Buyers usually do not understand the
complex steps in buying a property. They rely on their real
estate agent to explain all the steps necessary in completing the
purchase. Purchasing a home is probably the largest single
investment that one will ever make. Understanding the
process and your legal rights is essential. With just a
little effort, the buyer can understand their legal rights, the
process and assure themselves that they have made an intelligent
1. Understanding the
process: Most real-estate offices and mortgage companies have
easy to read pamphlets explaining the buying and closing process,
legal rights of the buyer and what to expect in terms of cost.
2. Choose your real estate agent as carefully as you
chose your new home. It's a good idea to talk with
several agents. Then choose the one that you feel the most
knowledgeable about your needs.
3. Ask the real estate agent whom they will be
working for. If the seller is paying the sales
commission then the agent is usually working for the seller unless
the agent tells you different.
4. Get legal advice. Hire an attorney prior to
the home buying and loan borrowing process. Don't hesitate
to ask questions. Always ask up front
what the costs are going to be. Never sign a contract
without having your attorney look over the contract and give you
5. Never rely on a verbal commitment from anyone in
buying property. Get it in writing, consider having it a
part of the contract.
6. Contact a mortgage lender in advance. Find
out what mortgage amount you can qualify for. Check with
other mortgage companies. Remember that the decisions you
make in purchasing property can have a financial effect for years
7. Never hesitate to ask what you might consider to be
dumb or stupid questions. It's dumb and stupid not to
ask these questions.
8. Ask if you have the right to select the inspector of
your choice. Most mortgage companies now require an
inspection by a licensed inspector and usually the buyer pays for
this. Meet with the inspector prior to his inspection.
Point out and discuss any areas of concern that you might have
with the property such as the electrical system, the roof,
drainage and so forth. Ask that you be present at the
9. Research the neighborhood. Check with
county records for crime, school ratings, and other pertinent
10. Remember that you always have the right to negotiate
the price. Be aware of the real estate market in the
area. Negotiate from a position of knowledge that can be
critical in contracting strategies and techniques.