Whether you have or haven’t yet purchased a home in the state of Texas, you are probably aware that the transaction involves a contract that must be signed by both the seller and the buyer. The contract must include standards established by the state and the Texas Real Estate Commission, which has jurisdiction over the sale of residential properties. These standards address the concerns of the parties who are involved in the sale–the seller and the buyer.
If you are considering selling your home, then you want to be sure that the buyer is serious and qualified to follow through with the purchase. Therefore, you as the seller can require the buyer to offer a pre-approval letter from the bank that states that he has the finances to make the purchase. The seller can also insist that the buyer provide a substantial down payment as proof of his commitment to the purchase and as evidence that he or she has the funds to pay for the transaction.
As the seller, you can indicate in the contract that you wish to sell your house “as is.” In this circumstance, the contract would include a definition of the term “as is” – the condition of the property with any and all defects. Later, your real estate attorney can add more all-inclusive language to an addendum that assures further protection for you on this issue.
If the contract stipulates that you make certain repairs before closing, then the “as is” clause must include them. This assures that the buyer cannot claim that the repairs were not acceptable by the seller.
If there is a condition that could influence the buyer’s decision to purchase or not purchase the home, then it can be disclosed in the contract in the “as is” clause.
You as the seller can also stipulate that “due diligence” duties are the responsibility of the buyer. This obligates the buyer to arrange any inspections and appraisals of the house.
If you supply an existing home inspection report to the buyer, it can be supplied “as is” without guarantees.
You as the seller can also include an “assumptions” agreement that assigns when and to whom the buyer makes payments, how insurance will be handled, and so forth.
If you as the seller agree to “seller-financing,” then you can dictate the terms and conditions of the note and deed of trust beyond what is offered by the Texas Real Estate Commission Seller Financing Addendum. You can also get approval for all seller-financing documents well before closing. This avoids the possible blow-up of the sale due to last minute disagreements on the form and content of legal documents.
The buyer is most concerned with the condition of the house he is purchasing. Therefore, he should seek to know everything possible about it. The information can come from a number of sources including due diligence, a title commitment, a survey, disclosure on the part of the seller, broker information or, believe it or not, even gossip offered by the neighbors. It may be 2018 and the world no longer speaks Latin, but when buying a house, it is always important to remember the phrase caveat emptor (let the buyer beware).
The main concerns of the buyer include:
- Financing contingency
- Assumptions, seller financing, and wraps
- Disclosure of material conditions and defects
- Joint tenancy with right of survivorship
- Seller’s representation
- Final walk-through
- Seller default
- Earnest money installments
As you can see, real estate law can be quite complicated, and it is also typically the largest financial transactions that most of us will ever make. Therefore, whether you are the buyer or seller it is important to have a knowledgeable real estate attorney by your side to guide you through the pitfalls.
If you need the help of a Texas real estate attorney for your upcoming real estate deal, then the team at Fears Nachawati is here to help. Our team has helped thousands of Texans consider the full range of possibilities which are often overlooked and can help ensure a smooth and worry-free transaction.
For your free, no obligation consultation please call please call (866) 705-7584 or visit the offices of Fears Nachawati located throughout the great state of Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.