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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Look at Real Estate Contracts

What should I look for in a real estate purchase contract?

For many New Yorkers, buying a home can be a dream come true, but one that can become a nightmare without a well thought-out purchase contract. While many real estate agents, whose interest is to close the deal, will provide standard form agreements, you should never sign a contract before speaking to an experienced real estate attorney.

What to Look for in a Real Estate Contract

The first consideration in buying a home is said to be location, location, location, however, you should also be concerned with the condition of the home. Before you even sign a contract, it is vitally important to have the home inspected. You need to know that the structure is sound, and that the heating, electrical, plumbing and other systems are working properly. If there are defects or repairs that are needed, the seller should agree in writing to make the needed repairs.

Once that's out of the way, you need to determine how you're going to be able to pay the purchase price. This usually means obtaining a loan from a bank or a mortgage lender, so any offer you make should be contingent upon your loan being approved. If you are unable to qualify for a loan, or the terms are not affordable, you may be forced to cancel the deal, and without this contingency stated in the contract, you may lose your deposit.

In addition, you also need to verify what fixtures and appliances come with the home. Many first time homebuyers take it for granted that the refrigerator and the elegant chandelier hanging in the foyer come with the home, but this might not be the case. The contract should clearly state that these items along with other appliances and fixtures are included with the home and part of the purchase price.

Lastly, it is also essential to plan for the possibility that the seller is purchasing another dwelling while you are nearing the end of your lease, or also selling an existing home. Your contract should establish a closing date that considers these factors.

In the final analysis, a home purchase and sale contract can make or break a deal, and for this reason, you are well advised to consult with an experienced real estate attorney who can help protect your interests.


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