Many people, particularly first-time homebuyers, underestimate how complicated the process of buying a home can be. It would be nice if it were simply a matter of handing over cash or securing a loan, but the reality is far more complicated – particularly in an area like Sonoma County where property regularly sells for seven figures or more.
In many cases, you will want a qualified real estate attorney in Sonoma County on your side, guiding you through the process. Even if you try to go it alone, however, you will want to make sure to include the following things in your real estate purchase offer.
Four Elements to Include in Your Real Estate Offer
1- Who Pays Closing Costs and/or Seller Assistance
This is often a sticking point for buyers and sellers. The state of California doesn’t care which side pays the closing costs, so it’s a matter of negotiation between the buyer and the seller. However, if the seller will be paying some or all the closing costs (also called “Seller Assistance”) then that must be specified in writing in the purchase contract. Otherwise, the burden will fall on the buyer.
2- Time Periods for Closing
There is some flexibility in how long your deal takes to close, generally anywhere between one and two months. Don’t assume that “faster is better.” Talk about this with the seller and think hard about the logistics behind your own move. Pick a time span that works for your schedules and consider adding some buffer time to protect against a mishap.
Assuming you aren’t paying cash for the property, all financing and relevant details should be included in the purchase contract. This includes aspects like the financial institution, the amount of the loan, and your interest rate. Or, if you are paying cash, that should also be specified as well as information on how the money will be delivered.
4- Home Inspection Contingencies
It’s a good idea to include a clause in your contract allowing you to walk away from the deal if a home inspection reveals major defects that were not disclosed. This is a standard feature in above-board property purchase offers, but it still must be specified in writing to be valid.
Johnston | Thomas Can Assist You
Johnston | Thomas has years of experience as a real estate attorney in Sonoma County. To learn more about our legal services and team, please contact us today for a consultation.