What are contingencies when closing on real estate?

On Behalf of | Apr 27, 2023 | Real Estate Law

Buying a house is a massive commitment, so you want to be certain that it’s the right deal for you. The trouble is, you can only tell if you have all your ducks in a row after signing a closing agreement. That’s when you can do the final things necessary to ensure the purchase is good to go.

Closing agreements are legally binding, so you need to insert clauses to allow you to back out if certain issues arise. These are known as contingency clauses. Here are some you should consider:

Financing contingencies

Maybe you had a mortgage offer and a buyer for your existing house. If either one of them falls through, then you’ll be unable to proceed. Banks can change their interest rates or withdraw their offer altogether. House buyers can back out due to complications further down the chain.

Title contingencies

It could happen that the person you signed to close with does not have the right to sell the property. They might share ownership with others who they’ve not told you about. Or the property could be subject to an ownership dispute. Lesser problems can also occur, such as discovering an easement on the property, or a difference of opinion over where the boundary lies.

Structural or safety issues

Sellers are meant to disclose certain issues with a property, but not all do and not all are aware of the problems their place has. Surveyors can check for structural damage as well as problems with soil contamination or propensity to natural disasters.

With so much at stake when buying real estate and so much that could go wrong, it’s essential to get legal help to ensure you include all the contingencies you need.


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