Is my offer safe once we are in attorney review?
Attorney Review is a period of three days, which could be more or less, depending on the attorney’s schedule. The contract is the most important part of the transaction. It determines your rights, risks and obligations. This is a process where the attorneys review the contract and add various addendums that address other conditions of the property. The listing Realtor can still show the property during this time period as an obligation to the Seller and other offers can still be entertained during this time frame. Some agents, with the permission of the seller, can choose not to show the house once an offer is accepted for a very qualified buyer. Other agents may continue to show if they feel the buyer is weak, the seller instructs them to keep showing or the agent just wants to continue to market the house until attorney review is complete in case the deal were to fall through. Keep in mind that if a higher offer comes in you may have to match that offer in order to continue going forward with the contract. Therefore it is imperative that you respond to your attorney’s comments quickly, follow-up with them and sign off on the paperwork they send you, so that Attorney Review can be completed as quickly as possible.
What does the term “Under Contract” mean?
Once both Buyer and Seller sign off on the Attorney’s Review documents, called Riders, you are now “under contract.” Basically this means no other Buyer can bump out your offer, though most likely you still have contingencies that must be met. This usually includes a Mortgage Contingency, if you are getting a Mortgage, and a Home Inspection Contingency. The Mortgage Contingency has a specified time period usually 30 days that you need to provide the Seller with a Mortgage Commitment letter in order to proceed. If you do not provide this on schedule, the Seller can choose to void the contract or give you more time. The Home Inspection contingency gives you a time period, usually 10-15 days, to conduct a home structural, environmental, termite and radon inspection, and in some areas septic and well. If issues arise due to these inspections, this is the time you will address them with the Seller. If you cannot come to an agreement the Buyer or the Seller may attempt to cancel the deal. This is a legal issue that must be addressed with your Attorney. Most Buyers and Sellers want to address any issues to their mutual satisfaction. However, if the Seller has other interested Buyers they may not be willing to work with you to resolve these issues.
How should I choose a Realtor?
Making a purchase or selling real property is big business today and market conditions are still not consistent. You want to avoid making a mistake when so much of your money is at risk. You cannot afford to be complacent about this or choose an agent with little to no experience or pick a friend that just became an agent. You must conduct your own interview with someone you may be considering. An agent could work for a big company for example, but may never have even sold a house or represented a buyer. Several Real Estate companies do not train their agents or provide oversight, so you want to know the agent you are hiring is experienced. You should ask how many homes they sell a year and let them actually show you what they sold. If it is zero to five homes, you are dealing with either an inexperienced Realtor or an agent that is not very active in the field. You want to see actual reviews of their work and a proven sales history. Another issue to consider is some agents are creating teams so instead of getting one on one personal care and representation by the agent you hired it may get delegated to their team and you may not be working directly with the agent you initially hired. There is much at stake here. A buyer could fall in love with a house, make an offer that gets accepted but because your agent has no idea what they are doing have the deal fall through for no apparent reason. Deals today are getting more and more complicated, so you want an agent that is sharp and experienced that can handle situations as they come up and be on top of the transaction, from contract to the closing table.
Nicole Idler NJ/NY Associate Broker of Friedberg Properties actively lists, sells and rents in Teaneck, Bergenfield, Englewood, Tenafl y, and New Milford and all over Bergen County. E-mail her with your questions at [email protected] or call her on her cell: 201-906-9338 or work- 201-894-1234. Call Nicole Idler and make home ownership a reality!
By Nicole Idler