As the housing market and the economy continue to recover across the country, including here in Texas, you may be among the many people ready to purchase a home. In fact, you may discover that you aren’t the only one looking to buy a particular home. Perhaps your realtor told you to put in a good offer and get it in quickly.
The problem with that is that it may not afford you the time you need in order to thoroughly review, understand and negotiate the terms of the purchase contract, called a One to Four Family Residential Contract here in Texas. Did you know that you don’t have to blindly sign the first draft of the contract handed to you? There are certain points of that contract that you may want to negotiate in order to ensure that you start the transaction on the right foot.
You may want to negotiate the following terms
In many cases, the first draft of the contract you receive will more than likely outline the seller’s best case scenario. You may find that you want to change one or more of the following terms:
- Personal property that stays in the home
- Excluded fixtures
- The amount of earnest money
- Time periods for the following: Submission of seller’s disclosures, inspections and appraisals, loan approval, closing escrow, offer acceptance, releasing contingencies and possession
- Dispute resolution
- Liquidated damages
If you fail to pay close attention to these terms, you could find yourself losing out on purchasing the home, paying out more in the long run or stuck with a home that turns out not to be what you thought.
You may want to negotiate the following fees
The purchase price often is only the beginning of the money you will need to pay in order to get into the home of your dreams. If you aren’t careful, you could end up paying for or paying far more than you intend for the following fees:
- Inspection reports
- Title insurance
- Transfer taxes
- Mandated state disclosures
- Escrow fees
- Homeowners’ association documentation and transfer fees
In some cases, the seller may attempt to make the buyer pay for all of these fees, and this list doesn’t even account for other closing costs and commissions.
You may want to enlist some help
The realtors and seller involved in the transaction may try to push you into signing a contract before you are satisfied with it. Considering the amount of money that you are obligating yourself to when you purchase a home, you should feel as though you can take the time to understand what you are getting into when you sign. Real estate purchase contracts often contain numerous pages in which important points can get lost. You may find it helpful to enlist the help of legal resources in your area to make sure that you receive the best deal possible.