What Are Your Rights As A Home Seller or Home Buyer?

Buying or selling a house can be a stressful and vulnerable time for every party involved in the closing. To make sure that the process goes smoothly, make sure that you are familiar with your rights and obligations as a buyer and as a seller ahead of time! 

 

As a buyer, you are entitled to the following elements: 

  • You have the right to house-hunt without facing discrimination thanks to the Fair Housing Act which prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, or financing of dwellings and other housing-related activities on the basis of race, sex, disability, color, religion, familial status, or national origin.
  • You have the right to know about any potential health hazards linked to the property, including waste management, water supply, insulation, hazardous materials (such as lead paint). Disclosure agreements vary state by state: you can find which forms are requested from the buyers here
  • You have the right to made aware of the financial history of the property, including property taxes and any encumbrance on the title (such as liens, easements, or any other issues)
  • You have the right to access any information that will help you get a fair deal on the property. This includes an objective appraisal, and market price analysis and comparison
  • You have the right to have access to all the information regarding closing, including a copy of the purchase and sale agreement, a walk-through of the property before closing and access to the settlement statement at closing

 

As a seller, you are also protected by real estate laws and have the right to the following elements: 

  • You have the right to advertise the property for sale in a public listing or another similar forum, with the help of a real estate agent or not
  • You have the right to set a price for your property that you deem reasonable, backed by truthful and accurate information
  • You have the right to request a home inspection prior to closing
  • You have the right to protect yourself by requiring that a deposit or a certain amount of the purchase price be placed in escrow before closing, and may request verification of financing or a mortgage loan before the sale is finalized
  • Finally, you have the right to accept or refuse an offer, for example, if you find it to be too low, if you are worried about the potential buyer’s financing abilities, or simply if you changed your mind about selling the house in the first place. However, per the Fair Housing Act, you cannot refuse to sell your property to a specific buyer based on his or her race, color, sex, familial status, or national origin.

 

Shall any legal issues arise during the closing process from either the buyer or the seller, the best course of action would be to hire a real estate lawyer. He or she will be able not only to help you know your rights but also to provide legal representation and council if the dispute was to lead to a lawsuit or any other legal proceeding. 

Why You Shouldn’t Waive Inspections When Buying a Home

When you’re trying to buy a home in a competitive market, you might feel like it’s best to skip the home inspection. That seems like an easy way to make your offer seem more attractive to sellers, and it’ll also speed up the buying process. A win/win situation, right?

Wrong. Waiving inspections when buying a home is never a good idea. The home might look fine when you inspect it yourself with the naked eye, but you never know what’s behind the scenes. A lot of the biggest issues a home can have aren’t detectable if you aren’t an expert. No matter how much you want the home, it’s always best to have it inspected by an expert. Here are the risks of waiving inspections when buying a home. 

 

Who Conducts Home Inspections?

Home inspections are much different than your own walks through the property. Home inspections are done by licensed professionals who know what to look for, and they know how to detect problems. They look into areas of the home you might not pay attention to when you’re walking through the home, from the HVAC to the foundation. 

These home inspectors are held to a strict Code of Ethics and Standard of Practices created by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). You need a qualified opining on the quality of the home, not just aesthetically but foundational. The cost of inspecting a home is more than worth the peace of mind of knowing you won’t run into any surprises once you move into the space.

If you’re an experienced homeowner, you might think you can manage a home inspection on your own. However, professional inspectors are skilled in the elements of home construction, maintenance, and safety. They understand the most important signs of disrepair, and they aren’t likely to overlook anything. It’s best to leave the inspection to the pros. 

 

What are the Risks?

What happens if your home isn’t inspected? While it’s easy to think it’s as simple as skipping the lengthy and costly inspection process, this isn’t the case. Whether you’re buying a new construction home or an existing property, you need to get the property looked at by a professional. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself facing the following.

  • Not Insurable – Some home insurance companies won’t issue a policy if you don’t have a documented inspection. Without insurance, you won’t get final approval for your mortgage. 
  • Safety Concerns – Without an inspection, it’s impossible to know if your new home was safely constructed and currently safe to live in. 
  • Legal Out – When an inspector finds a large problem with a home, you’re legally allowed out of the agreement through a contingency clause without losing your deposit.
  • Expensive Repairs – One of the most obvious risks is that you’re purchasing the home “as-is.” With that in mind, any repairs will need to come out of your pocket. 
  • Negotiation – Finally, any issues found during the home inspection can be used as a valuable negotiation tool. You can choose for the seller to fix these repairs before you agree to purchase the home, or you can even negotiate the selling price. 

 

As you can see, if you skip your home inspection, you might find yourself facing an extreme case of buyers remorse. While your inspection might seem like an unnecessary extra step, especially if the home appears to be in good condition, it exists for your protection as the homebuyer. 

Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. You wouldn’t enter an investment blind, so don’t go into your new home blind. Use a qualified home inspector to ensure you know exactly what you’re getting into when you buy a home. 

What Is Escrow?

Buying a home comes with a lot of confusing steps that often intimidate new buyers. If this is your first time going through the home buying process, you might be concerned about escrow. The good news is that this is the home stretch of the process, and your home is closer than you think. 

It feels like forever when you’re waiting for the keys to your new property, but the time will fly faster than you think. This article will define the escrow process so you know what to expect when buying a home. 

 

What is Escrow?

In the world of home buying, escrow is the holding area where the money and contracts are secured until your home is closed. Before the title to your home is physically in your hands, it’s kept with an escrow officer. This officer is a third-party, and they’re usually from the closing company or title company (some states require this to be an attorney). 

You’re probably asking why a third-party needs to be involved at all in your home buying process. Simply, it’s for the protection of the buyer and the seller. They make sure everything goes smoothly during the closing process. They protect things like your money and your contracts until it’s time to finish the process completely. 

All of your documents will be filed with the escrow officer while you handle your closing. This might include things like home inspections or repairs that need to be done by either party. Finally, when all the conditions for selling are met, the money is transferred to the seller while the records or title is given to the buyer. 

 

Why Escrow Protects Buyers and Sellers

While it might sound like a pain when you’re in the moment, escrow actually servers both the buyer and seller in a big way. The buyer benefits from the escrow by being able to make sure contingencies are met before their money is transferred to the seller. For instance, if the seller agreed to fix a problem with the plumbing, escrow will ensure these funds aren’t transferred until those repairs are complete. 

It’s not just the buyer that benefits from the escrow process. Sellers also have the added peace of mind of knowing there’s a security deposit in case the buyer backs out at the last minute. This can be anywhere from 1-2% of the cost of the home which is held in escrow. If the buyer backs out without any real reason, this deposit is then given to the seller for the failure of the sale. 

Think of the escrow process as a way to make sure the home sale is done correctly and with consideration for both parties. It also includes a third party who is able to check all documents, contracts and funds are secure and dealt with properly the first time. 

Yes, it’s frustrating as both the buyer and the seller to wait for the completion of the escrow process. It’s time-consuming and costly, but it’s also a necessary part of buying a home. It’s there for the protection of both the current homeowner and the new one. It doesn’t affect your home buying process in any way except by making it more secure and reliable for everyone involved. 

How Selling your Home to Offerpad Works

Selling your home has never been easier than it is today. For those looking to make a fast sale, there are a plethora of options at their disposal. Rather than listing your home with an agent and going down the traditional route, people now can receive instant cash offers on their house and sell their home within days. One such company that currently buys homes is Offerpad. Like many other companies like it, Offerpad makes selling your home as easy as possible, giving sellers flexibility and providing them with good, clean, and easy service and support. Offerpad currently operates in eight different states.

 

How selling your home with Offerpad works

 

Offerpad began in 2015 and since has helped tons of homeowners sell their home and successfully move. The process works in just 6 easy steps. First, the seller provides Offerpad with a summary of the property they wish to sell. This includes the address, details of the home, upgrades, and current condition along with any photos (photos are not necessary but are highly encouraged). 

 

Next, once Offerpad receives your home description, it reviews it, uses its own algorithm while taking several other things into account to create your offer. Overall, this process takes just 24 hours. Upon completion, your offer will be sent to you.

 

The third step is to review your offer. Once the offer is submitted to the buyer, they have a chance to review everything included.. 

 

After that, the seller is able to quickly sign all the necessary documents online. Offerpad will send you the purchase contract and should it be to the seller’s satisfaction, simply sign online, and the deal will officially be under contract.

 

Following the signing of the documentation, Offerpad performs an inspection of your home to verify the information included in the initial description. Once that is completed, all that is left is the closing. At the closing, Offerpad pays the agreed upon price to purchase your home. After that, you’re free to move on into the next phase of your life.

 

Other amenities

 

Additional services included with the offer range from free local moves and totally flexible closing dates to extended stays after your close. With Offerpad’s Extended Stay Program, you are allowed to stay in your house for up to 3 days after the sale. This saves homeowners the usual chaos of having to close and move on the same day. Sellers have until 7 pm on the third day to be complete vacated from the house. For example, if the closing occurs on the 3rd, the seller has until 7 pm on the 6th to vacate.

 

Another feature is their Free Move Program. Once your house in under contract with an offer from Offerpad, the moving company will contact you to set up a moving date (the date can be rescheduled if needed). The move is free anywhere within 50 miles, and Offerpad will pay the moving company directly. The only additional costs required are anything you and the moving company agree to prior to the move such as additional insurance. On the day of the 

 

How buying a home with Offerpad works

 

Buying a home with Offerpad is as easy as selling. Currently they have listed homes for sale in; Phoenix, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Tampa, Charlotte, and Dallas among others. Their goal is to remove the stress and hassle associated with the traditional methods of buying a home and making it as easy and stress free as possible.

 

With Offerpad’s Instant Access, prospective buyers can browse from hundreds of homes in their local area quick and easy with no agent required. Buyer’s are paired with their own transaction managers to help guide them through the entire process. Offerpad takes care of the entire process and provides flexibility with move in dates to accommodate your schedule. The goal is to sell you a home quickly without hassle and without the need to involve agents and go through endless paperwork and agent fees. 

 

Viewing a house is easy through their instant access service. Homes are available for viewing between 6 am and 11 pm local time, simply arrive at the house and the instructions for viewing will be there for you at the door when you show up. 

 

Does it really work?

In just 5 years, Offerpad has purchased thousands of homes from homeowners, offering fair market value prices. People who are in a bind with their home or are just looking to make a quick sale with as little hassle as possible find Offerpad to be among the best services to go through. Their customer service is personable and previous clients boast of the swiftness and professionalism of the process.

Alternatives

 

These days more and more organizations such as Offerpad are popping up and growing in a wide range of areas. One such company is Value Cash Offers. Offerpad currently is not operating in Illinois. For those in Illinois looking to sell quickly and receive an instant cash offer on their property, VCO is the place to go. Value Cash Offer provides people with a quick and easy way to sell their home. Selling a house is not an easy process, especially when you’re trying to sell your home fast. Value Cash Offer makes the process as easy as possible. Value Cash Offer walks their clients through the entire process and provides them with direct assistance throughout. 

 

VCO will buy your home in any condition and under any circumstances. Whether your need to move quickly for work related reasons, have a bad mortgage, fire damage, mold, etc., VCO will give you a cash offer and buy your home as is. With zero closing costs, sellers can take the full offer with no hassles or extraneous fees. Selling a house can take up to 3-5 months using the traditional method of finding an agent, listing the house, staging it and doing any repairs necessary. Using Value Cash Offer, sellers can receive an offer and cash out fully within 7 days. For those in Illinois looking to sell quickly, Value Cash Offer is the best option. 

The Average Closing Costs for Buying a Home

First-time buyers who are excited to finally close on their home need to make sure they’re familiar with all the costs upfront. It might come as a surprise that the mortgage and downpayment are only one side of the story. Closing costs are additional fees that are associated with the purchase of the home. These will need to be paid at the time of closing the transaction. 

When exactly is the closing of the home? This is the time when the title of the property is actually transferred from the original seller to the new buyer. Closing costs can be paid by either the seller or the buyer, depending on the situation. This guide will further explain how to navigate the closing process as well as the average costs. 

 

What are the typical closing costs?

First, let’s discuss what the closing costs actually are. There are several fees that make up the total closing costs, and you might not need to pay all of them. For instance, many states don’t require you to purchase a home with the help of an attorney, so attorney fees wouldn’t be necessary in that case. Check with your real estate agent for a better estimate of what you can expect to pay in your areas.

  • Appraisal – You’ll need to pay an appraisal company to check the market value of your home before sale. This might also include specialized home exams for things like A/C or pest control. 
  • Attorney Fee – If you need an attorney to review your documents, you’ll need to pay their fees.
  • Loan Fees – The fees associated with applying for your mortgage such as your application, underwriting, and credit report fees. 
  • Property Tax – Taxes on the cost of the property which will be due usually within 60 days of purchase to the lender. 
  • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) – If your downpayment is under 20%, you’ll likely need to purchase PMI. Usually, the first month of PMI needs to be paid at closing. 
  • Title Fees – If you need extensive property records, you’ll need to pay a fee to the title company for this research. 
  • Transfer Taxes – The tax you’ll need to pay on your home when passing the title from the seller to the buyer. 

 

How much are closing costs when buying a home?

Now that you understand the most common costs that make up the closing costs, it’s time to talk averages. While there is no one-size-fits-all to closing costs, most home buyers pay between 2 to 5 percent of the purchase price on their home. That means if you’re buying a home that costs $150,000, you can expect to pay around $5000 in closing costs. 

These costs also vary depending on the state. Arizona, for example, has some of the highest closing costs in the country with an average of just under $2,000 in closing costs for a $200,000 home purchase with a 20% down payment. 

You can expect to pay more in closing costs if you make a lower down payment in most cases. However, many closing costs are negotiable. Your lender will include closing costs in their initial estimate, and you can also shop around for a different estimate. There are also programs based locally and nationally that help cover or lower closing costs, especially for first-time buyers. 

Talk to your lender and your real estate agent about your closing costs before you approach your closing date. You might be eligible for discounts or programs that you didn’t know about. Either way, it’s important to know what to expect before you officially close on your home

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