Q & A: Everything That You Need to Know As a Buyer Before You Go To Closing

If you’re a seller, you aren’t going want to be stuck in the middle of a real estate transaction without knowing the answers to the following questions. Here are some questions that may affect the purchase of your new home or sale of the old one that you might want to ask your real estate agent or attorney.

How important is it to have a certificate of occupancy?
A CO is a piece of paper that indicates that the city or town has approved any construction on the property. It tells the buyer that it has been properly completed according to the building code and is safe and habitable. It has become an especially important issue for mortgage lenders who may turn down the loan if there is any construction on the property that doesn’t have proof of this certificate. 

If I change my mind and don’t want to sell the house, do I still my agent commission?
In general, if your agent brings to you a buyer that is prepared to make a full-price offer, the real estate agent is entitled to a commission even if you change your mind and decide not to sell your house. After you’ve signed the sales contract, you may even owe the buyer something if you back out. For example, the buyer may have sold his house and put his furniture in storage in anticipation of moving.

Do I get an inspection done before or after signing the contract? Does it matter
If you get the inspection done before signing the contract you can easily walk away from the deal if the inspector finds any problems with the property, but you run the risk of losing the house to another buyer while the inspection is being done. Read: Questions to Ask Before Making an Offer on a Home – FOX Business. If you have an inspection contingency placed in the contract whether or not you can get out of it depends on the specific wording of the contract.

If I’ve made an offer and the seller already accepted it, can they turn around and accept an offer higher than mine if they receive one?
An offer and acceptance is really not binding until a written contract is signed by both the buyer and the seller. Although negotiations are often conducted verbally or by e-mail, real estate agents want to get the contract signed as soon as possible to lock the deal in place when negotiations are complete. See: 7 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home – Bankrate.com.

If I’m a seller, do I have to let the buyers move in before closing?
Many things can happen even up to a few hours before closing that can wreck a deal. After they move in, they have protected rights. If the sale falls through, you would now be faced with an eviction proceeding that can be complicated, long, and expensive, depending on where you live.

Are there any deed restrictions on the property?
Deed restrictions are placed in the deed and can restrict how you use or what you do on your property. These restrictions often go beyond the local zoning laws in controlling the use of your property. For example, you might not be able to put vinyl siding on your home or use the property for a home business even though the local government laws might allow you to do those things. It’s important to know about deed restrictions early because they may affect your decision to buy the property.

If something goes wrong, will I get back my deposit?
The deposit will most likely be held by the attorney or real estate broker representing the seller. They are under obligation to get the seller’s permission to release the funds. Be prepared for a major fight if you don’t meet the exact wording of the contract in claiming your deposit. Make sure you pay careful attention to the wording in the contract, follow all the dates, and have everything in writing. Read on to find out how What to Do Before Making an Offer – Trulia

2 thoughts on “Q & A: Everything That You Need to Know As a Buyer Before You Go To Closing

  1. If you are in the process of buying a house, and are about to put down the earnest money, please be sure that you have no hesitations about the home. I changed my mind, and the seller would not give back the money. Understand, that certain parts of the contract forbid you from getting the money back. Just remember that earnest money is a DEPOSIT. Just like when you give a deposit for almost anything, you aren’t getting it back if you change your mind. There are exceptions to this, but just be sure you want the house.

  2. Sellers should be very cautious as to when they tell the buyer that they can move in. This is a date that has serious ramifications if it is changed. Buyers plan on that certain date. They set up movers, sell their house according to that date, and many other things. Don’t put the buyer out!

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