• The purchase or sale of a home always starts with an offer to purchase from the buyer. Things to remember:
- Get it in writing! The purchase and sale contract is the cornerstone of the deal.
- Make sure the names, addresses, property description, price and all material terms are fully set forth.
- Make sure the buyer initials and signs fully.
• The Seller must accept the contract from the buyer before the deal can move forward.
- Is the price acceptable?
- Does the closing date look reasonable?
- Are there concerns over personal property that should be addressed?
- Does the contract require conditions to be included for the purposes of Estates, Divorce proceedings, Foreclosure or Bankruptcies?
- Make sure the Seller initials and signs in all places.
• The Contract must be sent to the Parties’ Attorneys for Review and Approval. Things to remember:
- The Cayuga County form contract is not binding on the parties without attorney approval.
- Attorneys generally work with both the agents and the clients to make sure all the terms and conditions are correct.
• Once the contract is complete and approved by the attorneys, the purchaser takes the lead. The buyer needs to:
- Set up all necessary home inspections and radon testing;
- Plan to attend the inspection with the inspector;
- Provide any inspection reports to their agent and attorney for review, if there are concerns;
- If there are problems, the deal may need renegotiating;
- Set reasonable expectations for minor issues as compared with material or major problems.
• After the contract is in place and approved and the home inspection is accepted, the buyer must meet with his/her bank loan officer to apply for the mortgage loan. Things to think about:
- Who is going to be on the loan? If there is more than one purchaser, will it be both or just one?
- What documentation will you need to bring with you to make the application?
- What type of loan and term best suits the buyers?
- Will the buyers be able to bring money to the closing? Be sure to discuss the good faith estimate with your loan officer?
• Once the buyer receives a mortgage commitment from the Bank, then the Seller takes the lead and must provide title documents to the buyer’s attorney including:
- Abstract(s) of Title;
- Tax Search & Tax bills;
- Discharge Permit and Water Test Results (if necessary)
- Proposed Closing Documents including a Deed, Statement of Sale, Transfer Tax Return and Real Property Assessment
• Once the title documents are reviewed and approved by the Buyers’ Attorney, everyone waits for Bank Clearance, and then the closing is scheduled. Things to remember prior to closing:
- A final walk through the property is important;
Utility and Water Departments must be contacted by both the
- Sellers and the Buyers;
- Homeowners’ insurance should not be cancelled by the Sellers until after the closing;
- Buyers must bring in cashier or bank checks for funds to be paid (if any) at closing;