Purchase & Sales Attorney
In the life of each of us, often the most important contract we ever sign is that for the Purchase or Sale of a home. Unlike contracts for services, or even the buying or leasing of a car, the Purchase or Sale of a home involves many tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. Yet often, no one other than the purchaser or seller ever reviews for both accuracy as well as content of the contract, usually complete on a forms available through a real estate broker. Unless the Purchaser retains a Buyer s Broker, the real estate agent involved is working for the seller.
Although most real estate professionals are honest individuals, a Seller s agent is not obligated to investigate the property or to disclose more than the Seller tells him about, leaving it to the Purchaser to take all reasonable steps to have all aspects of the property fully inspected by qualified and experienced Inspectors for such items as structural integrity, electrical wiring, usability of the water, septic and heating systems, the existence and extent of water damage, mold, and pest infestation.
Unlike Building Inspectors employed by the government – State or county – there is no license required for one to engage in the business of inspecting for home buyers. So, one can only rely upon quality referrals, and hope for the best.
If the Purchaser intends to make use of the property in other than as a Residential property, it is incumbent to check with local zoning officials. For instance, should one plan to have a multiple family use, if the area is zoned single family only, the intended use may not be allowed to the displeasure of the purchaser. Equally, if the property lines are not well marked, a survey may be appropriate to be certain, for instance, that the intended garden spot is not on the neighbor s property.
If a Seller, it is important to address the financial ability of a proposed Purchaser to complete the transaction. If the Purchaser says that he wants to finance with a mortgage, require a Commitment with in a short period of time. Ideally, you may say that you will only consider an offer if the Purchaser is Pre Qualified, a condition rarely required. And ,if the Purchaser says that he will pay CASH, require documentation to confirm that he has the cash available. In any case, require a reasonable earnest money deposit to protect yourself in the event he decides to not close the transaction, without having legitimate reason to do so. If the price is substantial, a Purchaser simply changes his mind and there do not appear to be other persons ready to step up to buy the property, a Seller has the option to file suit and, potentially, obtain a court order requiring that the sale be completed.