We are now at the spot where we have found the house, written a contract, negotiated the price and terms and received a signed, executed contract. What do we do next?
It’s time to get your attorney involved. If you don’t have an attorney, your Realtor can probably recommend a good one. By getting an attorney in the process, we now go into “Attorney Review”. During attorney review the attorneys for both the buyer and seller have three business days to review the contract and either approve or disapprove the contract. If the contract is acceptable as it is, nothing needs to be done and the contract is binding on all parties. But often, the attorneys will read the contract and either may make modifications to the contract to protect their client. The attorney may also make changes to reflect or clarify their client’s wishes. Once all of the finer points are negotiated and approved by all parties, one attorney will prepare an addendum to the contract. Once the addendum has been signed by all parties, the contract is then binding.
During attorney review either party may cancel the contract for any reason.
A good, experienced Realtor can usually explain almost anything in the contract, but Realtors are not attorneys. So be sure to ask your attorney any questions about the contract during review. This is when to raise any concerns about the contract or to discuss any defects you have noticed. There will be a period where you get a home inspection, but the sooner you can get started on issues the better. If the property has a swimming pool, oil heat, any other structures on the property or has septic and well, make sure that your attorney is aware.
Attorney review does not need to be completed in three business days, but it must be started within three business days.
Next – Chapter 3, Applying for your Mortgage