If the debacle of 2008 taught the real estate industry a lesson, it would have been that Buyers need to be better protected. Too many groups took advantage of a thriving economy and got greedy. However, it appears that those days are over – that is, until the next generation comes in and does the same thing!
In North Carolina, the real estate contracts were revised after much deliberation/discussion between Realtors and Attorneys. The intent was simple: First and foremost, protect the Buyer!
Today when a Realtor writes up a Purchase and Sale Agreement in our state, there is a section for your Realtors to provide you the Buyer with a Due Diligence Period. This is new to our contracts and it is a wonderful benefit for the consumer. Historically a contract here between Buyer and the Seller means that the Buyer must accomplish several tasks such as Home & Termite Inspection and of course, secure a commitment letter from your lender of choice in a specified time frame.
What has basically changed is that for whatever reason the Buyer decides to withdraw from the contract, they can do so without penalty and walk scot free, providing there was no agreement reached on the contract about non-refundable Due Diligence money. If you are a Seller, this can be frustrating however, the North Carolina Real Estate Commission was successful in rewriting the contract to be more protective of the Buyer.
One particular situation where this can be of use to a Buyer is when you feel you are 80-90% committed to a property but perhaps need a little extra time to secure additional answers/information. Go ahead and enter negotiations and if successful, execute the contract while knowing that your Realtor has engineered you a 100% guaranteed escape clause. Doing so might mean the difference of successfully securing your Dream Home or letting it slip away. If you have any additional questions about the Due Diligence period, please contact your Realtor.