Q: I am about to purchase my first home and have heard horror stories about people losing their deposits or buying a house with problems. What should I do to protect myself? – Leroy
Once you find a house, have your attorney review the contract to make sure you are protected. Ask questions about anything you don’t understand. Getting the contract right at the start is one of the most important steps in a successful closing. Mark all the key dates on your calendar, such as the inspection and mortgage financing deadlines. Get your home inspection as quickly as possible and follow up with the inspector. Stay in contact with your loan officer and make sure to immediately provide any additional documents that are requested.
If you do need to get out of the contract, make sure you give the appropriate amount of notice so that you can get your deposit back without a fight. Review the title commitment and lien search with your attorney, making sure that there are no open permits or other issues. Ask to see the closing paperwork, including the settlement statement, at least a day prior to the closing. A real estate closing does not need to be scary or difficult.