Checklist for Buyers

If your client is buying a home in Cayuga County, the following items will be required from the attorney for the buyer prior to closing:

1. Purchase Offer & Sale Contract;

A. Is there a written contract for the purchase? A verbal contract for the purchase of property in New York State is barred by the Statute of Frauds. So, all contracts must be in writing.

B. Is the contract fully executed by all parties? Does the contract have all the required, initials, signatures and witness signatures?

C. Does the contract include the Property Disclosure Statement? If the Seller fails to provide the Property Disclosure Statement, then the buyers are entitled to a $500.00 credit at the closing.

D. Does the contract set a reasonable closing date? What are the client expectations for the closing? What is their living situation? Do they need to be in the home by a set date? Or, are they comfortable with the “on or about” language that is in the contract?

E. Does the contract include all of the personal property that the buyers expect to be included? Are there appliances that should be included or curtains or extra furniture to be considered?

F. Has the contract been approved by the attorneys? The Cayuga County form Purchase Contract requires attorney approval to be binding- without it, there contract is null and void.

2. Property Inspection Reports

A. Does your client want to have an inspection or testing of the property? If so, they will need to specific in the contract how quickly this will be done. Also, if there are issues arising out of the inspection, they will need to provide a copy of the inspection report to the attorney for further discussion.

3. Mortgage Commitment;

A. What Bank will your client be using? This is an important question and will affect everything from which attorneys are involved to how quickly the transaction will close. Regardless of who your client uses for financing, the first step requires working with the lender to make an application for a mortgage to obtain a mortgage commitment. This is the commitment by the Bank to provide the financing for the purchase. Once this is provided by the Bank, the Sellers attorney will start (if they have not already) ordering and pulling together title documents for the Buyers’ Attorney’s review.

4. Title Documents

A. These will be provided by the Sellers Attorney and generally include an Abstract of Title, Survey, Tax search and bills, payoff letters, and any other documents that may affect the title to the property.

5. Insurance Binder

A. Does your client have an insurance agent? As the closing date approaches, the client will need to provide the attorneys with a homeowners’ insurance binder with a paid receipt. This is usually one of the last steps the buyer takes before attending the closing and is usually paid for by the buyer outside of the closing.