Whether you're a first time home buyer or you're relocating or buying investment property, the purchase of a home is a big deal—one that includes a lot of small details. It can be a tedious and overwhelming experience. Knowing what to expect can help ease the stress. Those buying homes in Nebraska should bear in mind some key facts regarding real estate purchases in that state.
How a Real Estate Agent Can Help
A real estate agent is more than just a salesperson. He or she sees through the entire transaction, staying on top of administrative tasks, facilitating important steps, and negotiating on your behalf. Agents can work on either side of the transaction, for the seller, the buyer, or sometimes both. But buyers usually fare best when they have their own real estate agents. A great first step toward finding one in your area is to check with a professional organization such as the Nebraska REALTORS Association.
Property Disclosure Basics
Sellers are required by law to let prospective buyers know about certain known property defects. The Nebraska Real Estate Commission offers a form for this very purpose. It includes sections for:
- Electrical systems
- Heating and cooling systems
- Water systems
- Sewer systems
- Structural conditions
- Environmental conditions
- Title conditions
- Cleaning/Servicing conditions
Your Purchase Agreement
When you find a property you'd like to buy, the next step is to make an offer. There may be negotiations between you and the seller to agree on a final price. After you do, the terms of the sale will be detailed in a legally binding contract called a purchase agreement. The agreement should allow for an inspection before the sale is final.
About Home Inspections
Even though a seller must disclose known defects, sometimes unknown or overlooked ones exist. There may be issues that aren't yet problems, but could become serious down the road. A licensed home inspector is trained to look for such red flags. If any problems are found, you may need to negotiate them with the seller.
Title Search and Legal Title Issues
Your attorney or title company must conduct a search of public records to ensure that title to the property is transferrable. Title insurance covers any losses that occur from issues overlooked in this search.
Buying Foreclosure Property
Foreclosures can take several months to process in Nebraska. Before a foreclosure property can be sold to another party, notice of the sale must be published for several weeks, giving the debtor a chance to make good on the debt. Even after the sale, the debtor has a final chance to redeem the property until a hearing confirms the sale. The hearing typically occurs two to three weeks later.
A Residential Real Estate Lawyer Can Help
Residential real estate laws are complicated, and each transaction is unique. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the topic. For more detailed, specific information, please contact a Nebraska real estate lawyer.