Buying or Selling a Home
The purchase agreement is a written contract which is binding upon both the buyer and the seller. If there is something that is important to you, it should be contained in the purchase agreement. At a minimum, the purchase agreement should contain the property description, price, earnest money (refundable or nonrefundable), personal property which the seller should leave, financing, title, and inspection contingencies, dates for closing and possession, and tax and cost allocations.
If you are a buyer, you may want to meet with a lender prior to searching for your new home. Your lender will help you understand your anticipated mortgage payments, applicable interest rate, and the funds which will need to be escrowed. As a seller, you will want your prospective buyer to be “pre-approved” for a loan in amount stated in the purchase agreement.
The seller typically is required to provide a title insurance policy to the buyer insuring marketable title to the property. The title commitment will list all of the recorded documents which affect the property including easements and restrictive covenants. These documents should be reviewed carefully. A survey is often recommended and will help protect against boundary disputes with neighboring property owners.
Your home is one of your most valuable assets and you should carry home owners insurance which typically covers damage to the property as well as general liability.
Typically, it takes around 45 to 60 days to satisfy all of the conditions and prepare for closing. At closing, the seller will deliver a warranty deed and each party will sign the closing statement — showing the allocation of costs and distribution of monies.