Dual Agent = Double Agent

Our Hours
& Location

104 South Broadway
Tarrytown, NY 10591


Buyer's Tools
Making The Offer

Property Inspection

It is strongly recommended that a licensed professional engineer or experienced home inspector go through the house and seek out any potential and existing problems. Of course, you will have inspected the home, but you may not be experienced in evaluating certain items a professional will find. Even if they are not things the seller is expected to repair, at least you will have foreknowledge of any potential problems. Plan on attending the inspection, which typically can take 2 to 3 hours. The engineer will inspect, among other items, the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and electrical systems, roof, foundation/structural, walls, windows, ventilation, and check for any safety or health-related problems. If the home has well/septic systems or a buried oil tank, they should be tested, as well as checking for radon gas and inspecting for wood-destroying insects. The cost for a general home inspection ranges from $400 to $800+, depending on the size of the home plus any additional inspections which may add to the basic inspection fee.

Once you have an verbal acceptable offer (price & terms) with the seller, the buyer is generally expected to have inspections completed within 72 hours from the date of seller's acceptance of offer. If you do not accept certain findings in the report, you may negotiate with the seller on which repairs should be performed and who should pay for those repairs. You may want to back out of the purchase if the property has any serious structural defects or deficiencies. Buyer's Edge Realty provides guidance and counsel in renegotiating any inspection-related items and will advise you on when to back out of a purchase due to certain defects or deficiencies.

Effective December 31, 2005 New York State Law requires home inspectors to be licensed by the New York State Department of State as per Article 12B of the State Education License Law. If you are using the services of a home inspector who is not a licensed professional engineer, registered architect, or code compliance officer, make sure that the inspector has been licensed by NY State. Real estate agents by law are required to disclose this information to you prior to hiring a home inspector.

Seller Disclosures

Although you have toured the property, looked at the walls and ceiling, turned on the faucets and played with the light switches, you have not lived in it. The seller has years of knowledge about his or her home and there may be some things you want to find out about as quickly as possible. For this reason, you will require certain disclosures as part of your offer.

Basically, you want the seller to disclose any adverse conditions that may have a substantial impact on your decision to purchase the home. This would include any problems with the house, whether the property is in a flood zone, a noise zone, or any other kind of hazardous area.

If you have an agent representing you, this is almost automatic, but many states do not require individuals selling their own home to provide you with this information. Often they do not require banks selling foreclosed property to provide these disclosures, either. In New York State the listing company is required by law to give a NYS Property Condition Disclosure form to the seller at the time of listing a property for sale. However, the seller is not required to submit it to a buyer. If the seller has any questions about the form he/she is advised to discuss it with their attorney. Many attorneys today advise sellers not to fill out the form. In lieu of submitting the disclosure form to a buyer, the buyer will receive a state-mandated $500 credit at the closing.

Purchase Offer Contingencies

In most purchase transactions there may be a slight challenge or two, but most things will go quite smoothly. However, you want to anticipate potential problems so that if something does go wrong, you can cancel the contract without penalty. These are called "contingencies" and you must be sure to include them when you offer to buy a home.

For example, some "move-up" buyers often agree to purchase a home before selling their previous home. Even if the home is already sold, it is probably a "pending sale" and has not closed. Therefore, you should make closing your own sale a condition of your offer. If you do not include this as a contingency, you may find yourself making two mortgage payments instead of one. However, if you are buying a home in a seller's market, this contingency may well be rejected by the seller.

There are other common contingencies you should include in your offer. Since you probably need a mortgage to buy the home, a condition of your offer should be that you successfully obtain suitable financing. Another condition should be that the property appraises for at least what you agreed to pay for it. During the escrow period you are likely to require certain inspections, and another contingency should be that it pass those inspections.

Basically, contingencies protect you in case you cannot perform or choose not to perform on a promise to buy a home. If you cancel a contract without having built-in conditions and contingencies, you could find yourself forfeiting your contract deposit, which is a substantial amount of money - usually 10% of the purchase price.

Your real estate attorney will include certain contingencies in the purchase contract. Buyer's Edge Realty will discuss this with you, and work with you and your attorney towards purchasing your next home while protecting your interests.

Offer to Purchase

Once you find the home you want to buy, the next step is to present an offer – which is not as easy as it sounds. Your offer is the first step toward negotiating a purchase contract with the seller. The offer is much more involved than simply coming up with a price and saying, "This is what I'll pay." Because of the large dollar amounts involved, especially in today's litigious society, both you and the seller want to build in protections and contingencies to protect your investment and limit your risk.

In an offer to purchase real estate, you include not only the price you are willing to pay, but other details of the purchase as well. This includes how you intend to finance the home, your down payment, who pays what closing costs, what inspections are performed, timetables, whether personal property is included in the purchase, terms of cancellation, any repairs you want performed, which professional services will be used, when you take physical possession of the property, and how to settle disputes should they occur.

Buying a home is a major event for both the buyer and seller. It will affect your finances more than any other previous purchase or investment. The seller makes plans based on your offer that affect his finances, too. However, it is more important than just money. You are making decisions that affect how you live for the next several years, if not the rest of your life. The seller is going to review your offer carefully, because it also affects how he or she may live the rest of their life as well.

Buyer's Edge Realty will offer advice and counsel on price and terms when presenting an offer. In Tarrytown, NY, you should be aware that offers are typically made verbally to the listing broker, with seller counteroffers also made verbally. Binders are not requested or accepted. When an offer is accepted by the seller, inspections are typically done at that time. However, be aware that the property can continue to be shown to other buyers, and a better offer can be entertained and accepted, with yours now being rejected. When inspections are finished, and any renegotiations completed, the seller will have their attorney draw up the sales contract and send it to your attorney, who will review it and make modifications to protect your interests. The buyer will sign the contract and return it with a deposit (typically 10% of the purchase price) to the seller's attorney who will deposit the check in an escrow account. The seller will sign the contract, which will be sent back to your attorney. At that time this is considered a binding contract subject to any contingencies (financing, title, etc.).

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Edge Realty

Serving all areas of Westchester County, including Ardsley, Armonk, Bedford, Bedford Hills, Briarcliff Manor, Bronxville, Buchanan, Chappaqua, Cross River, Croton Falls, Croton-on-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, Eastchester, Elmsford, Goldens Bridge, Harrison, Hartsdale, Hastings-on-Hudson, Hawthorne, Irvington, Jefferson Valley, Katonah, Lake Katonah, Larchmont, Lewisboro, Mamaroneck, Mohegan Lake, Mount Kisco, Mount Vernon, New Castle, New Rochelle, North Castle, North Salem, Ossining, Peekskill, Pelham, Pelham Manor, Pleasantville, Port Chester, Pound Ridge, Purchase, Purdys, Rye, Rye Brook, Scarborough, Scarsdale, Shrub Oak, Sleepy Hollow, Somers, Tarrytown, Thornwood, Tuckahoe, Valhalla, Vista, Waccabuc, White Plains, Yonkers, Yorktown, Yorktown Heights.