Buying real estate is often our single biggest purchase. This is true whether buying a single-family residence, rental property, commercial property, or vacation home. This investment is significant, so it is important to do a little due diligence before moving forward.
If you are taking the time to read this post, you are already ahead of the game. Most potential buyers get caught up in looking at properties and have little time left to look into the details. First, let’s talk about the stages of a real estate purchase.
The stages of buying a home
There are generally four stages:
- Before we start. This initial stage often involves a conversation about finances, location, and the needs for the property.
- Property visits. Next, we start looking at options either online or in person.
- Make an offer. Once we find an offer that fits our needs, we put in an offer. This will likely include a proposed real estate contract.
- Close the deal. After negotiations are complete, the parties can finalize the deal.
Each stage is important, but you iron out the bulk of the legalities during that third and fourth stage. This is when we draft and negotiate the real estate contract that guides the deal.
If nothing else, you should know this about the real estate contract
There are a lot of important provisions to include in a real estate contract but the most important thing to keep in mind when going through this process is that the contract is not set in stone. You do not have to use a boiler-plate fill-in-the-blank document. You can negotiate and propose your own real estate contract. You can edit a proposed draft as well as remove or add provisions. This allows you the flexibility to make sure you protect your rights during the deal and after the purchase is complete. It will provide legal protections and the potential for remedies in the event the seller was less than honest during the transaction.