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Hillside, IL 60162

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Buying A Home How To Protect Yourself

Posted on in Real Estate
buying-a-home-how-to-protect-yourself

Buying a home is likely the biggest and most complex transaction you'll ever make. Though most home sales work out well, some do not and result in costly disputes. There are easy ways, however, to reduce the chance of problems. Here are tips.

  • The Contract. When you find the home you want, you will submit a written offer. If accepted, it becomes the contract. Although the offer will likely be on a pre-printed form with much small type, it's vital for you to read and understand it before signing, as it covers all aspects of the purchase, including the sale price, deposit amount, inspection and repair requirements, and how disputes are resolved.

    Even though the offer is on a pre-printed form, remember that all terms are still negotiable. Thus, it's a good idea to have your lawyer review the document before you sign it. Your lawyer can make sure there are provisions to protect you, including:
  • A mortgage contingency clause. This gives you the right to cancel the deal if you are unable to get a loan.
  • A home inspection clause. This lets you cancel the deal if an inspection shows serious defects. If there are minor problems, make sure the contract states if the seller will fix them or you're to get a credit and do the work yourself.
  • A "sale of other home" clause. This lets you cancel the deal if you cannot sell your own home.
  • A list of items included in the sale. When you buy real property, you're buying the land and everything attached to it. But problems can result if the seller takes things you thought belonged to you. To avoid disputes, be sure the contract states all items included in the sale. Don't rely on oral promises from the seller, as they are hard to enforce.
  • Title Insurance. "Title" is your ownership, and your right to use the property without other people saying they have rights in the property. Before you buy a home, seek legal help to make sure you're getting clear title so you can use the home without interference and later sell it without problems. You should also buy a title insurance policy. This protects you from problems in the chain of title, such as liens or forged deeds. It pays your losses if someone makes a claim.
  • Inspections. Have the home inspected by a professional. Although many states now require sellers to make full disclosure about the property, sellers are usually not liable for defects if they really were unaware of them. Also, sellers may not think some problems are serious enough to warrant disclosure.

With home sales rising in many places, you may be tempted to rush into things without paying attention to details. But if you take steps at the start - by making sure the contract has provisions to protect you in case of problems, ensuring you are getting clear title, and having the home professionally inspected - you can likely avoid future problems.

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