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:
Generally, an easement is a right of way to cross or use someone’s land. Easements can be for roads, utility lines, etc. Do you need an easement to get to your property? You do not want to find out after the sale that the only way to get to your property is via helicopter. Also, does someone have an easement across your property? A week after you buy your property, will the power company come in and cut down all your trees to put up high tension power lines? A search of public records can reveal this information or your attorney will look it up for you.
Are all of the boundary lines well established and agreed upon on every side of the land? Did you ask your potential new neighbors where if they agree with the location of the property lines. If there is a disagreement, settle it before you sign so you can avoid a lawsuit later.
A survey is essential in determining the boundary lines. Once the stakes are in place, check with your neighbors to make certain they agree with the placement. Also, who pays for the survey has to be decided before you sign.
Zoning ordinances are designed to restrict the use of the property. Is the property properly zoned for what you wish to use it for? If you want to open a store, you will have to make sure the property is zoned for business and if not, then the sale of the property should be contingent upon zoning changes.
Liens and Judgments
Sellers have a responsibility to pay off any liens or judgments prior to closing or at closing; they have to have enough funds to pay for any liens and judgments. As a buyer, you should have an attorney or title company perform a title search and if liens or judgments are discovered, you will want to make certain that they are paid either prior to or at closing.
The buyer should make certain that the agreements makes a provision that if you cannot get a loan to finance the property for any reason, then you will be able to get out of the agreement and have your down payment refunded. If you are the seller, you will have to get a release of any mortgage against the property unless the buyer is assuming the mortgage.
Before signing a contract, the buyer should inquire about the cost, location and availability of utilities. If there is a building on the property already, ask about previous utility bills. If the property is undeveloped, are there any difficulties in obtaining utility services to the property?
If you are the seller, and you have termites, get rid of them and repair any damage. If you are the buyer, it is your right to demand a termite inspection and if termites are found, the seller needs to take care of them. If there is any damage, the seller needs to repair it before the sale of the 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.