What Do I Need To Know About Buying A Home?

Buying or selling a home is often the largest and most complicated financial transaction that a person will make in his or her life. If you use a real estate agent, there are many things you should know, including:

Sellers:

As a seller you have the right to negotiate the commission and terms of your listing agreement with the listing agent.

Six (6) months is often a requested listing period, but three (3) months maybe sufficient time to sell your home or to determine whether a real estate agent is going to do a good job for you. Listing agreements may be renewed but be wary of signing one that can be automatically renewed.

Before you sign a listing agreement, it is recommended that you talk with several agents. Find out what each agent will do for their fee including the type and quality of the sales campaign they will conduct.

As a seller you have the right to have an attorney review both the listing agreement and the sales agreement before you sign them. Even though the agent represents you, remember they do not get paid unless a sale is made.

As a seller you may be liable for the actions (e.g., misconduct or misstatements) of your real estate agent and for the conduct of any persons they hire on your behalf. This may include the real estate agents that bring buyers to look at your house.

Buyers:

As a buyer you have the right, and are well advised, to have an attorney both review the agreement of sale before you sign it and represent you at the settlement table.

In a traditional real estate transaction, the buyer does not have anyone representing his or her interests. The real estate agent showing you the house usually owes allegiance to the seller, not to you the buyer.

As a buyer, you have the right to have a buyers broker represent your interests in finding a home. If you choose this arrangement, it is recommended that you talk with several agents before you sign an agreement. Find out what each agent will do for their fee.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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