Let’s face it, buying or selling a home is a complicated undertaking and involves a lot of moving parts. As a result, there can be several legal issues that can (and sometimes do) arise as the result of buying & selling a home. Residential real estate is a complicated process. When transferring costly property from one party to another, there are many details that must be properly addressed in order to avoid any legal issues. Armed with the right knowledge, both buyers and sellers can avoid costly mistakes, some of which could add up to thousands of dollars.
Most buyers purchase title insurance but they do have the right to to have a survey clause added to the real estate contract on the home they wish to purchase. If you are selling your home and your survey is out-of-date (a swimming pool has been added, for example), then the buyers have the right to request an updated survey. This could cost up to $1000 but it could also be a deciding factor in the deal going through.
Second, you will want to be careful when it comes to the wording of the inspection clause in the contract. There are examples where the buyers of the home have used the wording in the inspection clause as a means of rescinding their offer on the home. A well-crafted inspection clause should be worded as such that the sellers have the opportunity to “fix” any issues found in an inspection. It could prevent the sellers from using the inspection as a “way out” of the contract. Should a buyer suddenly have a change-of-heart on the property, they could theoretically use the inspection clause as an “out”. This could cost the sellers a huge sum of money, not to mention the time it would take to put their house back on the market.
If a swimming pool is present on the property in question, it is important to ensure that the proper wording is used in any ‘swimming pool clause’. These types of clauses are meant to help provide some protection to the buyers but a well designed clause in effect protects sellers as well from any costly bills.
One of the best ways to deal with legal issues when buying or selling a home is to use a real estate professional. Be sure to ask lots of questions and make sure your interests are being addressed.
When it comes to any legal issues or questions, feel free to contact me. Advice is always free!