Today's Real Estate market is unreal; and while deals aren't moving quite as fast as they were just a few months ago, we're still seeing a lot of movement. As such, it's even more important to stay vigilant when it comes to real estate contracts. Yes, hiring a real estate agent is critical in navigating the process, but there are a few more items or contingencies that you should be aware of and include in your real estate contract before locking into a 30 year loan. With that in mind, today we'll discuss 3 more Real Estate Contract Must-Haves.
1. Specify Any Fixtures and Appliances You Want to Include in the Real Estate Contract
Fixtures and appliances aren't always included in the sale of a home. In fact, if you want them, you need to ask for them. This includes the refrigerator, dishwasher, washer and dryer, stove, oven, and any other fixtures you may see as you're touring a property. Once you choose to make an offer on a home, it's important to specify exactly what should be conveyed should the owner accept your offer. Verbal agreements are not valid. In fact, assuming that a fancy chandelier would be left behind may leave you walking into a house without one at all.
Therefore, if you like the window coverings, ask for them. Want the crystal chandelier? Ask for it. Don't want to buy new appliances? Ask for them. Likewise, if you want to bring in your own appliances, specify that as well.
2. Establish a closing date to complete the purchase transaction in the Real Estate Contract
Closing dates are typically 30 45 or 60 days from the start of the sale, but can be shorter or longer depending on other circumstances. For example, if the seller is also looking for another home, they may either request for a later close date or choose to enter a rent-back agreement which gives the seller extra time to live in the home after closing.
Occasionally, we find that either a buyer or seller wants to close in two weeks or less. However, the circumstances surrounding this type of transaction are rare as it's usually difficult to process the necessary paperwork in such a short amount of time.
3. If you need to Sell an Existing Home - make a Contingency Offer
Finally, if you currently own a home and will need the funds from the sale of that home in order to buy your new home, your real estate contract should be written as a purchase offer contingent upon the sale of your existing home. However, that offer should not be left open-ended. Make sure that you provide a reasonable timeframe in which you'll sell your home before your purchase offer expires. Typical timeframes are 30 or 60 days.
Don't be Afraid to Walk Away From a Home
There are obviously many other things that go into putting together a thorough real estate contract. However, these are typically addressed using a standardized, fill-in-the-blank form that covers all the bases. That said, if you feel as though something is missing from your contract, be sure to add it. And, before closing, you'll have a chance to review the entire contract. Make sure that thoroughly read over this agreement before signing.
We know all too well how easy it can be to fall in love with a home, but it's really important to protect yourself as well, especially in today's housing market. Just because inventory is low does not mean that you should forfeit any of these contingencies. In fact, it could cost you! If any of the above are not met, you can cancel the deal and keep your deposit - but you have to write it into the contract.