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Summer is a perfect time to move as it gives plenty of time for adjustments, particularly before the start of a new school year. As you move forward with your home-buying or selling process, you must make certain that you understand the legalities within your Agreement of Purchase and Sale. As the old saying goes, “The devil is in the details”, so to avoid any unwelcome surprises at closing time, here are a few key reasons why it’s critical to understand your purchase agreement…especially the fine print.

Don’t sign if you don’t understand

Whether buying or selling, your purchase agreement is legally binding. This document holds the official description of the property and its condition, what fixtures and appliances are included (or not), the proposed closing date, total cost, the amount of the deposit, specific terms of possession and any particulars that must be met before the sale is final. If you’re reading through the document and come across a ‘legalese’ phrase or stipulation you don’t understand, don’t sign until your Realtor® or real estate lawyer explains clearly what it means.

Deadlines & contingencies

The agreement will spell out any contingencies in order for the deal to move ahead. Common issues (or ‘conditions’) such as getting mortgage approvals, home inspections completed, obtaining a home appraisal and, in many instances, selling the current property that a buyer owns in order to purchase something else. If any of these details are missed in the document, it could cause significant problems down the road. If you don’t read through these specifics, you could end up in over your head or stuck with financial burdens you weren’t prepared for.

In person or electronic signatures

Whether you are in front of your Realtor® with the agreement or you’re giving your signature via an electronic signature program, wherever you sign/initial, it will be legally binding. It is critical that you understand what you’re signing. Documents that are signed electronically have all the same legal protections and implications as those signatures signed by pen. Also, be sure to sign/initial wherever there is a change to the original document. If you don’t see the change, or you skip it, it could cause great headaches or damage your overall transaction.

Your home purchase is usually the biggest investment you will ever make, so it’s crucial you understand the entire process, including the legal jargon within your purchase agreement. Your Realtor® is there to help you make sense of the paperwork, so don’t be afraid to ask. Whether buying or selling, it’s important to have your rights protected and know what your responsibilities are. If you are thinking of buying or selling in the Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, The Blue Mountains, Grey County or the Meaford area, we here at Clairwood would be honoured to help you! Our knowledgeable and experienced Clairwood Realtors® are just a phone call away at 705-445-7085. Call us anytime and let us help you get started on finding the home of your dreams.