If you have finally found your dream home and are now in the process of completing the purchase, you may be surprised when you realize the virtual mountain of paperwork that is needed to accomplish this endeavor. This is a situation that involves both a real estate purchase, and, in most cases, a financial issue that involves a mortgage loan. These two facets can work together to create a confusing mass of documentation for the home buyer. If you think that you can perhaps get through this home-buying process without the assistance of a real estate attorney, you may change your mind after seeing how important just a few of those documents could entail. Read on to get a sampling of the real estate and financial documents you should be familiar with in the coming months.
The Purchase Agreement
This form may be the first one you encounter once you decide to make an offer on your new home. This agreement puts the seller on notice of your intent to buy the home at a certain price. The real estate agent will normally have a pre-printed form available, but you may want to have an attorney custom-create a form that address some common issues that may need more attention, such as:
- Provisions that address under what specific conditions the agreement could be canceled if the mortgage loan is not approved.
- Provisions that address home inspection issues. No home is perfect, even brand new home has problems. A home inspection could turn up issues that are small and minor, or major and expensive. A complete provision that allows for price reductions or other concessions for expensive repair issues is mandatory.
- Provisions for additions, such as a sun-room, deck, or rooms that are not up to code or allowable.
- Provisions that state under what circumstances, and how quickly, any earnest money is refunded to the buyer.
The Loan Application
Applying for a home loan is a major financial undertaking, and ensuring that you fill the application out correctly and that you fully understand the loan agreement is vital. Just having an attorney who understands real estate financing to explain the terms of the agreement in layman's terms is invaluable.
The Closing Documents
The package of documents presented to you for signature on that day never fails to astound most buyers. Don't allow yourself to be intimidated by the mountain of paperwork or the number of other people at the meeting. Instead, make sure that you have someone on your side, with no conflicting interests to distract, to assist you in ensuring that every single word and number on those documents are correct. Don't try to undertake this meeting, or the home buying purchase, by yourself. Make sure to have a real estate attorney by your side.