Emily Merkley, association executive, Cache-Rich Association of REALTORS®

Whether you have found the perfect home and have made an offer, or you have received an offer on your own home for sale, the following weeks are busy and certain things need to happen to work toward a successful transaction. In this final article in our “Pitfalls” series, let’s look at the process of disclosure and inspection that must take place during the purchase and sale of a home.

In Utah, the seller of a home is obligated by law to disclose to the buyer known defects and facts concerning the property. To avoid unforeseen surprises later in the process, some REALTORS® might recommend the seller obtain a pre-listing home inspection. Many repairs can and should be made before the home ever hits the market. An alternative would be to allow the home buyer to complete their own inspection and address issues, such as defects, code violations, safety problems, or cosmetic issues resulting from normal wear and tear, after reviewing the home inspection report.

REALTOR® Agent Larry Bradley, of Youngblood Real Estate, explains that “Often sellers and buyers think that once their home is under contract it’s a done deal. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. A REALTOR® will stress the importance of the seller’s disclosures and due diligence portion of the home buying and selling process.”

Inspection issues can result in re-negotiation of contract terms, which can be challenging. The Utah Real Estate Purchase Contact contains seller disclosure and buyer inspection (due diligence) deadlines which are clearly defined and outlined, and must be adhered to. Likewise, it explains the process on how to address issues or items of concern that arise as a result of inspections. Failure to navigate this process properly can be costly and may even result in delays or cancellation of contract.

With a handful of possible pitfalls during the disclosure and inspection process, the assistance of a REALTOR® is invaluable. A REALTOR® will facilitate the process, educate about other potential issues, and often negotiate aspects of the contract to ensure protection for both buyer and seller. The next time you buy or sell a home, enlist the help of a REALTOR® to protect you and your family through the process.

Cold Weather Cash Savings

With winter returning for a second time late in the season, here are some tips to help save on cold-weather energy costs.

  • Lower the heat: Bundle up inside. When you are home, consider lowering the heat, then lower it again several degrees before going to bed.
  • Seal the leaks: Consider updating lighting canisters, insulation, windows, doors, and other areas in your home that allow heat to escape.
  • Replace appliances: While proving a higher upfront cost, replacing old large appliances throughout your home can significantly cut energy bills. This might also include updating to energy-efficient LED lighting where possible.
  • Unplug: Unplug small appliances and electronics when not in use. Consider using a power strip for computers, DVDs, and TVs, so you can easily turn them off when not in use and before bedtime.
  • Wash smart: Use only cold water while washing clothes, and only when you have a full load. The same goes for a dishwasher — only run full loads to reduce heat and water consumption.