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The key to a successful real estate transaction is in the details

The date of closing is likely a very exciting day for both buyers and sellers involved in a real estate transaction. However, one small mistake in negotiating a contract can completely sink a deal. What's more is that the standard terms of a real estate contract may be unique to South Carolina, or even Charleston County.

Understanding that minor differences or misinterpretations of contract languages can be detrimental to both parties involved in a real estate transaction highlights the importance of being prepared. Although real estate regulations and laws can vary greatly from region to region, there are some basic items to consider before completing a residential or commercial real estate deal.

  • Financing: In many cases, the success or failure of a sale depends on the buyer's ability to secure financing. As such, it's important to make sure you, as a buyer, understand the details of financing arrangements as it relates to specified rates and deadlines.
  • Closing costs: Many contracts will provide that sellers pay a portion of closing costs related to the transaction. If the seller is not aware of this provision, then they may be stuck with an unexpected bill when the sale is completed.
  • Disclosures and inspections: Buyers may fear that they will find a major flaw in their property after they buy it. This is why it's vital to make sure that terms of disclosure are clear and pre-closing inspections are outlined.

The terms of every sale may be different, and by making sure you -- as a buyer or seller -- understand your obligations under the terms of a contract can prevent massive headaches. Furthermore, when disputes arise, some real estate laws may significantly favor one party over the other. Creating a straightforward, clearly-constructed real estate contract can ensure all parties walk away from a transaction satisfied and ready to benefit from the deal.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Beware of these deal killers," Lew Sichelman, Dec. 27, 2012

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