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  Writing the Offer--Concerns.

Writing an Offer - Concerns About the Property

Disclosures

Although you have toured the property, looked at the walls and ceiling,
turned on the faucets and played with the light switches, you have not
lived in it. The seller has years of knowledge about his or her home and
there may be some things you want to find out about as quickly as
possible. For this reason, you will require certain disclosures as part of
your offer.

Basically, you want the seller to disclose any adverse conditions that
may have a substantial impact on your decision to purchase the home.
This would include any problems with the house, whether the property
is in a flood zone, a noise zone, or any other kind of hazardous area.

If you have an agent representing you, this is almost automatic, but
many states do not require individuals selling their own home to provide
you with this information. Often they do not require banks selling
foreclosed property to provide these disclosures, either. Obtaining
these types of disclosures should always be a part of your offer, and
time is of the essence.

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.

Home Inspections

Besides appraisal and the termite inspection, you should also have a
professional go through the house and seek out potential problems. Of
course, you will have inspected the home, but you are not used to
looking at some things that a professional will find. Even if they are not
things the seller is expected to repair, at least you will have
foreknowledge of any potential problems.

The seller will want this inspection performed quickly, so that you can
approve the results and move forward with the purchase. Once you
receive the inspection, you will want to allow yourself sufficient time to
review and approve the report. If you do not approve the report, you
may negotiate with the sellers on which repairs should be performed
and who should pay for those repairs. Otherwise, you can cancel the
purchase without penalty, provided you have included timetables in
your offer.

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.

copyright 2000 by Terry Light and RealEstate ABC

 

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