The housing market started to boom in 2020 as many individuals decided they wanted to leave apartments in cities for single-family homes. For some prospective buyers in Pennsylvania, the market boom has been a mixed blessing. As more buyers enter the scene, it is becoming more competitive, and getting an offer accepted feels like a true victory. However, that’s not the final step in the home-buying process.
After making an offer
While getting your offer accepted may feel like the biggest hurdle, there are still several obstacles to overcome before calling the house your home, including:
- The appraisal. After your offer is accepted, the bank will have an authorized party conduct an appraisal at your expense to protect the lender’s interest and ensure the home is worth at least what you offered. If the house doesn’t appraise for the value of the offer, the deal can fall through.
- The inspection. Sometimes, an inspection will uncover things that can compromise a deal. For example, termite damage, plumbing issues or wiring that’s not up to code can all be problems. While you may be able to have the seller pay for such issues, this is not always the case.
- Title issues. The title of the house provides ownership rights, so title insurance is used to protect banks and homeowners against claims on the property from outsiders. Title insurance companies will do a search to make sure the title on a property is clear and can be transferred in a sale. Occasionally, a search will turn up problems that are known as a cloud on the title. This can compromise a sale, too.
- Insurance risks. You may also discover problems with insuring the property. If a property is in a risky area, such as near a body of water or cliff, lenders may require additional hazard insurance. If there has been mold or water damage, a home may be uninsurable.
- One party backs out. Of course, there is always the risk that either the buyer or seller will become apprehensive and back out of the deal. Your contract will outline certain terms for either party to do so without penalty. In some cases, if the seller backs out, you may be able to collect damages.
Getting legal help with a real estate transaction
Real estate law is complicated. When purchasing a home, it’s wise to work with a lawyer to help you navigate any complications that arise after your offer is accepted and throughout the closing process. An experienced attorney may help you overcome problems when buying a home.