First, see an attorney before you sign an agreement. It is much easier to negotiate a deal or avoid a disaster before signing than it is after. Before signing an agreement for the purchase or sale of real estate, there are many things to consider. These are a few of them:
For the buyer’s protection, the seller should warrant that everything is in good working order, such as plumbing, air conditioning, heating and any appliances that are to be left in the home after the sale.
Are there any previous restrictions on record as to the use of the property by private covenants or agreements, such as home owners associations? or deed restrictions? As the buyer, you need to know what you can and cannot do to the property.
Many times properties are restricted by what, if any, building can be done on the property. Prior agreements, or covenants or municipal restrictions may apply to the property and it is buyer’s right to know these. There may be requirements that a new buildings have a minimum square footage, minimum set backs distances from roads or streets or boundary lines. Some places restrict the erection of fences or hedges along edges of properties.
A provision should be made as to who is responsible for any damage or casualty that occurs until the agreement is signed at closing.
Many things are considered contingencies: If my house sells… if my loan is approved… if my company transfer is approved. These should be specified in the contract so that if something does or does not occur as stipulated, either party may terminate the contract.
Federal law requires that the seller of any house build prior to 1979 must give the buyer disclosure regarding lead-based paint. Failure to provide this notice may mean the buyer can terminate the contract
Utilities, taxes, rent, special assessments are all items that are subject to pro-ration at closing. For example, if the closing is in the middle of the month on an apartment building, chances that are the tenants have already paid rent for the entire month and the buyer would be entitle to a portion of the proceeds.
Is there mold in the house? Is there a water problem in the basement or the crawl space? Is there a leak in the roof? Is the plumbing sound? Ask these questions before you buy.
Has the property ever been used for chemical production? For example, was it ever a meth house? Because of the possibility of chemical contamination, the buyer will want to know this.
If the property is undeveloped, make certain you have water to your property.
These are only a few of the things you will need to look into before you sign an agreement. For more information, call your attorney or visit the folks at Nancy Chandler Associates, REALTORS, licensed in Norfolk, Virginia and they can put you on the correct path to buying or selling your property.
By Karen Vertigan Pope
Karen Vertigan Pope writes for Ciniva Systems, an award winning Virginia web design company. Ciniva specializes in web design and SEO. Ms. Vertigan Pope is an SEO Specialist with Ciniva. Ciniva Systems is in charge of SEO for Nancy Chandler Associates.