We always tell our buyers to be sure they read and understand the standard board contract that is used to make an offer to purchase property in our market. As we fill it out with them, we paraphrase and tell them about the importance of the document they are signing and initialling.
However, the contract is eight pages long and it's likely that many of them don't pay as much attention to some very important language as we'd like. That's one more reason why it's so important to have a competent buyer's agent on your side when you're purchasing a home or investment property.
One of the most critical sections of our contract in Southwestern Illinois is the financing commitment deadline. The buyer's financial pre-approval is submitted with the offer to purchase, but the lender's full loan commitment must also be presented to the seller by a certain date.
This is where things get tricky and where a buyer can lose everything if no one is paying attention.
Our contract language reads that the loan commitment must be finalized not later than 30 days after contract acceptance or 10 days prior to closing -- whichever comes first.
"So what?" you might ask. Well...if the commitment isn't produced, then the seller has the right to terminate the contract. "Hey, Nancy," you might also ask, "Why would a seller want to do that? Don't they want to sell their house?"
Yes, but put yourself in the seller's position. They might have received another offer since yours was accepted. And if they took a back-up contract on their home (thinking yours might fall through), it could be for a larger amount than you are paying for their home. That means the seller could think it is in their best interest to try to get out of his contract with you by whatever means possible.
So, my buyer friends, be sure you and your Realtor are talking about all the nuances of the contract from the time you make the offer until the day you're sitting at the closing table and being handed the keys to your new home.
Take those dates seriously. It's easier to read and understand a contract than it is to start the home search process all over again.
About the Author: Nancy Milton, GRI, is a Realtor with the Just Ducky Homes team at Coldwell Banker Brown Realtors in Edwardsville, Illinois. She and Kristina Pratt help their customers buy and sell homes and investment properties in St. Louis' Illinois suburbs of Madison and St. Clair counties with special emphasis on real estate in the communities of Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Maryville, Collinsville and Troy. For more information, visit their web site at http://www.JustDuckyHomes.com or e-mail Nancy@JustDuckyHomes.com.
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I help good people buy and sell good homes in St. Louis' Illinois suburbs, with special emphasis on the Metro East communities of Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Maryville, Collinsville, Troy and surrounding areas in Madison County, Illinois.
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REMAX Preferred Partners is located at One 157 Center, Edwardsville, IL 62025, 618-791-8007 (direct) 618-655-1188 (office). We're easy to find on IL-157 in Edwardsville between Pasta House Co. and Shenanigans. Each office is independently owned and operated.