What Are Your Responsibilities As A Buyer?

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Watching the news, it seems like no one ever wants to take responsibility for their actions. It is easier to be the victim than to take responsibility for things within our control.

The words, “it’s not my fault” are often heard. Looking elsewhere may be easier than looking within.

With that said, I’ll segue to real estate. In a real estate transaction, buyers, sellers, and agents all have responsibilities.

As in dealing with the Internal Revenue Service, knowledge or negligence of the law does not excuse you from the law or your obligations.

The buyer of a home or property is usually given a minimum of 10 days to have inspections done on the property. This could also be called a due diligence period.

Normally, a buyer will have a home inspection and a termite inspection; however, this is only the beginning of a buyer’s responsibilities.

The Arizona Association of Realtors, in conjunction with the Arizona Department of Real Estate, publishes a Buyer Advisory. It is found online at http://www.aaronline.com/documents/ buy_advis.pdf.

The 12-page booklet describes the duties of a buyer and discusses common issues that a buyer may want to investigate before proceeding with a transaction.

The cover page of the Residential Purchase Contract is called the buyer attachment. It also delineates responsibilities of the buyer:

  1. The first is to read the purchase contract before you sign it.

  2. A buyer should receive a seller’s property disclosure of which the information comes directly from the seller. Any areas of concern should be investigated by the buyer.

  3. It is recommended that the buyer have a home inspection. A buyer may have other areas of concern and buyers may wish to hire specialized inspectors for mold, roof, pool, heating/cooling system, etc.

  4. Buyers should confirm that the property is insurable.

  5. If obtaining a mortgage, it is the buyer’s responsibility to make sure the loan closes on time.

  6. A buyer will obtain a title commitment from the title/escrow company that should be examined.

  7. If in a homeowner’s association, the buyer should read the CC&Rs and other governing documents.

  8. The buyer should conduct a final walkthrough of the property prior to closing.

Of utmost importance, a buyer should verify anything of importance to them during the inspection period. If questions arise, ask that the inspection period be extended until all areas of concern are satisfied.

Signing the purchase contract is only the beginning of a real estate transaction.

Ray Pugel is a designated broker for Coldwell Banker Bishop Realty. Contact him at (928) 474-2216.

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