The Purchase Agreement
Once you have made an offer on a house, the real estate
agent or broker will probably give you a preprinted
form of agreement of sale. You may add or change this
agreement, but not without the seller accepting each
one of these changes. At this time, you should also
determine with the seller which day you will take possession
of the house and what appliances will be sold along
with the property.
Some buyers chose to add a clause in their offer that
is conditional upon securing a mortgage with a favorable
rate or perhaps your offer could depend upon a structural
All buyers are encouraged to have a home inspection.
Most buyers prefer to pay for this inspection so that
the inspector is working on their behalf. An inspection
should assess the state of repair of the roof, siding,
windows and doors, plumping, heating, air conditioning,
wiring and septic system. Structures should be examined
to determine that they are sound.
You may choose to include in your agreement the right
to terminate your offer if the inspection is not positive.
You have specific rights pertaining to lead-based paint
and lead poisoning if the home you are purchasing was
built before 1978. The seller or agents must give you
the EPA brochure to protect you and your family from
For most homebuyers, the cost of the house is of primary
importance. However, other non-monetary terms of the
agreement can be equally imperative.
You may choose to work with a settlement agent or escrow
company to perform the settlement. The buyer and seller
will share settlement costs, and these are often determined