3 Legal Mistakes to
Avoid When Selling Your Home
If you have decided to put your home on the market then you may be fooled into thinking that the process is pretty straightforward and easy, with all of the legal jargon take care of for you. However, you should bear in mind that any contracts or deals that you sign are completely binding and therefore could actually prove to be incredibly costly unless they are worded to protect you as well as the buyer. There is often a bias towards the buyer as a direct result of the fact that they want to protect their investment and ensure that they are buying something as it appears at face value - structurally sound and able to meet all requirements and specifications. As a result, you need to pay specific attention to three particular clauses in a real estate contract.
Legal clause number one is effectively the survey clause. This is inserted into real estate contracts to give the buyer a chance to get an up to date survey. It may be that existing surveys are up to date but if they are not then the buyer is given no guarantee of structural safety. Any good real estate professional should have a survey done on the property but this is not a given. As such, if no survey is done and the buyer requests an up to date one then you would be liable for it as a seller. The buyer can still dispute it afterwards and this may well cost you even more. As such, you need to check the wording in the contracts to make sure that it is worded correctly to keep costs down. Seeking legal advice here is a must.
The home inspection clause is the second legal element that you will have to consider prior to having it written into contracts. Home inspection clauses are incredibly important because they offer the buyer a much greater degree of protection whilst costing the seller time, money, effort and potentially a sale several times over. Buyers are often given the scope to object to the most minor issues and thus could potentially pull out of a sale as a result of a broken light fixture, for example. As such, sellers should make sure that the wording allows them sufficient time after objections have been raised to complete repairs or challenge the inspection before buyers are allowed to pull out. This protects both parties and the sale. If sellers have turned down other offers and want to avoid the house being on the market for an endless period of time then this is a must.
The third and final legal clause you should watch out for as a seller is the swimming pool clause. If your property has a swimming pool then you should be prepared to guarantee its full working condition up until the sale is completed but should not be willing to take on liability after that point. This must be included in the contracts so as to remove future liabilities so be careful of the wording.
You may well be looking at this page in fear if you are a seller but that is not a bad thing. A good foundation of knowledge will help you to avoid legal clauses like those above that would cost you a fortune during the home selling process. Make sure that you hire a good legal professional and real estate expert to help look after your best interests and you will not go far wrong.
If at any time you have questions about selling real estate in Ulster County or the surrounding area, please don’t hesitate to contact Dylan Taft, Principal Broker/Owner, Taft Street Realty, Inc. - 845.687.9292 office or 845.380.3394 mobile.