HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF WHEN BUYING A HOME



How to protect yourself when buying or selling a home.


Most people get nervous when buying or selling a home. But, that's normal because a home is usually our biggest financial asset. As a buyer, you don't want to over pay and as a seller, you don't want to sell too low. So, how can you make sound investment decisions that will make you feel good for years to come?
 
The best way to protect yourself is to be proactive throughout your real estate transaction. The details and paperwork can be so overwhelming that it's easy to become passive. Instead you should get active and be involved in the process! You're the only one who can make the important decisions that will affect the course of your home purchase or sale.
 
Unless you are a real estate expert and have a lot of free time, you'll probably have to rely on various real estate professionals to assist with your transaction. They may include real estate agents, mortgage lenders, home inspectors and escrow officers. Hire the best team of professionals you can find. If you have a complicated tax or legal question consult with your accountant or attorney, as well.
 
Be sure that your team keeps you completely informed about your transaction. You want to know about problems as soon as they come up. Some professionals think they're doing their clients a favor not giving them the bad news. It can be disastrous to find out too late about a problem that could have been solved if you'd known about it sooner.
 
Request copies of all the important documents you'll be signing in advance. Then, you'll have the time to read and understand them. And, be sure to keep copies of your paperwork in a special folder for future reference. If there's anything in the documents that you don't understand, ask your real estate professional for an explanation.
 
The purchase agreement is the basis of a solid real estate transaction. It should be completed carefully to properly reflect the obligations and responsibilities of the parties. Various contingencies will be included to protect both the buyer and seller. Contingencies may include financing, home inspections, title and HOA document review. Buyers - don't remove your contingencies until you're confident that they have been satisfied. Sellers - get all contingencies removed in writing as soon as possible.
 
Most buyers make a deposit when they enter into a contract to buy a home. The purchase agreement should specify what happens to the deposit if the sale is not completed, or if contingencies are not satisfied. Sellers - get a sizable deposit from the buyer and remember that it's not at risk until all contingencies are removed in writing.
 
Most home buyers and sellers use the Internet to help buy and sell homes. Remember that Internet advertising is not regulated, so don't rely exclusively on the information on the Internet. Verify all critical information for yourself.
 
Buyers - be diligent and seek answers to every question you have about the property you're buying before you complete the transaction. This includes having the property thoroughly inspected. Both parties may want to keep a transaction log or diary of events that occur during the home purchase or sale, including a record of important phone conversations.
 
FINAL THOUGHT:  Be realistic about the closing process. Real estate transactions are complicated and rarely are hassle-free. There are bound to be unexpected frustrations along the way. By being careful and staying involved in the process, your real estate transaction will close on time, as planned, with a minimum of frustration.



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