What should I be aware of in a real estate contract?

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2022 | Real Estate Transactions | 0 comments

Buying a piece of real estate can be an exciting time for you, so you naturally want to complete the process as soon as you can. Still, no one should cut corners while buying a home, especially when it comes to the purchase contract. This agreement should protect your rights and not obligate you to responsibilities that you do not want.

The Motley Fool explains that real estate contracts contain a rights and responsibilities section for the key parties involved. This section bears careful scrutiny since it may transfer some obligations from the seller to the buyer.

Curing the title

Part of buying real estate is making sure that the title has no defects. You should not buy a house only to later discover that another person has an ownership claim to the property. Curing a title means to clear any defects that would deprive the seller of the full rights to sell the property. However, if the contract gives you the responsibility of curing the title, you would have the burden of resolving claims to the home instead of the seller.

Assuming responsibilities for housework

Some home buyers are fine with renovating or repairing a home after buying it, but if you do not want the responsibility for repairing the property, make sure that the contract does not absolve the seller of any duty to repair the residence. Additionally, the seller may have contracted a company to repair the home but has not paid for the work. Check to see if the contract will make you liable for unpaid contracting bills.

Similarly, make sure that the contract will not make you responsible for unpermitted home repairs. This is when the seller carries out renovations without a permit. You might end up on the hook for a large fine if you are the homeowner when the government finds out about the unauthorized work.

Check single sentences in a contract

The problem with real estate contracts is that they may contain several passages of boilerplate only to include a significant provision in a single sentence. Missing just one line in a contract could cause you to agree to something like a purchase price that is more expensive than you intended. Consulting with a legal professional may be of benefit before you sign a purchase agreement.