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Purchasing Residential Real Estate in Wyoming

Buying a house is a significant financial commitment. Before buying a house, take time to examine your finances to determine what you can afford to buy and reflect on your personal situation to determine what features you need or want in a home. With proper research and preparation and prudent use of qualified professionals, buying a home in Wyoming can be a rewarding experience.

Benefits of Using a Real Estate Agent

Using an experienced real estate agent to assist you with the purchase of your home provides you with a number of benefits. First, a real estate agent helps you determine what you can afford to buy and how large a mortgage you can qualify for, as well as locate houses that have the features you desire. Your real estate agent will also likely be familiar with local market conditions and can help you negotiate the best price for your new home. Real estate agents usually take care of scheduling showings, inspections and closings. Your real estate agent can also provide you with referrals to other professionals, such as home inspectors, mortgage brokers, insurance agents and real estate attorneys, as needed to assist you with your purchase.

A referral from a trusted friend may be the best way to locate and select a real estate agent. If you are unable to obtain a personal referral, an Internet search is a good way to locate a real estate agent. Search for agents with experience representing buyers. Carefully check the agent's qualifications, and don't be afraid to ask for references and check the references that you receive. Additionally, you can check the license of a real estate agent by visiting the Wyoming Real Estate Commission website.

Property Condition Disclosure Requirements

State law requires real estate sellers and their real estate agents to disclose any known insect infestations and structural damage, such as to the foundation or roof. Although sellers and their real estate agents are required to make these disclosures, a buyer should not rely solely upon the seller's disclosures. A thorough inspection by a competent home inspector may offer home buyers the best protection from unanticipated problems.

Real Estate Purchase Agreements

Real estate contracts must be in writing and signed by the parties to the contract. Additionally, the real estate contract must satisfy the basic requirements for an enforceable contract by containing an offer to sell or purchase, an acceptance of the offer, the sale price and an adequate description of the property. Wyoming does not require the buyer and seller to use any specific contract form.

Home Inspections

Home inspectors inspect the property for signs of structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing problems. The home inspector will usually give you a written report with details of the inspection. If the reports shows any problems, you can contact the seller to discuss correcting the problems, decide that the problems are not significant or, in some cases, you may decide that the problems are too serious, and you may choose to terminate the contract.

Your real estate agent can help you find a home inspector. Additionally, some organizations, such as the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, can help you locate a home inspector.

Title Issues

Real estate sellers and their real estate agents are required to disclose any known title issues affecting the property, such as unpaid liens and the existence of easements or encroachments. A buyer should always obtain a title search from a title company before purchasing a home. In performing a title search, the title company will review available public records to search for any liens, easements or other encumbrances that may affect the property. If the title search locates any problems, then the buyer may require correction of the title problems as a condition to closing.

A home buyer should also consider purchasing a title insurance policy to protect the buyer's title to the property against adverse claims by third parties. Mortgage companies usually require the buyer to purchaser a title insurance policy in connection with obtaining a mortgage.

Knowing the Law

Residential real estate laws in Wyoming are complicated, and each transaction is unique. For specific legal information, please contact a real estate lawyer.

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