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What obligations do buyers and sellers have in real estate sales?

On Behalf of | Sep 2, 2022 | Real Estate Transactions

Buying real estate requires both sellers and buyers to sign a contract agreeing to the transaction. Not only do these documents secure the property between both parties, but the documents also establish the responsibilities of each for the sale to proceed.

Before signing on the dotted line, everyone should understand the buyer and seller’s legal obligations of the contract so neither defaults and misses out on the sale.

Sellers’ obligations

In real estate deals, sellers must do several things to uphold their end of the agreement.

Disclose the condition of the property

To uphold New York’s Property Condition Disclosure Act guidelines, sellers must provide buyers with a statement on the property’s condition. The information discloses all detrimental aspects of the property. For example, does it have:

  • lead plumbing
  • water damage
  • petroleum spills
  • pest infestations
  • smoke damage
  • asbestos products
  • mold

If a seller purposefully omits or lies about the property’s condition, they may have to correct the problem if the buyer would not have purchased the property knowing of the condition.

Provide a transferable title

Property owners may have mortgages or liens on real estate. To transfer the title to the buyer, the seller must make arrangements to pay these debts and have a clear title at closing.

Buyers’ obligations

An essential requirement of buyers is to secure funds to purchase the property. Buyers must obtain a loan or enough cash to purchase the property from the seller. When buyers can not pay for the contracted property, the seller may move on to someone else.

Understanding the obligations of both sellers and buyers in real estate transactions ensures everyone is ready to proceed before signing a purchase contract.