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Home Buyer's Guide to Missouri

If you're in the market for a new home, there's a good chance you are already stressing about the cumbersome home-buying process and all the tedious details involved. While there are some important legal issues involved in purchasing residential property—many of which vary from one state to the next—knowing what to expect can help keep you from becoming too anxious. Here are some key points to keep in mind if you are considering buying a home in Missouri.

Benefits of Working With a Real Estate Agent

While a buyer's real estate agent can be invaluable in finding that perfect place, your agent is more than just a salesperson. Agents see through the entire transaction and negotiate on your behalf. A real estate agent can work on either side of a transaction—for the buyer, for the seller, or sometimes even both, though it's usually best for buyers to have their own real estate agents. To find an agent, you might check with a professional organization such as the Missouri Association of Realtors®.

What You Should Know About Property Disclosure

Sellers are required to disclose known defects of a property. These typically include structural, roofing, plumbing and sewerage, heating and air conditioning, environmental hazards, termite, and other issues.

What You Should Know About Purchasing Agreements

A purchasing agreement is a legally binding contract that lays out the terms and details of a real estate transaction, including the location of the dwelling, the price, a time frame, and the identity of the parties and their representatives. The agreement should permit inspection of the property before closing, and terms may be renegotiated depending upon the outcome of that inspection.

What You Should Know About Inspections

A licensed inspector can provide a visual appraisal of the property to determine if there are any current or potential defects that have been overlooked. The inspector is looking for the same types of defects that a seller should disclose, but all too often isn't aware of.

What You Should Know About Legal Title Issues

Before the title to a property can change hands, a title company or your real estate lawyer must conduct a title search, researching public records for any issues that might prevent a smooth transfer of the deed. Liens or easement issues may be unveiled during the title search.

Buying a Short Sale or Foreclosure Property

Missouri offers debtors whose loans have been foreclosed upon a generous right to redemption for a period of a full year after the sale has gone through. This means that the previous owner has up to one year after you purchase a foreclosure property to make good on the debt and reclaim it.

Consult a Real Estate Lawyer For Assistance

State-specific residential real estate laws are complicated. For more detailed legal information, please contact a Missouri real estate lawyer.

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