Jun 262015
 
Purchase Agreement

See link to sample purchase agreement below.

Every state has different rules in regards to real estate transactions so in this article I’m focusing on Indiana’s Residential Purchase Agreement and the contingencies that matter most to buyers (but really are important for sellers to be aware of as well).

Today’s purchase agreement is now more helpful to the buyers than in the past. Years ago purchasing real estate was more of a ‘buyers beware’ transaction as most of the contract favored the sellers. Any misstep by the buyers and they forfeited their earnest money to the seller or listing broker. Now there a few built-in contingencies that unless superseded by other documents help to protect the buyer. The 2 most important on a standard contract is the ‘Independent Inspection’ section and the ‘Financing’ section.

Any good real estate agent is going to instruct their buyer to plan on the inspection costs as that is one of the best protections a buyer has. The idea is that they don’t want to end up paying too much for a home that has hidden defects (or at least not obvious to the untrained eye). When purchasing a home, a buyer needs to understand that they are paying for an inspection because the inspector is working for you, not the seller. The inspection section in the Purchase Agreement gives the buyer a time period to have the home inspected for major defects and safety concerns and determine if they want them addressed by the seller. It’s what we refer to as another ‘buyer / seller negotiation’ process in the transaction. The buyer can ask that certain items be repaired or addressed and the seller can negotiate back. A good listing agent will have prepared the sellers for this part of the transaction so the seller should be prepared to address any major defects found by the inspection. In rare cases the buyer can determine the house is in such bad shape they can ask to cancel the Purchase Agreement with a mutual release and have their earnest money refunded. Our experience is if both sides are reasonable this can be worked out to both parties satisfaction. Keep in mind if a buyer waives the right to inspection, you’re back to ‘buyer beware’.

The other important section is the financing sections that outline the type of buyers financing and the timeline in which everything is completed up to the final ‘closing date’. For the most part this protects the buyer so that if for any reason the buyer cannot obtain financing to complete the transaction the buyer will get a full refund of the earnest money. For the buyers sake it’s always a good idea to have all your financing worked out before you start looking at homes. When we work with buyers we insist a buyer talk to a lender to confirm their financial status before we start showing homes. We don’t want to waste everyone’s time if there was never any chance the deal would close. But at the same time there can be other reasons for the buyer to not be able to get financing. In some cases it might be the home’s condition is so poor the lender denies the loan (usually FHA / VA loans). In other cases it can be the appraisal comes in too low and the seller is unwilling to lower the price so the buyer is unable to get the loan. And in some cases there are sudden financial hardships that come into play as the buyer loses their job. So in most of these cases the purchase agreement protects the buyer in that they at least should get their earnest money back. Keep in mind there are other factors that come in to play but this is mostly what we have seen in our past experiences.

There are a handful of other sections that give the buyer a chance to negotiate or back out such as if the transaction is dependent on the buyer closing on their current home (and that buyer fails to close) or the section that covers homeowner associations. But the inspection and financing are what we always see as the 2 most important when working from accepted offer to closing. So a buyer must pay attention to this and work closely with their agent and lender to make sure everything goes smoothly to get to the point of signing the closing documents and getting the keys to their new home.

Have questions on how the process all works? Check out this flow chart here. Or feel free to call or text The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110. Based out of Avon Indiana we serve Hendricks County and the surrounding Indianapolis Metropolitan area.

Sample 2015 Indiana Purchase Agreement: Purchase_Agreement_Improved_Property_-_2015_ts48492

Jun 142013
 

Almost ThereAfter your agent has successfully negotiated the final documents with a buyer you smile and think your home is finally sold. Nope, the show hits the road and a good agent kicks into high gear. Depending on contingencies there will more negotiations possible during the sale process.

Typically the first will be from an inspection done for the buyers. This can be just for the buyers satisfaction but more often these days the buyers lender will have requirements that your home will have to pass before they will give the buyer a loan on the home. Common ones are termite inspection or tests on the well water and septic system if they apply. FHA loans can be denied if there is peeling lead based paint or the roof is beyond its designed life.

A good Realtor will note these items at the time of listing so you as the seller are prepared for possible costs involved with selling your home. But some items cannot be seen and thus will be part of the negotiations after the inspection report is delivered to the buyer and the buyer’s lender. These expectations also can be discussed before the inspection with the buyers if the accepted price considered items needing repairs. This is one of the reasons home warranties are popular now, as this will assure the buyer if mechanicals such as heating systems are really old they will be taken care of after the sale for minimum costs. The Derrick Team always recommends home warranties to our sellers.

Next comes the wild card, the appraisal. A good Realtor has looked carefully at the comparative home sales when pricing a home and has advised the seller on the possible appraisal value. Except for cash buyers, the appraisal will always set the price the buyer is going to pay. That is unless they can apply more cash on top of the loan amount to make up the difference (very rare these days). At the time of sale a good Realtor will examine recent comparative sales to provide to the appraiser if applicable. These days communications with the lender / appraiser / Realtor has to be limited so caution is the word. If the appraisal comes in lower than the sale price, the seller must discusses with their agent possible negotiations and options to keep the sale in motion. A good agent will have ideas to work out a deal that is acceptable to all parties.

Finally there is the closing. Working out a good time for everyone to meet and sign the paperwork along with when buyers take possession is one of the final negotiations, often based on the original purchase agreement but can be changed if all parties agree. The good thing is this is the one everyone is eager to accomplish and usually can be worked out to everyone’s satisfaction. You know everything’s been handled well when you have a smooth closing.

So keep in mind when hiring a Realtor to sell your home, the marketing is only the first step. You want an experienced Realtor ready to be representing you every step of the way, keeping all the gears well oiled all the way to that smooth closing. Call The Derrick Team today to discuss our marketing and closing processes that leads to happy clients at 317-563-1110.

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