Mr. Teitle very graciously agreed to write a very informative article to help Home Buyers with an overview of what they can expect, and what they need to anticipate. Please note that this article does not eliminate the need for an attorney, and does not provide guarantees implied or express.
Justin A. Teitle
Attorney at Law
Teitle Law Offices, P.C.
Once you have a fully signed offer or agreement, if you are financing the property, you should immediately get a copy to your lender, as the lender cannot in most cases begin processing your application until they have received it. Ask your lender what, if any, additional documentation they need from you to keep the process moving, and the deadlines by which you need to provide it. The most common reason for closings being delayed is lenders not having authority from their underwriters to actually fund the loan, due to insufficient or untimely information. Lenders are subject to many regulations, and you want to make sure you are not the reason for a delay. This is very important because in most cases, if buyer is not prepared to proceed to closing on the closing date, the agreement allows seller the option to walk away from the deal without consequence. You don’t want to learn that lesson the very painful way, so stay on top of your loan officer with calls or emails throughout the time between signing the offer and closing, to ensure everything is going smoothly according to plan. Our community has many fine loan officers and lending professionals who will not mind when you check in from time to time. Ask your lender when the appraisal will be ordered, and when you will get notice of its completion.
It’s now time to get rolling on your home inspections by contacting a licensed home inspector and/or radon inspector. As a buyer, you always want to be personally present for any inspection, which allows you to ask all the questions you have, so you can learn the most about the home you are about to buy. Once the report is received, be vigilant about remembering to follow the terms of your agreement in giving notice to seller of any deficiencies you are asking to be resolved. Failure to give notice properly or timely can mean waiving your rights to address such deficiencies. In many agreements, if buyer raises deficiencies and seller declines to remedy them according to buyer’s demands, the deal is null and void until and unless a new agreement is reached, and buyer’s earnest money is refunded.
A qualified real estate attorney should speak to you or meet with you personally concerning your offer and the process of buying a home. Your rights are defined and protected by careful drafting of appropriate documents, and competent advice concerning all of your questions. Your attorney should be familiar with local practices and customary terms, and can help you consider the specifics of your options. Going the FSBO route as a buyer doesn’t mean having to rely on finding your own internet forms (which are most often inadequate, and in many cases actually harmful to you), or being presented only terms drafted by the seller’s attorney, which you may or may not fully understand. Given that real estate is the single largest purchase many people will make, taking time and effort to do it right will save you headaches down the line.
Now that you are aware of the next steps to take, you can be better prepared to secure and close on the house you choose from the thriving FSBO market here in the Quad Cities.
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