Yes, in Ohio real estate contracts are are required. You need a contract as it relates to real property otherwise it falls under the Statute of Frauds. All states require the real estate transaction to be in writing — you can’t have an oral promise to sell real estate.
Q: What happens after the contract is agreed upon?
There should be an inspection period in the contract, hopefully, from the buyer’s standpoint. We advise our client to have the property inspected because the general law in Ohio is “Caveat emptor,” which means “Let the buyer beware.” This means you have to rely on your own inspection of the property. You have to inspect the property to determine the condition and to be sure it’s what you want to buy.
If during the inspection, our client finds things that need to be remedied, which they often do, a request to remedy will be issued to the seller, which will need to be submitted to the seller prior to the end of the inspection period. You also need to make sure that you attach a copy of the inspection to the request to remedy. There is a very distinct way that it has to be done and you have to have somebody else’s eyes on it to ensure it’s done properly. If you miss that period or you are late, you could miss the right to possibly get out of the contract for a problem that pops up in the inspection. Once the request to remedy is submitted properly to the Seller, then, what the seller will and won’t remedy is negotiated.
Q: What issues do you find with standard contracts from real estate agents?
The contract is a form and often, that form doesn’t fit the transaction, so it’s important to understand what the needs and the wants of the buyer are in order to amend the contract accordingly. Then, when the contract is submitted, those needs and wants are already addressed.
We do have some things we always address in the contract right off the top; we have our own checklist that we put in the contract for the buyer before the contract is submitted to be signed.
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