Buying a new home is an exciting time, but all the details involved can also make it a frustrating experience. Understanding the process before you begin can help make buying your home a little easier.
A Real Estate Agent Can Help With Many Things
Real estate agents do more than just find the right number of bedrooms and baths for your needs. They can also advise you on things like neighborhoods and school districts. When you're looking for an agent in Nevada, ask for recommendations from friends or family, or contact organizations like the National Association of REALTORS or the National Association of Independent Real Estate Brokers.
Accurate Property Disclosure
Nevada requires sellers to tell buyers about any known problems that could negatively affect a property's value. The state provides a disclosure form which asks the seller to acknowledge and explain any defects in areas such as:
Well and pump
Mold or insect infestations
Sellers of property near an open range or gaming enterprise district may have additional disclosure requirements. Federal law requires disclosure of lead-based paint in houses built in 1977 or earlier.
The Purchase Agreement
When you find your perfect home, the next step is submitting a purchase agreement. This is a legal document outlining the conditions under which you'll buy the property and includes space for information such as:
Price and financing terms
Which fixtures are to be excluded from the sale
The date you will take possession
The date the offer expires
There are also optional provisions you may want to include, such as agreeing to voluntary mediation of any disputes that arise, and terms for a pest control inspection.
Home Inspections Uncover Unknown Problems
After you own the house, any problems you find are all yours. However, you can protect yourself by arranging for an inspection before closing. An inspection can identify problems with major structural items, as well as systems such as electrical and plumbing. Nevada requires that home inspectors meet certain education and exam requirements and that they receive certification from the Real Estate Division of the state's Department of Business and Industry. Your real estate agent can help you find a reputable and certified inspector, or you can contact an organization like the American Society of Home Inspectors.
Title Search and Title Insurance
Legal problems with a title can affect your ownership of the property. A title search involves inspecting public records related to the property to search for defects such as:
Liens: These are legal claims to a property by a person or company other than the seller, often because the seller used the home as collateral.
Easements: These are legal rights to use a part of the property for a specific purpose. A utility easement is a common example.
Title insurance can protect you from problems a search misses.
A Lawyer Can Help With Specific Issues
As each transaction is unique, please contact a Nevada real estate lawyer for legal advice specific to your experience.