There’s a lot to do in a short period of time. Understand that you control the timeframes. It’s your offer to make. You choose the dates to put into the offer. Give yourself enough time to conduct a professional home inspection and get the results (including the radon lab report).
The second most important thing to know is two words. “Due diligence.” Don’t rely on the seller to disclose information about the condition of the house, the land, or anything else. It’s your obligation to make a due and diligent search and review of everything and anything of importance to you. In Massachusetts, other than lead paint and the existance of a septic system, a seller has no obligation to disclose to the buyer anything about the condition of the property, including defects known to the seller.
Check the building department records for permits that may be open, town conservations records, and the planning board for anything happening in your neighborhood. Ask your insurance agent if the house is in a flood zone or any record of insurance claims?
Here are also 10 key questions you shouldn’t forget to ask:
- If there is a septic system, does the number of bedrooms in the MLS match the town records?
- Does the seller have a plot plan or survey of the land?
- Are there any issues with the neighbor concerning the boundaries or use of the land or discussions about fences, driveways, or overhanging tree limbs?
- Are there any easements affecting the land?
- Is the home on or abut conservation land?
- Is there any history of flooding or water penetration into the basement or elsewhere in the house?
- What’s excluded from the sale that you presume is included but could be moveable?
- How old are the roof and major systems?
- Are there any current warranties that are transferrable?
- Are there any current or past underground storage or fuel tanks?
Lastly, homebuyers wait too long to engage an attorney. A buyer needs to have the team in place before making an offer. Too much critical time is lost once an offer is accepted in hiring a lawyer, a home inspector, and an insurance agent. Time deadlines get crunched as a result. You and your team need time to evaluate what you are buying – and too little time presents a problem for you, the buyer.
Contact us anytime that you are buying a home. We will help make it come out right!
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