Navigating the Real Estate Market

Complimentary Story
September  2023

   Everyone knows that the last few years have brought significant ups and downs for the real estate market. There were a lot of buyers, few sellers, interest rates were skyrocketing. So, what can you control when you are trying to buy or sell a home?

   If you are using a real estate agent, trust their advice. They are experts in this field for a reason. That being said, a second set of eyes, preferably from an attorney can be extremely beneficial. You want to make sure you have all your ducks in a row for when you find the perfect house, and you also want to have your ducks in a row if that house turns out to be not so perfect. 

   Pay attention to the contingencies that you can take advantage of in the Offer to Purchase. These include contingencies for financing, inspections, radon testing, appraisal, and the sale of your property. These contingencies not only protect you to make sure the home you are buying is in good shape, but they can also protect you if your financing doesn’t come through as anticipated. 

   Typically, when buying a home, you will have a realtor and mortgage lender who can both assist you through the process.  There are a few time requirements that you should pay specific attention to. The first is regarding earnest money. If you did not supply earnest money with your offer, it is likely that you have to pay it within five (5) days of acceptance of your offer. The other time requirements are related to  your contingencies. For example, if you receive your inspection and any defects are listed, you typically have a limited number of days to inform the sellers of the same, or you could waive that contingency. Again, these are things that the professionals can help you keep track of. 

   The Real Estate Condition Report is another document to pay close attention to when buying a home. This is a document where the sellers are giving you all of the information they have about the home. They will tell you up front if there are problems with the plumbing, roof, etc. If the Seller’s don’t disclose an issue that they had knowledge of, you could have recourse against them. Happy house hunting!

   When selling your home, quite a bit of the work takes place before the house is listed. Your realtor, if using one will help prepare you for these tasks. Usually, minor cosmetic changes are recommended prior to listing a home. 

   You will also want to complete the Real Estate Condition Report. This is a document where you disclose everything you know about the house. You have an obligation to tell potential buyers any issues that you are aware of. It is important to fill out this document as accurately and thoroughly as possible. If you miss something, that could come back to cause problems later on. 

   When reviewing offers that come in for your home, make sure you are going over each carefully with your realtor, or attorney. Some buyers might waive contingencies, some buyers might take advantage of every single contingency. Of course, it is the seller’s choice for which offer they accept. 

   Once you have an accepted offer, keep an eye on your phone and email. Issues may come up with the inspection, appraisal, or financing, that you’ll have to pay attention to. The inspection may be considered the most important factor. If the buyers notify you of a defect in the property, you will likely have the right to cure that defect, so that the transaction can carry on. Defects must be cured in a workmanlike manner, and you must provide a report of the work prior to closing. 

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   This should only be used as the starting point when buying or selling a home. Again, refer to your attorney, realtor, or mortgage lender for more details on the specifics. They can assist in making this process as stress-free as possible.

McLario, Helm, Bertling & Spiegel, S.C.
N88 W16783 Main St.
Menomonee Falls, WI 53051-2890
Tel: (262) 251-4210

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