Buying a house is a huge step to take in life, and it is something most people hire real estate agents for. In addition to hiring a real estate agent, you may also want to hire a real estate lawyer, like the ones at Heil & Saylor, during this process. There are several ways a lawyer can help you, and one of these ways is by ensuring that your purchase agreement protects you, especially when it comes to the earnest money you will be required to put down.
What is earnest money?
When you make an offer on a house, you will be required to put earnest money down, and this is done to show that you are serious about your offer. The amount you must put down might be as little as $500 or $1,000, or it could be as high as 2% to 3% of the price of the home. In any case, it is money you could lose if the deal falls through, and this is one of the reasons you should hire a real estate lawyer to assist you through this process.
How can you lose this money?
If you offer to buy a house and put money down on it, you will have the obligation to purchase the house; however, there can be contingencies. A contingency is something that would allow you to break the contract if it is not meant. If the deal falls through because of a contingency, your contract should clearly state that you can get your money back.
An example of this is if there is a contingency on the offer that the house must successfully pass a home inspection. If the house fails, you should receive a full refund of your earnest deposit. If your contract is not worded properly and the deal falls through, you could lose the money you put down.
How can you protect this money?
When you hire a real estate attorney, he or she will make sure the purchase offer is worded in a way that protects you from losing the money you put down. This will often include adding a contingency about financing. For example, your contract should state that if you cannot get financing, the deal is off and your money must be returned.
In fact, your attorney should cover every possible area that could cause the deal to fall through. By doing this, you can be certain that you will not lose your money if something goes wrong with the deal.
If you would like to learn more about how a real estate lawyer can protect you when purchasing a home, contact one today to schedule an appointment.