No matter if you have purchased a home in Delaware before, it is still an exciting chapter in your life. Unfortunately, that excitement can quickly curdle into disappointment if you fail to take measures to protect yourself.

NerdWallet explains how contingencies and disclosures act as protective measures for the home-buying process. See if you have heard of these before and whether they can be of use to you and your new home.

Definitions

Contingencies create specific conditions sellers and buyers must meet to complete real estate transactions. With disclosures, the seller has to inform you of any defects the home has before money passes hands.

Examples of contingencies 

Be sure your agreement comes with an inspection contingency that requires that a home inspector check the property for anything that needs replacement or repair. You may also want to add a termite contingency to the agreement that necessitates a termite inspection. Know that sellers can include contingencies of their own that you have to meet, such as the requirement that you successfully sell your current home before the buyer agrees to your offer.

Examples of disclosures

Disclosures common to residential properties include whether the home has lead paint or natural hazards. There may be other less-obvious and less-common defects, issues and the like to disclose, which is another reason why thorough home inspections are so vital.

That said, even the most thorough of home inspections may not uncover every single defect and problem area. For instance, someone may have died on the property or there may be certain nuisances in the area that a home inspection cannot detect. Standard disclosures can serve you well under such conditions, as can working with a legal professional familiar with real estate transactions.

Do everything possible to safeguard your money and your peace of mind when buying a new home. Due diligence and working with the right industry professionals better ensure all parties’ satisfaction.