Contract to Purchase Charleston Real Estate

Making an offer in on a home can be a stressful situation if your realtor does not have an extensive knowledge of their contracts.  Your home purchase is probably the single most important financial decision you will make in your life.  Make sure that you get a qualified realtor to represent you, and make sure that this agent has YOUR best interests at heart, and not only their own interest in a commission.  There are a lot of items in a purchase contract, and so we'd like to go over a couple of extras that are NOT in the contract, that you must specify:

  • Make sure you have an inspection contingency in place.  This allows you to perform home inspections and decide whether to move forward on this purchase, based upon the results of these home inspections.  What if you find mold?  What if you ask the sellers to repair some active leaks, and they refuse to do so?  You want to make sure that you are protected in the contract and that you will get your full earnest money back if you need to break the contract.  A good way to write this into the contract is to have the contract state, "All parties to this contract agree that the contract is contingent upon the buyers' complete satisfaction of all home inspections. If buyers are not completely satisfied, contract becomes void, and all earnest monies refunded to buyers." This statement alone will provide great protection.
  • Make sure that you have a contingency in the contract to protect you with regard to satisfactory hazard insurance.  Too many times I've seen a deal come down to 3 days before closing, and the buyers find out that their prospective home in Charleston is in the "wind pool," and their insurance is doubled (sometimes tripled).  Even if you're 3 miles from the beach, it can happen.  Make sure that you have something in the contract that protects you and your best interests!
  • Make sure you are covered in regards to flood insurance.  Is the house in a zone that requires flood insurance?  Will your lender require flood insurance for this property?  How much $ will this add to my monthly payment?  You'd better find out!

Too many times (from the seller's side of things), I've seen first-time homebuyers bound to a contract which has no exit plan.  It is either negligence on their agent's part, or lack of knowledge in anything but the basic real estate contract.  Do not hire a Charleston real estate agent who does not know his or her purchase contracts.  Hire us, we can help.  If you have any questions on any of this, please give us a call any time at (843)452-0686.

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