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Read Your Purchase and Sale Contract

While I certainly appreciate how busy people have become these days, I see many people signing Purchase and Sale paperwork without knowing what they are signing. You would be surprised to learn all of the nuances of the contract that could get you in trouble if you’re not careful. Your Realtor should be explaining the contract to you and a good Realtor will take the time to explain it in full. However as with any legal paperwork you are responsible for reading what you’re signing.

Buyers did you know borrowing money from a relative or friend for a down payment must be disclosed in the Purchase and Sale? That’s right, if Mom and Dad sported you some money to help you buy your first home and you did not disclose this to a seller then you’ll have breached the contract and risk potentially forfeiting your earnest money. Did you also know that if you do not formally apply for your home loan within 5 business days of mutual acceptance that you’ll forfeit your financing contingency? Or if Uncle Ed performs the home inspection rather than a licensed home inspector then you might forfeit your right to negotiate repairs? It’s true, persons performing a home inspection have to be licensed to do so in the state of Washington in order to be able to negotiate repairs.

It’s just as important for sellers to read the contract. Sellers did you know that automatically written into the contract is the tree you planted for your dead grandmother that you wanted to take with you to your next house? That becomes the buyer’s property at closing. The buyer also gets those curtains that your grandmother hand-made and gave to you as a special gift. If you want to keep these “fixtures,” as the contract refers to them as, your realtor will need to write a special clause into the agreement to make this arrangement.

Sellers should understand Purchase and Sale paperwork before listing a home and buyers should understand Purchase and Sale paperwork before writing an offer on a home.

Have I done my job yet of convincing you to read the contract? If you don’t enjoy reading fine print as many don’t then fear not. A good realtor, (hint, wink wink –myself) will explain this all to you in detail.