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helping you find the right house and making a good offer, the agent's
job is to help you understand the paperwork involved.
buying a house involves a lot more than simply studying houses from real
estate ads or going to open houses. Real estate transactions are
complex, and contracts are several pages long. A typical contract is
about eight or nine pages long, not to mention the pages of reports,
disclosures, and addendums.
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Things Not to Do Before Purchasing a Home
Make No Major Purchases
Writing an Offer to Purchase Real Estate
Do Not Buy a Car
Don't Move Money Around
Your offer is the first step to negotiating a sales contract with the
seller. So take the time to consider the seller's reaction to everything
you include in the offer because it is very important. Unfortunately,
you can't just say, "This is what I'll pay." Since you are
dealing with a large amount of money, both you and the seller will want
to build in protections and contingencies to protect your investment and
limit your risk.
Contingencies in a Purchase
Most purchase transactions are completed without difficulties. However,
keep in mind that problems can arise, and if they do you can cancel the
contract without penalty. These are referred to as
"contingencies" and you must be sure to include them when you
offer to buy a home.
Earnest Money Deposit
When you have determined your offer price, the next step is to consider
how large a deposit you want to make with your offer. The "earnest
money deposit" should be large enough to show the seller you are
serious, but not so large you are placing significant funds at risk.
The Closing Date
An absolute necessity in your offer is to provide a closing date. This
way both you and the seller can make plans to move, and the seller can
make plans for buying his or her next home. Most transactions do close
on the right date, but do not be so inflexible that a delay creates
Transfer of Possession
Once the deeds have been recorded, the transaction is considered
"closed." This is when you take ownership of the home.
However, it is not always possible for you to occupy it immediately.
There can be several reasons for this, but the most common is that the
seller may be purchasing a home, too. Usually, their purchase is
scheduled to close simultaneously with your purchase of their home, but
situations may arise.
As a result, it is customary to allow the seller up to a maximum of
three days to turn over actual possession and keys to the home.