The Law Office of Eric J. Proos reminds you: if you are considering purchasing and/or selling real estate, it is more important to get a handle on the ins and outs of real estate transactions. Having access to an attorney who has experience with and dedication to real estate law is more important than ever. No one wants to find themselves regretting a commitment after papers have been signed. Buying of home and/or commercial real estate these days can be a challenge. Ask the right questions. Don’t end up with buyer’s remorse.
Top 5 Real Estate Law FAQs
—Mortgages: How do I know I’m qualified?
While many buyers today have cash to purchase a home, most are not in that enviable category. You must convince a lending institution to give you a mortgage to pay off the house over time. Getting a pre-approval letter from a lender speeds up the process and eliminates the disappointment of being rejected later in the process. Knowing how much home you can afford also helps narrow your search and eliminates those outside of your budget. Pre-approval also eliminates guessing about down payment and closing costs. Some real estate agents may demand prequalification before showing properties.
—What constitutes discrimination in homes sales?
A homeowner can legally reject an offer for a variety of reasons, including doubts as to whether the potential buyer can secure a loan. Perhaps the offer wasn’t high enough, or they’ve simply changed their mind. Refusing to sell a home based on race, sex, religion, familiar status, or national origin is a legally chargeable offense under the Fair Housing Act. Unsure? It is best to seek legal advice with questions about rejecting an offer, or if as buyer you believe you have been discriminated against.
—How much can an agent legally charge?
Generally, the average agent buyer commission is around 6%, but it can be as low as 1% from discount agents. In a seller’s market, competition among agents can be fierce. Better agents with great track records may want the full commission. It is up to buyers to research commission standards and weigh lower commissions against agent selling records. It may be worth the 6% for a quick home sale.
—What does “as is” mean?
The term is generally included in the home listing. It is a disclosure of things that may be imperfect or missing which a buyer accepts upon purchasing the home. The seller, however, is still bound by professional inspection. Certain faults, such as sub-standard electrical or heating or serious structural problems must be corrected by the seller. Sellers can offer a price reduction in exchange for the buyer making the repairs.
—How long before I receive a response to my offer?
Real estate generally set the ‘life’ of an offer, but an average is around 3-4 days. An agent my set a shorter time response is the home is a new listing and likely to get many offers. If an offer is rejected a buyer can place a new or counteroffer.
Still have questions? Need a real estate attorney? Clients in West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Westwood, and surrounding CA communities call The Law Office of Eric J. Proos (213) 784-3640.
All information provided in this article is for educational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice. Each situation is dependent on the specific facts and must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.