Buying or Selling a Home

Basics of Buying a Home

What is an offer?

Once you find a home you want to buy, you make an offer. The offer is a detailed document that becomes the contract for the sale if it is accepted by the owner. Therefore, it is important that it covers all the essential details of the sale.

An offer should include:
  • legal description of the property
  • purchase price and amount of down payment
  • closing and possession dates
  • a statement that you expect clear title to the property
  • a mortgage contingency clause that cancels the contract if you can't get a mortgage
  • a description of items included in the sale such as appliances, curtains and fixtures

Include an inspection clause that cancels the contract if the building fails to pass a professional inspection covering:
  • pests
  • radon gas
  • structural soundness
  • plumbing
  • electrical systems

If your attorney can't review the offer before you present it, include an "attorney approval clause." That allows your lawyer to be sure it is in your interest before it becomes final.

>>Under the law, who does the buyer's real estate agent work for?
>>What is an offer?
>>How do I get a mortgage?
>>What is the title search?
>>What happens at the closing?


Practical Law Home

| Buying or Selling a Home | *Basics of Buying a Home*
Basics of Selling a Home | Why Real Estate Is Covered By Special Laws | Real Estate Brokers
The Purchase Contract | Financing a Home Purchase | The Closing | The Fair Housing Act
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