When you're looking at properties, the last thing you want is to be locked into a purchase that you know you don't want to make. For that reason, most potential buyers are very specific when choosing the property they want and the contract they're satisfied with.
A real estate contract can bind you to the purchase of a property, but you have the opportunity to insert clauses to protect yourself. For example, you could agree to purchase a property as long as the inspections come back without major problems. You could also add clauses that allow you to back out for any reason so long as you pay a fee to the seller.
Why is a real estate contract so important?
Without a real estate contract, many people would get taken advantage of. A person wanting to buy a house could find out that it's not in good condition but already be locked into the purchase. Or, the seller might agree to sell the property but later decide that they don't want to do so and be unable to back out of the sale.
Real estate contracts protect your money. By giving you the opportunity to back out of a purchase, you're able to decide if and when a purchase is right for you within a fair amount of time for the seller not to suffer losses. You'll have several opportunities to back out of the purchase if you find that the property was not what you expected.
Our site has more on real estate and what you should look for in the right contract.