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Understanding vital documents in real estate transactions

First-time homebuyers encounter many new and unfamiliar elements. Countless documents are placed in front of them, and people hand them pens and tell them where to sign. Blindly signing documents for such a monumental purchase can leave a Delaware homebuyer in a tough situation, having agreed to items that he or she doesn't realize are in the documents. With a general understanding of the documents included in most real estate transactions and by taking the time to carefully review each page, a buyer may avoid making a terrible mistake.

The first document a house hunter may encounter is the sales contract. This is a legal agreement between the buyer and seller addressing how they will handle the sale of the property and any contingencies that may occur. It usually has a breakdown of all the closing costs and who will be responsible for each. Such contracts also include details about the good-faith deposit the buyer puts down, where that money will be kept and what happens to it if the deal falls through.

A buyer's right to have the property inspected should typically be included in a real estate contract. However, the buyer should understand the contingency language. For example, how much time will the buyer have to complete the inspection? Will the buyer have the right to ask the seller to make any repairs that the inspection report recommends? If the inspection reveals serious flaws, will the buyer be able to walk away without forfeiting the deposit?

These are only a few questions that could have a major impact on the financial outcome for a homebuyer. A buyer signing a contract on a piece of property may feel nervous or pressured to sign quickly, or may be embarrassed for not understanding the legal language in the document. This is one reason why the assistance of an attorney during Delaware real estate transactions can provide the buyer with a clear advantage.

Source: auction.com, "Before You Buy That Home: 5 Important Items to Understand on a Real Estate Contract", Ethan Roberts, Accessed on Nov. 24, 2017

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