Selling your home in Berkshire County, MA

Selling your home?

Here are some things to consider when you review the Purchase and Sale Agreement your realtor gives you.

1. Make sure the realtor lists the correct owner and property address. Surprisingly, mistakes continue to be made which require unnecessary amendment and clarification. For example, if the property is in the name of a Trust, be sure the correct Trustees are named.

2. Be sure the price is what you agreed upon and at least 5% of the purchase price is being paid as a deposit.

3. Make sure the closing date gives ample time for the contingency periods listed, otherwise extensions need to be obtained unnecessarily. Keep track of the dates that the Buyer has to perform their inspection and other contingencies. Buyers are usually given 14 to 21 days for inspection and 45 days for their mortgage financing. If the Buyers insert anything but ordinary financing arrangements, you should look into their ability to finance the transaction.

4. Make sure you understand what will happen if your septic does not pass Title 5. Repairing a failed septic is costly and takes time.  Hopefully, you have already done a Title 5, but if not, you should have it done as soon as possible.  It is the Seller’s obligation by law to provide a Title 5 report.

5. If you have tenants, be sure you can deliver the premises free of those tenants, if required. If tenants do not vacate voluntarily, you may need additional time to get them out, and that should be in the agreement you sign.

6. Make sure you understand whether you are obligated to provide a new survey or not. A survey is costly and takes time. Unless this is a new lot, a survey is generally not required.

7. Be sure you have listed, specifically, any items (fixtures) which are attached to, or installed in, the home or land that you plan to remove from the property and which are not included in the sale. It is presumed appliances go with the house, but it is best to specify if they are included or not.  If you have a wood stove, be sure you can provide a wood stove permit to the Buyer.

8. You should advise your attorney of any outstanding loans on the property and provide your attorney with the loan number and a written authorization to obtain a payoff of the loan for closing. You should advise your attorney who provides fuel to the home and provide your attorney with your tax bills and special assessments.

9. Be sure an adequate number (often 5% of the purchase price) is inserted in the agreement in the event of a Buyer default. If your home is off the market during peak sale season, it can set you back significantly if a Buyer defaults in their purchase. This sum will compensate you for the lost time and opportunities.

10. If there are any other terms or special conditions relative to your sale, such as repairs you have promised to make, they must be set forth clearly, but simply in the agreement.

11. Be sure to have your attorney review your Purchase and Sale Agreement before you return it to the Buyers.

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