Buying real estate is not just about finding the perfect property and signing a contract. It’s a complex process that involves several legal details and a thorough understanding of subjects in real estate. If you’re new to the world of real estate, you might be unfamiliar with the term 'subjects', but this is a major part of any home buying or selling process. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at what subjects mean in real estate and why they are important.
Subjects are included in a real estate contract and serve as clauses that allow the buyer to perform certain due diligence activities before becoming fully committed to the purchase. As such, subjects are inserted to protect the buyer's interests. These clauses typically relate to the condition of the property, financing, and legal aspects of the transaction.
The most common subjects in a real estate contract include inspection, financing, and title searches. When you sign a contract with these subjects, you have a limited or specified time frame in which you can complete them. If you find something that makes you uncomfortable or unhappy during the subjects’ condition period, you can bail out of the purchase with no financial repercussion.
Inspection subjects are usually included in the purchase agreement and permit the buyer to inspect the property and request repairs. This may include a standard home inspection to check the overall condition of the property, as well as special inspections for things like pests, environmental hazards, or structural issues.
Financing subjects allow the buyer to obtain mortgage financing that suits their needs. A financing subject is added to the sale’s contract that states the purchase is dependent on the buyer securing the necessary mortgage financing. If the buyer doesn’t secure the mortgage financing, they’re free to walk away.
Title subject is added to ensure there are no legal claims against the property. The title search can include looking for liens, unpaid utility bills, or other encumbrances that might make the title invalid or less valuable.
When are subjects needed?
Subjects can be included in the contract when you’re buying a property or taking out a loan to purchase it. Additionally, if you are selling a property and have buyer contingencies, such as an inspection or financing, those could also include subjects that need to be agreed upon prior to closing the deal.
What to look out for when subjects are added to the agreement?
When subjects are added to a real estate contract, it’s important to pay attention to the language that is used in each clause. For example, some financing subjects may require you to obtain a pre-approval while others may stipulate that you get an actual mortgage approval. It’s also important to note how long the due diligence period is and if there are any penalties for extending the due diligence period.
In conclusion, the subjects are an essential part of the real estate process, and understanding their importance can make you a better homebuyer. Entering into a real estate contract without subjects can become a recipe for disaster.
The following are common examples of subjects:
Subject to Loan Approval
Subject to Home Inspection
Subject to Pest Inspection
Subject to Title Search
Subject to Structural Inspection
Subject to Appraisal
By having subjects, homebuyers can make informed decisions on whether or not to complete the transaction before the subject’s condition period expires. The subjects clauses allow buyers to be confident in their purchase, and ensure they are protecting their interests throughout the transaction.
While subjects may seem like a small aspect of the real estate process, they play a crucial role in maximizing the value of your purchase. Understanding them is key. This is precisely why partnering with an experienced real estate agent is so important! A real estate agent will be able to provide you with guidance on which subjects are best for your specific situation, and even help negotiate the terms with the seller.
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