What To Ask For In A Contract


Whether working with a Real Estate professional, or buying a home for sale by owner, you need to understand what you need in order to not just contract, but to close.

So what do you ask for in a contract? A lot of this will depend upon whether you’re using a government assistance program or just plain old savings. In the end, there really isn’t a whole lot you need to ask for.

  • You can always expect to ask for the maximum allowable seller contribution of 6% towards your closing costs.
  • Ask for a home warranty! This is a handy perk when buying an existing home.
  • Always insure the seller pays property taxes through the date of close. Remember, most sellers have escrow accounts with a lender to pay these when due and they will be getting these funds back after closing.
  • If you’re using a charity/Not-For-Profit, make certain you have the contract addendum completed and signed. This is your down payment money and you most certainly don’t want to forget about this.
  • Be sure you get not less than $500.00 towards repairs that may be required prior to closing. This protects both you and the seller from any conditions which might be present that prevents closing until those issues are corrected. It is definitely a clear and concise chain of responsibility.
  • Be certain the home has a stove, refrigerator and air conditioning. If not, you need to stipulate in the contract that these items will be installed prior to closing.
  • If the home was built in 1978 or earlier, be sure to complete a lead based paint addendum to the contract.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for any other items you may want done. Such as a carpet replacement credit etc. If there are things that need to be done to the home, the seller can always escrow the money at closing. You can then use these funds to make the improvements you agreed to.

Again, if you do not have a Realtor®, we highly recommend you hire a Real Estate Attorney to draw up the contract.

That’s it, in a nut shell.

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