Let the Home Buyer Beware? Not in Tallahassee!
Neither First-Time buyers nor experienced buyers need fear the real estate market in Tallahassee. The Tallahassee Board of REALTORS® has gone to extraordinary lengths to create a contract to assure both buyers and sellers that they have several legal “outs” when banks, insurers, inspections, disclosures, and lack-of-disclosures raise red flags on a property. Today's entry will focus on Buyers.
SURPRISE! NOT ENOUGH MONEY
Naturally, responsible Real Estate Professionals will make sure that buyers are pre-qualified for a home purchase before they view a home, fall in love with a home, and make an offer on a home. However, credit ratings can change, bank guidelines can change, hidden background information can come to light, and the pre-approved amount for a mortgage can shrink significantly once a complete loan application is made. THERE'S AN “OUT” FOR THAT!
At any time within 15 days of Contract Date, BUYER may void Contract by notifying SELLER, in writing, that BUYER can not obtain satisfactory financing ... and BUYER will receive a refund of Deposit.
SURPRISE! THE APPRAISED VALUE IS LESS THAN THE PURCHASE PRICE
If the appraisal of the property by a licensed, certified appraiser comes in at less than the purchase price or is in any way insufficient to meet the terms of the loan approval, THERE'S AN “OUT” FOR THAT!
Within 3 days of BUYER being notified of appraised value, if BUYER and SELLER cannot come to a mutually agreeable sales price, BUYER may void Contract by notifying SELLER, in writing ... and BUYER will receive a refund of Deposit.
SURPRISE! YOUR HOUSE IS IN A FLOOD HAZARD AREA!
Buyers should take it upon themselves to inquire about susceptibility to flooding when considering the purchase of a specific home. FEMA provides that info, and your real estate agent can direct you to the appropriate website. Additional Flood Insurance may be required in addition to the regular homeowner's insurance. If the possibility of flooding gives you cold feet, THERE'S AN “OUT” FOR THAT!
At any time within the 15 days of Contract Date BUYER may void Contract by notifying SELLER, in writing, if BUYER wishes to void the Contract for the reason of Hazard Insurance, Flood Insurance, Flood Hazard Area ... and BUYER will receive a refund of Deposit.
If your Wood Destroying Organisms Inspection reveals infestation or damage, the SELLER is responsible for treating the problem and repairing any damage prior to closing. If the treatment and/or repairs are in excess of 3% of the purchase price, THERE'S AN “OUT” FOR THAT!
However, if the amount required for treatment and/or repairs is in excess of 3% of purchase price, and even if SELLER is willing to make treatment and/or repairs, BUYER may void Contract within 5 days of receipt of WDO report and repair estimate, by notifying SELLER, in writing, ... and BUYER will receive a refund of Deposit.
SURPRISE! THE HOME INSPECTION REVEALS BIG EXPENSIVE PROBLEMS
Perhaps a crack in the drywall, which would be easy to repair by itself, is found to be due to a deteriorating foundation. THERE'S AN “OUT” FOR THAT!
At any time within 15 days of Contract Date, BUYER may terminate Contract by notifying SELLER, in writing, that inspection(s) are not satisfactory to BUYER ... and BUYER will receive a refund of Deposit.
SURPRISE! A HURRICANE BLOWS A TREE ONTO THE ROOF!
Hurricanes, flooding, and high winds have been known to cause extensive damage to homes in Florida. Some damage can be repaired by the SELLER while the house is under contract, and closing can be delayed until the property is restored to its original condition. If the damage is severe, THERE'S AN “OUT” FOR THAT!
If Property is damaged in excess of 3% of purchase price, BUYER may hve the option to void the Contract and receive a refund of Deposit.
SURPRISE! A TITLE SEARCH REVEALS LIENS
A lien is a legal claim or a "hold" on property, making it collateral against money or services owed to another person or entity. A lien usually exists in situations like second mortgages, loans against a vehicle title, or money loaned against any other substantial item owned by a borrower. You want your new home to be free and clear of any other claims upon it. THIS IS WHY A BUYER IS ADVISED TO BUY OWNER'S TITLE INSURANCE. If a defect in title is discovered, THERE'S AN “OUT” FOR THAT!
If any such title is discovered, SELLER will have 15 days from receipt of notice of said defect within which to clear the defect at SELLER'S expense. If any such title defect cannot be cured within the 15 days, BUYER may accept the title as is or BUYER may void the Contract by notifying SELLER, in writing ... and will receive a refund of Deposit.
When you find a home you absolutely love, work with your real estate professional to minimize such possible unpleasant surprises. However, if the unforeseeable set back occurs, rest assured that the Tallahassee Board of Realtors has indeed foreseen the possiblitiy, and has a plan for its resolution.
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