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Set up contingencies to protect your interests when buying a home

When you're buying a home, you want to make sure that the process goes smoothly. You haven't purchased a home before, though, so you're not sure what has to happen to protect your interests.

The last thing any buyer wants to find out is that they've become victims of concealed problems within the home or that they've been taken advantage of in some other way. That's why it's important to know what you're doing when you make an offer and the protections that are available to you.

Get to know contingencies, because you need them

The first thing to understand is that what a seller says is true about a home shouldn't be taken as truth without supporting evidence. This is why most attorneys will suggest having a contract with contingencies in place. Contingencies are clauses that allow you to walk away from the purchase of a home if there are certain conditions that are not met by the seller.

For example, you may want to make an offer on a home but worry that some damage you saw is structural. Though the seller says it's not, you may want to add a contingency to your contract that you want an inspection. If that inspection comes back fine, then you'll make the purchase. If it comes back with structural damage, you may decide to pass on the home.

An inspection contingency is a smart choice

Speaking of inspections, having an inspection contingency in place is smart. You should always want to have your potential new home inspected by a qualified home inspector for damage and issues that could make the property dangerous. They will also identify problems with the home that could be expensive to repair.

Once you see the extent of the home's issues, you can negotiate to ask the seller to fix those problems. If they won't, you could offer a lower purchase price for the home or walk away from the purchase entirely.

Understanding contingencies is a great way to protect yourself if you're trying to buy your first home or if you're adding to your real estate portfolio. With the right contingencies in place, you won't have to worry about going through with the purchase of a property that is not in the condition you thought it was. Good contingencies help you avoid disputes, which is what everyone wants to see happen with any purchase.

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Fox & Moghul 3871 Plaza Drive Fairfax, VA 22030 Phone: 571-295-4026 Fax: 866-451-9531 Map & Directions