when you can get it from an email? Well... you do. Yes, it might slow the process of buying a house and closing the deal, but so will having the seller back out. 
  • Verify the important points - Make sure you and the seller really do agree on the terms of the contract before you put your signature on it. You, or preferably your buyer's agent, should go over the contract with the seller's agent who should go over it with the seller.

 It's a great time to buy St Louis real estate, but don't let technology lose you the contract. Cross your t's and dot your i's - on paper! 

If you're looking to buy a home or condo , I'll make sure all those t's are crossed and i's are dotted for you. Call me at 314-630-4227 or email me at for more information. 


Link to your twitter page or link to: 

Emails can be legally binding 

Process of buying a house


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Ralph E. Fisher III

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