Typically, a real estate offer centers around many contingencies. A contingency is a condition that the buyer must approve in order for the deal to close. If the buyer disapproves of the findings, they can cancel the contract, and they may get their deposit back.
In a seller’s market, which means there are more buyers than there are homes for sale in Baton Rouge, buyers may be tempted to remove contingencies to make their offer more appealing, but there are some that should probably be left in place.
In the contract, you may note that the sale depends on the property appraising, which means the home must be worth what you offered. The lender will call for an appraisal if you are getting a mortgage on a property. If the house did not meet its value, several things could happen.
If you have an appraisal contingency in place, you could negotiate with the seller or cancel the deal. You can exit the agreement and get your deposit back because you had the contract contingent upon the property appraising. If you did not have this safety net in place, you could still cancel the contract, but you will lose your deposit, and the seller may claim you breached the agreement.
You can move forward with the purchase even if the property does not appraise, but you will have to come up with the extra cash.
This condition goes hand in hand with the appraisal. If your financing falls through for some reason, you can walk away if you stipulated a financing contingency in the contract. Some reasons a loan can fall apart are low appraisals, underwriting issues, or the buyer’s financial situation changed.
There are some instances where you might consider removing this contingency upfront, such as if you are paying cash or you have enough readily available funds but you want to try and secure a mortgage first.
A home inspector can point out unseen flaws in the home. Some of the problems will be minor, but some could cost you a lot of money down the road. Things an inspection report will note are the condition of the roof, electrical system, plumbing, and overall structure.
When buyers must approve of the home inspection before moving forward, their interests are protected. Buyers can use the report as a tool to go back to the seller and renegotiate. The seller may not agree to any price changes or repairs. If that happens, a buyer can choose to continue or back out without repercussions if the home inspection contingency was part of the original agreement.
Wells and Septics
Most rural properties operate with well and septic systems. Inspectors can test the well water for contaminants and check the pump. Septic companies empty the tank and test the system to ensure all components and the leach field are working properly. If a well or septic system has problems, repairs or replacement can be very costly. Keeping these contingencies in place is good for health and safety reasons.
The best strategy for a buyer is to work with their real estate agent to construct an agreeable contract that protects them, which will depend on the market, the property, and the buyer’s financial situation.