Understanding the purchase and sale agreement on property in the state of Massachusetts can be quite confusing. It is vital that whether you are buying, or selling, that you know the key points of the purchase and sales agreement. This can help avoid any delays or postponements in the closing of the property, as well as help to protect both parties in the sale. Massachusetts state law requires that a real estate attorney be on hand during closing of property sales, and the law allows for the buyer to hire their own closing lawyer. New rules do allow for the buyer to use their real estate lawyer at closing, as opposed to hiring a separate closing attorney, which can save them a great deal of money. Before going into closing, here are a few frequently asked questions on purchase and sale agreements.
Question: There were several things that the seller had agreed to repair in the purchase and sales agreement, but they have not been completed and my closing date is approaching. What can I do?
Answer: This is a prime example of why you need representation when the Purchase and Sale Agreement is created…to protect your rights. According to any standard purchase and sale agreement, if the seller is not ready to hand over possession of the property, and/or has not met the requirements set forth in the agreement, then you could either cancel, or extend the contract. If you are committed to the purchase, an extension would be your best choice.
Question: Why do we need a purchase and sale agreement when we have already negotiated everything in the Offer to Buy?
Answer: The offer to purchase sets the price, deposit, closing date, amount of mortgage, and right for the buyer to have the property inspected. The purchase of sale agreement is a final agreement on all of the above, as well as closing provisions.
Question: If I have already signed an offer with a buyer, but realize that I did not ask enough for my property, what can I do?
Answer: The sale price was actually set in the Offer to Purchase, which would have been signed by both buyer and seller at this point. Once the seller has signed the offer to purchase, and agreed to the terms, there is usually no more negotiating to be done.
Question: Am I required by law to tell the buyer everything about the house? What if there is something wrong that I am not aware of, will I be liable?
Answer: In most real estate deals, it is up to each party to protect themselves. The buyer is to hire an inspector to check the house and a real estate attorney to look over the paperwork, for example. Termite inspections, lead paint inspections, etc are all the responsibility of the buyer to ask, however, most states do require that the seller provide that information before signing. A real estate lawyer can help you determine what information you are required to give.
These are just a few examples of questions that are often asked by buyers and sellers. Call our offices today if you have other questions that you would like us to answer.