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
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.
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.
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.