When buying a home, it’s important to obtain certain disclosures from the seller as part of your offer. While you may have toured the property and inspected it, the seller has lived in it and has years of knowledge about the home. Disclosures will help you find out any adverse conditions that may have a significant impact on your decision to purchase the property, such as problems with the house, the property being located in a hazardous area like a flood or noise zone.
If you have an agent representing you, obtaining these disclosures is typically automatic. However, some states do not require individual sellers to provide this information, and banks selling foreclosed properties may also not provide disclosures. It’s crucial to include obtaining these disclosures in your offer as time is of the essence when purchasing a home.
Condition of the Property
The last thing you want when you assume possession of your new home is to find it in a total mess. Therefore, you should make it clear in your offer that certain minimum standards are required. If you do not, you might find out the seller or neighbors have begun using the back yard as a trash dump, or something worse – and you would not be able to do anything about it.
Some of the requirements you might want to include in your offer are that the roof does not leak, the appliances work, the plumbing does not leak, that there are no broken or cracked windows, the yard has been kept up, and any debris has been cleared away.
In addition to the appraisal and termite inspection, it’s essential to hire a professional inspector to thoroughly examine the property for potential issues. As a buyer, you may not be experienced enough to detect certain problems that a professional would easily spot. Even if the seller is not obligated to make repairs, you will be informed of any potential issues that could impact your decision to purchase the property.
The seller will likely want this inspection done quickly, so it’s important to schedule it as soon as possible. Once you receive the inspection report, take the time to review and approve it. If you’re not satisfied with the report, you can negotiate with the seller on repairs and who should cover the costs. Alternatively, if you’ve included timetables in your offer, you can cancel the purchase without penalty.
Allow a maximum of ten to fifteen days to receive the report and five days to review it.
Final Walk-Through Inspection
Before closing, you will want to revisit the property to ensure it is in the condition you have required in your offer, and to inspect that any required repairs have been performed. You should do this no sooner than five days before you intend to close. Make sure this right to do a final inspection is included in your offer to purchase the home.
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