Idaho Property Buyers Beware
What does “buyer beware” mean for a new resident looking to buy a home? It is up to you to look out for yourself. Especially in Montana and Idaho, the law here protects homebuyers less than in other states, both in the purchasers’ relationships with their realtors and the obligations sellers owe to buyers.
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Undoubtedly there is an influx of new residents to the Inland Northwest. Montana, Idaho, and Eastern Washington are enjoying a population boom, with individuals and families moving in and buying homes. Whether you’re buying or selling a home in a university town like Missoula or Moscow, an urban center like Kootenai or Ada County or a recreation mecca like Flathead or Bonner County, a common thread unites homebuyers: Buyer beware!
What does “buyer beware” mean for a new resident looking to buy a home? It is up to you to look out for yourself. Especially in Montana and Idaho, the law here protects homebuyers less than in other states, both in the purchasers’ relationships with their realtors and the obligations sellers owe to buyers. You, not your realtor, are responsible for protecting your own best interests and those of your family in buying a home. Realtors provide a valuable service in assisting buyers to find a home. Neither Idaho nor Montana law governing realtor obligations require a realtor to represent the client’s or customer’s best interest, or act as a fiduciary for the client or customer.
What does “buyer beware” look like for you? Ensure that you understand every term in every real estate document you receive from your realtor. You are responsible to conduct your own due diligence on your potential new home: not your realtor and not the seller. Take time to examine and understand your title report, obtain a property inspection, and further investigate ANY issues the home inspector flags. Ensure that all the purchase sale documents include the terms that you require to protect yourself and your family, including provisions for well testing, septic testing and pumping, timelines to move in or out of the home, and ensuring that the title report accurately describes the boundaries of the property you may be buying. Walk the property yourself to find the survey pins. Do not succumb to pressure to sign a real estate document if you have questions about anything it contains.
Failing to take advantage of protecting yourself and ensuring that you understand the documents you are signing could result in purchasing a house you later find fraught with major flaws.
If you have questions or reservations about anything in your purchase sale agreement, consider engaging an attorney who specializes in real estate. He or she will review your document for completeness and answer your questions. Your real estate attorney has your best interests at heart and is your fiduciary. Buyer beware. As a potential new homeowner in the Inland Northwest, you are responsible for yourself and your family. And if you need help remember to CYA – call your attorney!
At Timely Contract, our primary legal services include: real estate contract review, real estate contract drafting, legal opinions for title insurance exceptions, and research, due diligence, and legal opinions for properties.