Updated: Dec 28, 2021
Buying or selling a home can be confusing. For some people this could be a once in a life time event. Here are a few tips to help protect you when it comes to signing a contract.
First and foremost, NEVER sign any contract without reading the entire document. A contract is a binding agreement between two (or more) parties which the signer is legally responsible for. If you are not sure about something, do not hesitate to ASK! There is never a stupid question and no one should expect you to understand all the legal terminology. Once the document is signed, it means that it was read and understood.
Second, completely read all of the property disclosure form but don't assume that all the information is true or accurate. Some sellers may only know when the septic was installed because that's what the previous home owner told them. The property disclosure form can give you some tips on specific things to have the home inspector look for.
Third, if you are the buyer, make sure all inspections are conducted in a timely manner. If you need an extension, be sure to request for one. Always choose an inspector that is reputable and working for YOU, not the seller or the realtor.
Fourth, make sure all negotiated personal property that is included or exculded is listed in the contract, even if you consider it a small item. Be sure anything agreed upon verbally or with a handshake is written down. If you are not including your great-grandma's handmade Italian lace curtains, be sure to list them as excluded items. Invaluable heartbreaks are easily avoidable by following this rule.
And lastly, always be prepared. Buying or selling a home can seem hectic at times. Have all required documents such as tax records, property receipts, dates of updates/repairs, paycheck stubs, and bank account numbers organized and easily accessible prior to listing or looking for properties. This will help reduce undue stress when you are asked to provide the needed information in a timely manner.
Do everything you can to make your home purchase a great experience!