Real estate transactions are regulated by federal laws, and by legislation and jurisprudence. The requirements established by federal regulations generally vary considerably from state to state.

Real estate agents are hired as representatives of a seller to locate a buyer of the property. The agreement can be open, in which the agent earns a commission only after finding a buyer, or exclusive if the broker is the only agent who is entitled to the commission to find a buyer. In private agreements, the broker may be entitled to payment even in cases where the seller discovers the buyer without his help. Brokers and real estate sellers are licensed and regulated by state law. Professional organizations can also establish additional guidelines.

Law Federal Equal Access to Housing (Federal Fair Housing Act or FFHA, for its acronym in English) prohibits discrimination in real estate transactions based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

The general principles of contract law regulate the sale agreement between the buyer and the seller of real estate. Fraud laws require that real property contracts be made in writing.

In general, real estate contracts require that the title of property for sale be tradable. This means that the seller must have proof of the claim of the ownership that is selling, and there should be no third parties with hidden interests on that property.

The buyer employs a lawyer or an insurance company of real estate titles to investigate that the title of the property is marketable.