Everything is negotiable but usually you will have put $100 (plus or minus) down for a 5 to 10 day option period. This option period gives you the time to do your home inspections. Typically a seller will allow you 10 days but I have found that many foreclosures only allow 5 to 7 days. These are not business days; time is of the essence and strict compliance with the time for performance is required.
You will need to quickly find an inspector to inspect the home. I have a list of home inspectors that I can give you or you are welcome to find your home inspector yourself. Most people only think of one or two questions to ask a home inspector. The most common being “How much is your fee” and “When you can inspect the home”. Below I am including a list of additional questions you might ask.
The inspector may not inspect swimming pools, wells, septic tanks, wood destroying insects or other environmental test. You will likely need to arrange for those inspections separately. Sometimes the home inspector will have developed a relationship with a termite inspector or some of the other inspectors and can schedule that inspection for you. You will need to discuss that at the time you set the appointment. If not you will need to set the additional inspections yourself.
The primary purpose of the inspection is to educate you so you can make an informed purchasing decision. If you are buying a re-sale home I can almost guarantee you that the inspector will find something; that is what you are paying them for. The big ticket items you will want to keep in mind are the foundation, the heat/air and the roof; almost everything else is small stuff.
Should you find something that needs to be repaired during the inspections you can either ask for repairs or negotiate an agreed upon price so that you can do the repairs yourselves. We will then fill out an Amendment to the contract which takes precedence over the Contract. If you remember right we had probably marked accept the property in its present condition on the Earnest money contract. The Amendment amends the contract for any repairs or other changes that are made.
If the repairs are more than what you want to do, or maybe you just got cold feet, you can back out for any reason during this option period and the only money you will lose is the money you put down for the option and the cost of your inspection. The earnest money will be returned to you in full as long as you provide the owner a termination letter in the agreed upon days. Again time is of the essence!
© 2017 Houston Association of Realtors All rights reserved. Information deemed to be reliable but not guaranteed. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Broker Reciprocity Program. Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Results Realty are marked with the BR logo and detailed information about them includes the name of the listing brokers. Listing broker has attempted to offer accurate data, but buyers are advised to confirm all items. Information last updated on 2017-02-21.
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