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3 ways to avoid common legal mistakes in home sales

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2024 | Real Estate Transactions |

Selling a home in Massachusetts can be a challenging endeavor. With numerous factors at play, a single overlooked detail can complicate the process. As a seller, it’s essential to have a thorough understanding of these legalities to ensure a smooth transaction.

Here are three straightforward strategies to avoid common pitfalls in home sales.

Understand disclosure requirements

In Massachusetts, the principle of “caveat emptor,” or “let the buyer beware,” governs real estate transactions. However, this does not exempt you as a seller from the obligation to disclose issues not easily noticeable during a home inspection, particularly those that may pose a risk to the buyer’s health or safety. Honesty is key, especially when responding to the buyer’s inquiries about known issues.

By being transparent about your property’s condition, you can protect yourself from potential legal disputes, such as property damage claims or nondisclosure lawsuits.

Keep agreement contingencies in mind

In a real estate transaction, contingencies are conditions that must be met before the sale can be finalized. These are usually in the buyer’s favor to protect them from unforeseen issues with the property. One of these common contingencies is the home inspection. It grants the buyer the right to inspect your property. If they find major issues like structural damage or a faulty heating system, the buyer has the leverage to negotiate repairs, ask for a price reduction, or even back out of the sale without losing their deposit.

Understanding these contingencies and preparing to possibly negotiate can help prevent legal complications.

Consider seeking a legal professional

Many sellers attempt to navigate the complex process of home sales without professional assistance, which can be costly. Real estate transactions involve numerous legal documents and procedures. Even a small oversight can lead to significant consequences. So, consider consulting with an attorney experienced in real estate. They can guide you through the process, help you understand your obligations and rights and ensure all documents are correctly prepared and filed.

This can potentially save you from headaches down the line and even a costly legal battle.