When you make or receive an offer to buy a property, it's important that you read and understand every clause. It is especially important to understand any conditions or any changes that are made to the standard offer.
An offer may contain several types of conditions. The most common are "conditional upon arranging financing" and "conditional upon passing a professional home inspection." However, there may be other conditions as well.
You should be aware of – and fully understand – all of them.
In addition, the wording of an offer may change during the back and forth negotiations that often happen. Aside from changes to the price, other clauses may be added, removed or reworded as well.
A good agent will always ask you to initial changes. This is done primarily to ensure you know and approve of what you're signing.
A recent newspaper article tells the story of a buyer-seller legal dispute that resulted in a six-figure judgement against the seller. This was due, in part, to a lack of understanding of one of the clauses in the agreement.
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