HOME BUYING LEGAL TIPS
It’s finally looking like SPRING and it’s time for home buyers to start getting serious. Fifty percent of homes are sold during the summer, according to Realtors, so now is the time to start looking, if you’re thinking of buying a home this year.
If you are looking to purchase a property, consider that this is likely the largest and most significant transaction you will ever make in your life! So you’ll want to do your research and use an attorney to help you avoid costly mistakes. Unlike some states, Pennsylvania does not require that buyers involve a lawyer in the house-buying transaction. Laws of ‘real property’ are unique and raise special issues of practice and problems not present in other transactions, therefore, it’s best to have an attorney help you.
THREE THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT BUYING A HOME:
- PRESENTING YOUR OFFER – Once you’ve found your dream home, you’ll present your offer in a written contract, also called a purchase and sale agreement. The seller’s agent can help you draw up the contract, but, unless you’re working with a buyer’s agent, you will want to get legal help in preparing this purchase and sale agreement. Have an attorney review the proposed contract before you sign it.
- FINDING A MORTGAGE – You’ll most probably need a lender to help you finance your purchase, which may be a challenge depending on your income and credit history. The best place to start is with your current bank or credit union.
- SETTLEMENT – Before you close on your home, sit down with your attorney and review all the documents that you have to sign and exchange with the seller.The Closing process, where ownership is transferred can be confusing and complex and may include the buyer, seller, their respective attorneys, the title closer, an attorney for the lending institution, and the real estate agents. There may be last minute disputes about delivering possession and personal property or cost adjustments, such as fuel and taxes. Be sure to have an attorney with you at settlement to ensure your rights.