How to Avoid Costly Legal Mistakes
Buying or selling a home involves a complex legal process that requires attention to detail. Even subtle legal details can turn into major problems if not handled correctly. Therefore, it is essential to be informed about the legal issues to protect yourself during the process. In this report, we identify three of the most common legal issues that can cost you thousands of dollars.
Choosing Reputable Professionals
Before delving into the legal issues, it is important to choose reputable and experienced professionals to represent your interests. When selecting your real estate agent, ensure that you find someone who has extensive experience with the process. They should also refer you to a local real estate lawyer who can ensure your interests are protected.
3 Legal Issues That Could Cost You Thousands
- Survey Clause
Home buyers have the right to add a survey clause to the real estate contract on the home they wish to purchase. If your survey is not up-to-date, the buyer may request an updated survey, and the home seller may be required to bear the cost to have a new survey prepared. This process typically runs anywhere from $700 to $1,000. An experienced real estate agent should provide you with a survey, and it is up to the buyer to decide if the survey is acceptable. Your agent should be able to advise you appropriately when dealing with this issue. Still, if you or your agent are unsure, you have the right to consult your lawyer before signing the offer.
- Home Inspection Clause
The inspection clause should read that the seller has the option to fix any items that the home inspection flags. This wording protects both the buyer and the seller. The buyer is assured that the home they are buying meets objective structural standards, and the seller is protected against the whim of a buyer who changes their mind. Not all contracts will be written in this way, so make sure you are working with a lawyer experienced in real estate matters to ensure your interests are protected.
- Swimming Pool Clause
If the home you are buying or selling has a swimming pool, there should be a specific legal clause that addresses this costly item. Some contracts are written to provide a warranty to the pool to survive closing. The broadness of this wording protects buyers but is not necessarily in the best interest of sellers. Instead, sellers might request that the clause be worded to indicate that, at the time of closing, they believe the pool to be in good working condition.
By being aware of these and other legal issues and by seeking advice from an experienced real estate professional and obtaining legal counsel, you can protect yourself against unnecessary cost and potential hardship.