Advice for Buyer

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2000 by Keith A. Hyche


1. Before you incur any expense of inspections or mortgage applications, check with this office to verify that the contract and any addendums have been signed by all parties. Tell us of all agreements between you and the sellers regarding personal property, repairs, change of closing dates, or any other matters not contained in the contract.

2. Diary all contingency dates, such as: Termite, Home, Well and Septic inspections as well mortgage contingency dates. Speak with your real estate agent regarding the scheduling of all inspections and mortgage applications. If any of the dates cannot be met, contact this office immediately so that we may request an extension. Failure to meet these deadlines may result in a waiver of the contingency.

3. If any of the inspections reveal defects, communicate with this office immediately. Attempt to obtain written estimates for repair of the defective condition. Your Realtor may be helpful in obtaining estimates. Promptly submit these written estimates to this office, so that we may communicate them to the seller's attorney and attempt to resolve how much (if any) is to be contributed by each party. Your Realtor can assist you in negotiating disputed repairs.

4. Before closing, arrange through the Realtor to establish utilities in your name.

5. Before closing, you must obtain a homeowner's insurance policy and supply this office and the lender with a copy. The legal name and correct address for the lending institution and yourself must appear on the policy. The amount of insurance must be at least equal to the amount borrowed. It is suggested that the insurance be for at least the purchase price or fair market value, whichever is greater. Discuss with your insurance agent additional insurance for your personal property, domestic help, and other insurance needs. Contact this office for exact instructions on the homeowner's insurance requirements.

6. Do not make repairs or move property into your new home until after closing.

7. One day before closing, contact this office for the amount of funds you will need to bring to the closing. You must bring to the closing certified or cashier's checks made payable to "Keith A. Hyche Attorney Trust Account."

8. You must arrange through the Realtor to conduct a walk-through inspection on the day of the closing. At the time of the walk-through inspection, check all heating, electrical, plumbing and septic systems, as well as all appliances. After the closing you may not be able to complain of defects.

9. In the event the closing is to take place outside of Sussex County, an additional travel fee will be charged.

10. Any disputes arising after the closing, which requires the services of this office, will be billed at an hourly basis consistent with our current hourly rates for civil matters.

11. If you are buying a home where there is a homeowner's association (such as a condominium or lake community), you should immediately obtain and read copies of all association bylaws, rules and regulations to determine if there are any conditions you will not agree too. If that is the case, contact this office immediately as you will not be able to void the contract after it is out of attorney review for that reason.

12. Contact the County Health Department to find out if they have any records of any septic installations and/or repairs or if there has been any other health related issues relative to the property. If the Health Department does have a record, you should review it and bring any questions to the attention of the Home Inspector.

13. It is always a good idea to have the property surveyed. Although your lender may not require a survey, I recommend that you obtain one to determine if there are any encroachments, easements or deed description overlaps on your property, or if any structure on your property encroaches on an adjacent one. If you do not obtain a survey in an attempt to discover these potential problems, you will be responsible to correct them at your own expense after the closing. Contact this office if you wish to obtain a survey.

14. Be prepared for unanticipated delays in closing.

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