RE/MAX Advantage I



Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 12/16/2020

Photo by Mohamed Hassan via Pixabay

Buying and selling real estate is a complicated process that takes time. Because you are making a life decision and dealing with strangers, you should always have a valid purchase contract. Real estate agents use a standard contract, but the buyer and/or seller may make changes to that contract. In making changes, be careful not to make the contract invalid.

A Valid Contract

Four elements make up a valid contract:

  • You must have an offer. In real estate, this is the party purchasing the real property.

  • You must have consideration. This is something of value, usually cash. In real estate contracts, this is called good faith money or earnest money and is usually 1 to 3 percent of the purchase price. The good faith money is typically non-refundable should the buyer back out of the contract. The consideration shows that the contract is not a gift.

  • The other party must accept the offer in the contract. If the seller signs the contract, they accepted your offer. However, if the seller does not accept your offer, they do not sign the contract. If the seller wants to counter, this may be verbal until the two parties agree upon a number. The real estate agent drafts a new contract that both parties sign.

  • Finally, the contract must contain mutuality or what attorneys often call “a meeting of the minds.” By signing the contract, the parties agree that they understand and agree to the terms of the contract.

Components of a Real Estate Contract

A real estate contract must contain:

  • The buyers’ full names.

  • The sellers’ full names.

  • The address and legal description of the property.

  • The purchase price and how the buyer will pay it, whether cash, cash subject to a new mortgage, cash subject to an existing mortgage, cash with the assumption of the existing mortgage or sale by land contract.

  • The amount of earnest money.

  • How the buyers and sellers will handle real estate taxes, assessments and adjustments.

  • How the sellers will transfer title and that the title is free and clear.

  • Date and time of possession of the property or closing date. In most cases, this is the closing date since most people do not have the cash to buy the property without a mortgage. It generally takes 30 to 60 days for a mortgage to be approved.

  • A list of improvements and fixtures that the seller will include in the purchase price.

  • Any other general or special conditions for the sale and/or purchase of the property.

Exceptions

Most real estate contracts also have exceptions. If these terms cannot be met, the buyers’ non-refundable deposit becomes refundable. Common exceptions include an inspection meeting the buyers’ expectations and the ability of the buyer to procure financing. The parties may further negotiate the price of the real estate based on the inspection. The parties may also add any other agreed-upon exceptions.




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Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 5/27/2020

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Whether it is a seller's market or you just have an appealing home, you could end up with multiple offers -- how can you decide which offer is best? Your agent is an excellent source of information and can help widdle through unqualified buyers, but if you still have to choose between multiple offers, here's what to consider. 

Understand fair market value: You should know what to expect and what a fair offer looks like -- your agent can help you discover what the fair market value is for your home. If there are any mitigating factors (you have been relocated at work or you need to move quickly) they could impact the decision-making process more than price.

Preapprovals in place: If you have multiple offers, the buyer with a preapproval in place has an edge. This signals that not only is the buyer interested in the home, but they are able to pay for it. It also indicates that the closing can move swiftly, since this key element is in place. A higher offer without preapproval could end up falling through if the buyer is unable to secure a mortgage. 

Payment method: In many cases, the type of mortgage the buyer is getting won't matter -- you'll get the funds at closing either way. If you are in a hurry, though, a cash buyer can move more swiftly than one with a conventional mortgage. Buyers using non-conventional mortgages like USDA loans may also encounter delays, as these can take more time to process. 

Timeline: What do the buyers propose as a closing date? Too soon and you'll have to rush to get your own things moved out -- and may end up under pressure to move. Too late and you'll feel like you are waiting forever and living between two homes -- your next, new home and the one you need to sell. 

Contingencies: A contingency for financing, appraisal or inspection is common, but too many contingencies or unusual requests could mean you're in for a problematic closing process. Consider any contingencies the buyer is demanding before deciding which offer is right for you to avoid surprises later in the process. 

Special requests: Are there any unusual requests, or does one buyer want more than others? A buyer who wants you to leave kitchen appliances is reasonable (and most expect these to convey). One who wants your heirloom furniture or outdoor equipment may be asking for more than you want to sell. You should be aware of and consider any special requests when you review offers for your home. 

Having to choose between more than one offer puts you in a great position, but it can still be nerve wracking. Working with an experienced seller's agent to vet the offers and determining which factors matter most to you can help you make the right decision for your home sale. 




Tags: seller tips   home seller   offer  
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Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team
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