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Read a Real Estate Contract like a Pro

By November 3, 2023Industry, Local3 min read

Buying a house is intimidating, starting from going through mountains of contract pages. Fear not. We invited our real estate attorney, Shearon Ramnarine-Jokhai, to walk you through the key elements of a real estate contract. Shearon has 20 years of experience assisting families and individuals with closing their dream home purchases, and she would love to teach you how to breeze through the contract just like her.

A real estate contract begins with basic information from both the seller and buyer, including the property address, tax identifications, lot number of the home, etc. It is crucial to review them and make sure they’re correct.

Detailed property conditions, including structural damages like a leaky roof or a broken boiler, will also be enclosed. These will all affect your negotiation on the price, and remember to work out a timeline with the seller should they decide to fix the damages. Unfortunately, not all sellers are honest on paper. In our next video, Shearon will tell you more about home inspection to prevent you from getting tricked by one. Keep an eye on our YouTube channel and blog!

Other easily overlooked details are the fixtures that the seller wants to leave behind or remove. If a seller does decide to remove a permeant fixture, such as a chandelier, it must be replaced with another standard fixture. Shearon shared that she once had a client who wanted to take the heated metal towel holders, which was fine, but the seller had to replace them with something else.

Now, we move on to the mortgage section. This section should clearly outline the amount and specific loan terms. It should also include the turnaround time for buyers to obtain a mortgage. Each type of mortgage— whether FHA, VA, or conventional—has different loan terms.

After all that, look for a confirmation stating the property will be delivered free of violation with a correct closing date and verify the seller’s certificate of occupancy.

Lastly, the Rider pages are here to protect you, so remember to review them. They are from your attorney, like Shearon, to expand on terms and conditions that benefit you should conflicts arise. It’s more efficient for attorneys to add on a rider section than revising every single existing page.

These are the critical sections that Shearon thinks you should double and triple-check before signing. Do you feel more confident now knowing what to look out for? Even just a little will make us very happy. As always, Pun and Associates loves to hear from you and help you with any real estate legal matters. Check out our videos and subscribe so you don’t miss any tips!