Finding out details about the property is crucial to making a sound decision:
- The single most important issue is the “title work”. When you complete this transaction do you own this property with a “clean title”? Are you getting what you think that you are paying for? This work is done by the closing attorney.
- In addition to the title work, there are a variety of inspections that you may choose to do:
- Home inspection
- Pest inspection
- Radon tests
- In some cases engineers or other specialists are brought in
- In a condominium or home owners’ association it is important to review the Master Deed, Rules and Regulations and the association’s financials. You will be owning your property in a relationship with others, which gives you legal and financial obligations.
A Strategic Approach
The strategy for deciding which pieces of due diligence you will do and when depends on your needs, your risk tolerance, and market norms for the type of property and the location. There is no one correct answer, so our experience allows us to guide you through the decisions with as much information as possible.
If your offer is the only offer on a property, you will probably do many of these things, you will do them after the property is under agreement, and you will have contingencies to protect your deposit.
If there are many offers on a property, as there are likely to be in Arlington, potential buyers will begin to waive their contingencies to make their offer more attractive to the seller.
In our opinion, it is important to balance the risks of a particular property with the protection that you need. For example, if you are buying a ramshackle house to tear it down and build a new house, do you really need a home inspection? You might need to spend some time at the building department, instead. Will you make the purchase of your home contingent on a radon test? Radon mitigation is inexpensive and effective, so you might waive that inspection and conduct an inspection after the purchase is complete, instead.
Contingencies are Key
Are you in a position to purchase a home with no contingencies? We don’t encourage anyone to waive contingencies out of hand, regardless of what the market might look like. When necessary, we’ll help you get the answers you need as quickly as possible, frequently before you write the offer, so that your offer is as strong as possible.