Reading Your Real Estate Contract

BETHESDA, Maryland. When you sign any contract, it is important to understand what you are signing. Failing to understand your real estate contract can lead to serious consequences and even lost money. For many people, the purchase of a home is one of the largest purchases you’ll make. Most people cannot afford to lose money, such as security deposits or down payments. To avoid a costly loss or risk signing away rights unwittingly, you’ll want to make sure you understand the terms of your real estate contract. If you are in the process of purchasing a home or real estate, you may want to consider hiring a real estate lawyer like the Law Offices of Michael E. Gross in Bethesda, Maryland. What are some terms you should know as you read over your contract?

  • Inspections. Generally, buyers have a certain amount of time to inspect a property before buying. You can accept a property “as is” or you can hire an inspector to look over the property within an amount of time specified in the contract. In general, after an inspection, you can ask the seller to repair the property or offer a lower price. According to com, if the seller meets neither of these demands, you as a buyer have a right to terminate the contract.
  • Title Search. A title search allows a buyer to confirm that the property is actually owned by the seller and isn’t compromised in any way.
  • Earnest Money or “Good Faith” Money. If you are serious about buying the home, you may be asked to put up money to show your seriousness. When you do this, the home may be taken off the market. Sellers will ask for this money as insurance so that they do not lose out on time on the market due to bad faith buyers who back out. However, if you do need to back out for any reason, the seller will generally need to prove that they suffered a loss in order to keep your earnest money, according to the Washington Post.
  • Effective date. The effective date is the day the contract comes into effect. Why is this important? It starts the clock on all the deadlines you have to perform inspections or get the home appraised.
  • Sellers are required to disclose problems with the property. Failing to disclose problems can be considered fraud.
  • The closing is the time when everyone goes to the table to finalize the sale. Realtors, buyers, sellers, and your real estate lawyer will all meet. You’ll pay for the home and receive the keys.

Real estate contracts can get complicated. Before you sign, you’ll want to make sure you understand what you are signing, what your rights are, and what your responsibilities are. If you have questions about a real estate contract, visit http://grossesq.com/ today to learn more about your rights and options. We can review your contract, interpret it with your best interests in mind, and help you make sound decisions.


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