What to Know Before Buying or Selling

What to Know Before Buying or Selling

At Zapicchi & Liller LLP, we’re dedicated to providing you with the best information about navigating complicated real estate law. Here are some of the most important points to know when preparing to buy or sell a home, which can help prevent future expensive legal battles.

Buying a Home

  • Inspect the house carefully before committing! There may be hidden defects you aren’t aware of that will come back to bite you once you’ve finalized a deal. If the seller keeps a problem from you knowingly, it can be grounds for a suit within a certain period of time. Keep yourself covered early by asking about specific issues you may see, or hire an inspector.
  • Be sure about your closing date commitments if you don’t want to begin the whole process again. If you need to delay for extenuating circumstances, the seller could back out of the transaction.
  • If you have bad credit and are unable to get a bank or lender mortgage, there are still options in purchasing your future home. Some sellers are willing to enter into an agreement by which you would pay them directly over time until the house is fully purchased.
  • Clarify any title discrepancies to ensure you’re purchasing the house from the right owner! Purchase title insurance to protect yourself from future foreclosures in case of a previous mortgage or lien on the house.
What to Know Before Buying or Selling

Selling a Home

  • As a buyer needs to be aware of any defects in a home for sale, it’s the sellers’ responsibility to make those points of potential concern known upfront. Not doing so is grounds for future legal action on charges of fraud. Always be honest and upfront in your disclosures.
  • Latent defects are known issues with your house that the buyer may not notice while checking out the house, such as a leaky roof or a flood-prone basement. This is especially important for those issues which could cause health issues for a resident, including mold and carbon monoxide exposure.
  • Selling a house ‘as is’ does not preclude informing your buyer of the home’s latent defects, and can still hold you liable to a fraud suit if you intentionally withhold information about the problems.
  • The sale contract will often outline the disclosures you must make about your house. Some standard promises often contained in these forms include: that everything is in good working order as could be reasonably expected by its age, that the property is not violating zoning ordinances, and to provide permits for any permit-required improvements made on the property.
  • A few of the major defects that can cause a buyer to cancel on your contract include roof leaks, plumbing or electrical problems, and foundation or structural issues. The buyer has the ability to have a certified inspector look over the property to find such defects. If they exist, you can offer to either fix the found defects or include a credit on the sale for the defects to be fixed later. Any agreements made by this exchange should be added onto the initial contract.
Legal Advice for Buying or Selling a Home

Legal Advice for Buying or Selling a Home

Throughout the process of both buying and selling a home, you want to make sure you’re in the right position to make an investment into your future. Contact us at Zapicchi & Liller today for an initial consultation at (609) 291-9500 to begin planning your next real estate move.

Buying or Selling a Home? Call Zapicchi & Liller, LLP