Buying or selling a home is an exciting process, but it can also involve navigating complex legal issues. Being aware of some of the most common legal concerns can help make the process smoother.
There are three key areas where problems often come up when buying or selling real estate.
1. Property condition concerns
One common issue during real estate transactions is discovering problems with the property’s condition that were not initially disclosed. Issues such as roof leaks, foundation cracks, basement flooding or faulty wiring can sometimes get overlooked or hidden by sellers.
A home inspection can help uncover defects, but buyers should still look out for signs of concealed conditions. Thoroughly checking the attic, crawlspace, appliances and outlets can reveal red flags.
2. Disclosure requirements
Most states require sellers to provide a disclosure statement to buyers revealing known defects, conditions or other material facts about the property. This aims to provide transparency so buyers are aware of any potential issues. Not properly disclosing known problems with the home could result in legal action later.
3. Contract issues
Real estate transactions involve important contracts, including the purchase agreement and deeds. Changes or disputes that come up during the transaction can lead to contract issues. For example, the buyer and seller might disagree on repairs or closing date changes. Having an experienced real estate attorney review contracts can help avoid ambiguities or missing information that could cause problems down the road.
Navigating real estate deals involves many moving parts. Being aware of some of the most common legal issues that pop up can help transactions go more smoothly. Doing due diligence on the condition, disclosures and contracts can help you avoid larger problems.