Purchase Contract

Once you have found the house that you are interested in and have researched or obtained key pieces of information about the taxes, school district and utility bills, it is time to make an offer. When determining an offer price consider such items like how long the house has been on the market, how badly you want the house, do you have a close second choice or third choice and how motivated is the seller (estate, divorce etc.).

Once an offer price is determined, your buyers agent or attorney will help you complete the necessary paperwork to submit an offer to the seller. Most sellers will require a deposit check to be submitted with the offer and that check will be held by the seller’s attorney until closing. In most cases the seller will counter offer until an agreement can be reached. Once an agreement is reached, both parties execute the agreement and you are now under contract to purchase the home.

At this point our suggestion is simple; obtain an attorney to represent you during the home buying process. We always recommend utilizing an attorney who specializes in real estate transactions. Your attorney will review the contract and most standard agreements will have an attorney approval period in which the attorney can cancel the contract and get a refund of your deposit check.

Contracts will almost always also call for a home inspection that will give you the right to have a structural inspection performed on the property. Should the property contain any structural defects that cost more than $1500 to repair (any 1 single item, not cumulative), the contract is typically renegotiated or cancelled. Other contingencies may include a pest inspection, well and septic test and a radon test. There is also a financing contingency that allows you to cancel the contract in the event that your financing falls through. Please keep in mind that the contract will spell out an estimated closing date; however this date is approximate and is not normally set in stone.