OK, so Protect Yourself When Buying a Home is a pretty long Real Estate Term to Know in Georgia. Actually, it’s a Consumer Protection Brochure that has been produced by the Georgia Association of REALTORS. In the past, it was optional for REALTORS or real estate agents to provide this to their Buyers. As of the 2011 printing of the Purchase and Sale Agreement, it is now part of the actual real estate contract.
This important brochure should be given to you at the START of your home or condominium purchase process by your agent. At Thomas Ramon Realty, this brochure is included in our initial information package, and we review it with you.
It has 10 specific topics that it covers as they relate to a home or condominium purchase:
Read and keep a copy of any signed contract
It would seem pretty common sense, right, that you would keep such things? Well, when you sign the Purchase and Sale Agreement, you have created a legally binding contract with time lines and dates that must be followed. Plan to have a file or notebook where you can keep ALL the documents related to your sale. In case you might lose them, you could also consider scanning them and having them on a computer, backed up to a service like Carbonite where they would be protected.
Have the home or condo inspected by a professional home inspector
Having this inspection performed helps you and I examine the condition of the home and determine if there are any repairs that may need to be performed by the Seller prior to your purchase. While we never hope for major problems, this inspection can uncover issues that you may not want to deal with, now, or in the future.
Inspect the neighborhood where you plan to live
You should take time, both with your agent and by yourself to get to know the neighborhood where you are going to purchase your home. There are many factors to consider. In an urban environment like Midtown Atlanta, you might want to visit the area both during the day, and at night to determine if there are any noise issues from surrounding businesses or highways. What is the proximity to a major highway or transit station if you commute to work? Being a long distance from a major highway can add travel time to your commute. Where is shopping, dining, gas stations and other services you might need? If there is vacant land near the building you are looking to purchase in, are there any known plans for that land? A knowledgeable agent like me that works the Midtown market can help you determine these things. Also, you can contact local government planning officials that might have new information about potential plans for development.
While rarely a concern in condos, this is an important consideration if you are purchasing a single family home. Again, our contracts have changed from where this was a Seller responsibility to provide this information, to now the Buyer is responsible for conducting these inspections. Again, this should be done by a licensed pest control company. If you happen to be purchasing in a condo community that is older, and has ground floor units, then this would be a wise inspection to have.
In our next post, we’ll review the remaining five topics you need to consider as you purchase a home or condominium.
If you are just joining me in this series, and would like to read all the posts, please visit Real Estate Terms To Know in Georgia