Your first step should be to seek out experienced professionals who can inform you about the traps and represent your best legal interests. Begin with an experienced real estate agent to guide you through the initial hoops. Your agent should be able to recommend a reputable real estate lawyer to assist you in the legal matters involved in the purchase or sale of a home.
There are countless legal details involved in a real estate transaction, but some can be larger problems than others. We’ve outlined two legal clauses that are commonly misunderstood and can cost you money when they are not worded correctly. Handle these carefully ensure a successful real estate sale or purchase!
- Home Inspection Clause
Real estate transactions can be sabotaged simply because of the wording of the home inspection clause. This clause originally said that buyers have the right to withdraw an offer if the home inspection yielded any undesirable results. However, this was known to backfire when buyers took advantage of it, using some non-issue in the inspection as an excuse for changing their minds. It was unfair to sellers who had poured time and money into what they believed was a sure deal. They not only could have missed out on other offers in the interim, but their home could unfairly be considered a “problem home.” In addition, the seller would now have to shoulder the expense of continuing to market the property. All of this adds up fast.
To avoid this potential problem, the clause should be reworded to indicate that the seller has the option of repairing any problems the inspection might indicate. With this small change in wording, both buyer and seller are protected.
To ensure this clause is fair to both the seller and the buyer, work closely with a lawyer with experience in real estate transactions and all the nuances that can affect the outcome of the transaction.
- Survey Clause
Home buyers have the right to add a survey clause to the real estate contract on the home they’re interested in purchasing. If you are the seller, be aware that if you have added an extra room to your home or a pool to your property since the last survey was produced, your survey will no longer be considered up-to-date and the buyer may request that a new one be drawn up-at your expense. The price of this process could be anywhere between $300 and $800 depending on the nature of the property.
Your real estate agent is responsible for providing you with the most recent survey of your home. The buyer then has right to decide if it is acceptable. Experienced agents should offer you reliable counsel if an issue develops with this clause, but it is advisable to talk to your lawyer if you’re at all unsure of the potential ramifications. Keep in mind that the wording of the Survey Clause can cost or save you thousands of dollars.
This article alerts you to two of the many contract details that can potentially cost you money and even you to lose the sale of your home. Consult with your agent or a lawyer to avoid these two traps. We have many more articles with similar information that can help you avoid potentially costly mistakes, and they are all available to you at absolutely no cost.