Buying or Selling a Home

The Purchase Contract

What is an inspection rider?

The inspection rider is a very important safeguard for the buyer. Two types are commonly used. The first gives the buyer the right to have the property inspected by a professional home inspector of the buyer's choice and at the buyer's expense. If the inspector finds defects, the buyer has the right to cancel the contract within a specified time. Inspectors often find problems in homes. Thus, it can give buyers a few extra days to decide whether they want to follow through with the purchase.

The second type of inspection rider gives the seller time to either repair any problems uncovered by the inspection or agree to reduce the selling price contained in the contract by the cost of repairs. If a seller opts to do nothing, he or she must inform the buyer. Unless the buyer and seller can come to terms based on the buyer's inspection report, the buyer can cancel the contract and seek return of any earnest money previously paid.

Some people prefer the first inspection rider described above. Although it is open to occasional abuse by fickle buyers, its simplicity generates fewer back-and-forth discussions between the buyer and seller. If there is a serious problem and the seller really wants to sell, the parties usually can make a new deal.

Still, the choice is yours. Just remember that a real estate purchase contract is no different in principle than any other contract—its terms are negotiable. By using properly drafted riders, you may quickly turn a form contract into one that deals with your personal concerns.

>>What is an offer to purchase?
>>What might I include in my offer to purchase a home?
>>What is earnest money?
>>How is the offer negotiated?
>>How does an offer relate to the purchase contract?
>>Can oral promises constitute a contract?
>>When should we involve a lawyer?
>>What are the key provisions of the purchase contract?
>>What is an inspection rider?
>>What is an attorney-approval rider?
>>What is a mortgage-contingency rider?
>>May the seller refuse a mortgage-contingency rider or an inspection-contingency rider?
>>What happens to my earnest money deposit if we do not complete the sale?
>>Can a buyer sue a seller for backing out of the contract?
>>Are there any special considerations when you are buying a home from a builder?


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*The Purchase Contract* | Financing a Home Purchase | The Closing | The Fair Housing Act
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