Few purchases in life are as momentous as buying a home. Whether you're shopping for a mobile home or a mansion, there are important legal details to tend to. And the more you know about what to expect during the transaction, the better you can relax and enjoy this important milestone. While some considerations are more universal, others vary by state. Home buyers should bear in mind some key points that pertain to buying residential property in the state.
Working With a Real Estate Agent
More than just a salesperson, a real estate agent sees you through the whole transaction. Real estate agents in Mississippi must disclose which party they represent so that buyers can make an informed choice about whether to use their services. In a given transaction, an agent may represent the seller, the buyer, or in some cases both—though dual representation can be tricky.
Rules About Property Disclosure
Sellers are required by law to disclose any known defects of their property before a sale takes place. The Mississippi Real Estate Commission provides a form for this purpose. It includes sections for:
- Structural items, such as foundation, roofing, land site data, and any known termite damage or infestation
- Mechanical items, including the electrical and plumbing systems
- Water, sewer, and septic items
- Other miscellaneous items
The seller must also disclose any problems with the appliances in the home and repairs that were completed within the last two years.
About Purchasing Agreements
The purchasing agreement is a legally binding contract that documents all of the details of the sale, including specifics about the property, the costs and terms, and any pending issues. It should allow for a thorough inspection before closing.
While a seller is required to disclose known defects about the dwelling, there may well be issues that have not yet been noted, which is why a home inspection is so important. A licensed inspector will conduct a visual appraisal of the property for current or potential problems. If defects are found, the next step is usually to address them with the seller.
Legal Title Issues
Before a sale can close, your attorney or title company must do a search of public records to ensure the title is legally transferrable. A title search may often reveal problems that are commonly related to liens and easements.
Considerations When Buying Foreclosure Property
In Mississippi, a debtor must be notified at least 30 days prior to a foreclosure sale and has the right to make good on the debt during that time. In that case, the debtor retains rights to the property. Some states even offer a redemption period after the sale, during which the debtor has a chance to reclaim the property, but Mississippi isn't one of them.
A Residential Real Estate Lawyer Can Help
For more detailed, specific information regarding your purchasing process, please contact a Mississippi real estate lawyer.