Kathy Henne: Looking beyond the price


What pops in your mind when you think of a real estate contract? The price, right? It’s the critical term, but far from the only important factor to be considered by buyers and sellers. There are costs, finances, conveyances, and consequences to consider.

Typical costs include inspections, appraisal, legal fees and so on. Your representative should firmly negotiate and explain who pays for what.

How about the escrow deposit and financing contingencies? Unless the buyers pay cash, an escape clause should release them for obligation if financing falls through.

Also pay close attention to conveyances of personal property, such as some appliances, lighting or window treatments, or furnishings. Avoid argument and further negotiation by assuring there is zero confusion about what is included in the sale price.

Another factor that should be clearly spelled out is the consequences of a breach in contract by either side. This is a binding legal document, whereby buyers in breach can loose their deposit, or sellers in breach can be sued for “specific performance” to force the sale of the home.

It’s best for you and your real estate agent to review a standard contract before you make or consider a purchase offer. Know what to expect and be prepared to negotiate to a Yes!

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