Real estate is not always the most approachable field as there are many laws and regulations to be followed. Whether it is buying your first home or selling a property, seeking out help for your real estate needs is perfectly understandable.
Herr Potts and Potts has represented Buyers and Sellers in residential real estate transactions and has been the go to attorneys when real estate sales hit problems. Whether you are buying your first home or selling a residential property in an estate, our attorneys have the experience to make sure that you are legally covered. We negotiate with realtors, review all residential agreements of sales and addendums to the agreement, ensure clear title and other actions to make certain a clear transaction. Our Delaware and Montgomery County real estate attorneys have served clients in the area diligently and would be happy to guide you through any real estate issues you may have. To contact us, call (610) 254-0114 or contact us online.
Choosing Your First Home
Buying your first home can be an exciting, yet stressful, process. A potential homebuyer has several decisions to make concerning their new home purchase, such as:
- The fair market value of the home
- Whether they wish to have a mortgage
- The state of the community where the home is located
- Finding homes which fall into your needs and budget
- Preparing an acceptable offer to purchase the home
- Filing the appropriate paperwork and negotiating the final deal
Many first-time homebuyers choose to seek out representation to aid with all the facets of purchasing a new home. An experienced real estate attorney should be there every step of the way for a potential buyer. An attorney can help a first-time buyer with issues like: drafting their initial offer, negotiating with the seller for a fair price, and any issues arising during the escrow process or closing.
Disclosure Requirements in Pennsylvania
The seller of a real estate property in Pennsylvania has a duty to disclose certain information concerning the property. This is accomplished when the seller presents the buyer with a seller’s property disclosure statement. This statement must disclose to the buyer all known material defects in the property that are not readily observable. A material defect is a problem with the property which significantly effects the value of the property. A material defect can include issues like:
- Issues with the electrical or plumbing systems in the home
- Deed restrictions like a neighbor having an easement onto your property
- Whether appliances in the home are included or require repairs
- Environmental contaminants on the property like mold or asbestos
- Whether the home has been remodeled
- Any title, insurance, or financial issues
A material defect is something which requires a substantial effort to repair. Issues like a leaky faucet or a creaking door will not be considered material.
Seller disclosure statements do not cover all types of issues a potential homebuyer may consider a material defect. Pennsylvania law only requires disclosures for issues which can be repaired and have an identifiable cost associated with those repairs. Meaning, if a previous owner passed away in the home, it need not be disclosed. If an individual was murdered on the premises, that does not have to be disclosed either.
Sellers are not obligated to warn the buyer of defects they were unaware of. Sellers are also not required to complete any analysis of the property to complete the seller disclosure. The seller need only disclose of material defects they know exist or have a reason to know exist. If a seller does not disclose a material defect about the property, they can be held liable for the costs of repairs and other actual damages the buyer may suffer.
Performing Home Inspections in Pennsylvania
Potential homebuyers should not solely rely on a seller disclosure statement to for all their information about a property. Many homebuyers hire an independent home inspector and often make their purchase contingent upon a satisfactory inspection of the home. A home inspection typically includes examining the property for:
- Termites or other infestations
- Quality of the soil or sewage systems
- Structural integrity of the home
- Noise levels in the surrounding area
- Unsavory odors
Once a home inspection has been completed, a potential homebuyer has a few options they can choose, such as:
- Choose to walk away from the contract
- Ask the seller to repair the issue
- Ask for a reduction in the sale price
- Ask for a discount in the purchase price in exchange for repairing the issue themselves
Generally, a seller has three options they can choose in response:
- The seller can agree to all the buyer’s requests
- They can decline all the buyer’s requests
- They can negotiate with the buyer for other arrangements
These are merely some initial considerations a first-time homebuyer should think about. There are other complex and stressful procedures a potential buyer will face during the homebuying process. You should consider consulting with an experienced lawyer who will be there throughout this process.
Work with an Experienced Real Estate Lawyer to Purchase Your Home
Purchasing a new home for yourself and your family is a rewarding process. It is also a complex process which should not be handled lightly. At Herr Potts and Potts, we will work with you to find your family a beautiful home which meets all your unique needs. Our Pennsylvania real estate attorneys have represented clients in southeastern Pennsylvania for decades and would be proud to help you on your homebuying journey. To schedule a consultation, contact us at (610) 254-0114.
Recent Real Estat Representation Matters:
- Negotiated for an estate selling a property with the buyer’s attorney
- Reviewed Agreements of Sale for an estate selling two properties.
- Successfully negotiated for client payment from a Seller who did not disclose issues with water in the basement.
- Filed a new deed for a couple who transferred the house from husband and wife to wife.
- Filed a mortgage with the Recorder of Deeds after clients loaned their child a substantial amount of money to buy a house.