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How contingencies work when buying a home

Purchasing a home in Delaware involves a multistep process, and two terms you might become familiar with along the way are “contingencies” and “disclosures.” Both contingencies and disclosures help protect your interests when you are on the hunt for real estate. However, there are some important differences between them.

Per NerdWallet, contingencies allow you to make an offer on a home as long as certain conditions come to be first. Disclosures refer to the aspects, defects or other important elements of a property the realtor or seller has to tell you about.

Common real estate contingencies

Sometimes, you may want to make an offer on a home, but you need to sell your own home before you have enough to buy it. Under these circumstances, you may want to make an offer contingent on you selling your home. Along those same lines, you may have plans to buy a particular property as long as you get a loan for it. In this case, you may want to use a mortgage contingency stating that once you secure a mortgage, you plan to move forward.

Common real estate disclosures

In Delaware, a seller has a legal obligation to tell you about all major material known defects affecting the value of a property. This includes defects that are invisible to the naked eye. If there is any presence of lead paint, pests or asbestos in the home, the seller also has to tell you as much.

Understanding how contingencies and disclosures work should help you avoid inadvertently purchasing a home that has major issues. It may also enable you to make a more competitive offer than those you may be competing against for the property.

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