Estate Service Times...Two”
properly written contract sets forth the terms of the sale and protects
the interests of both buyer and seller.
The contract specifies the terms of the sale and the rights and obligations
of the buyer and the seller. A well-written document protects both parties,
while a poorly drafted contract can cause serious problems.
it in Writing
Oral agreements are usually difficult or impossible to enforce,
so if you've negotiated your purchase verbally make sure to have contracts
signed as soon as possible.
Always make sure that any contract you sign has an attorney review
clause that allows you time (at least three business days - preferably
five) to review the document and have it checked out by your lawyer
if you feel it is necessary. Many states specify a mandatory review
period, whether it is specified or not, but don't take any chances -
make sure it's in writing. This gives you the chance to make sure all
bases are covered before you are committed.
an Attorney or Escrow Company
In some areas it is standard practice to retain an attorney to handle
the closing. In others the norm is to have the title or escrow company
handle the transaction. If you do hire an attorney (which is a good
idea), try and find someone local who specializes in real estate closings.
An experienced real estate attorney can help you move quickly to closing
and sidestep any problems or oversights. If you are using an escrow
company, make sure that they have a solid track record.
Make sure that the buyer's contingencies
are reasonable and that the time allowed for any required activities
or testing (i.e. obtaining a mortgage, home inspections, etc.) is not
excessive. Reasonable contingencies are an essential part of a fair
and balanced contract - just don't let the buyer take advantage of you.
About Deeds and Title
The deed is a legal document that transfers ownership of the home. There
are several types of deed that can be used for your transfer, as well
as a number of special provisions that may apply. Your attorney or escrow
agent can answer any questions you have on title and deeds.
Your Deposit Obligations
The contract should specify the due dates and disposition of earnest
money and deposits. Typically a small amount is posted at the signing
of the contract with the balance of the deposit (usually 10% of the
purchase price) due within 1-3 weeks. Make sure that the deposit monies
are posted as required - they are your primary security in the deal.
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