Due Diligence!

1. HOME INSPECTION. With regard to the purchase of resale homes, the State of Alabama is a “caveat emptor” (“Buyer Beware”) state, which means that the burden is on the Buyers to discover and determine any and all conditions of the property. Therefore, it is recommended that the Buyers have the property inspected by a qualified home inspector(s). Buyer understands that the typical “home inspector” performs a “general” inspection and is not representing himself as a specialist in any given area, e.g. structural, HVAC, Roofing, Septic Tank, etc. It is recommended that a specialist perform any field-specific inspection desired. Buyers are strongly advised not to rely on any verbal or printed description of the property regarding its condition.

2.  MINOR IMPERFECTIONS. Some imperfections in the property may not clearly meet the definitions of “major defect” or “hazardous condition” as stated in the home inspection addendum. Property, if a resale property is not new construction and normal wear and tear is to be expected. (For example, cracks in tile and counter-tops, mildew and housekeeping items such as filters, light bulbs, painting and cleaning are considered normal wear and tear and are not subject to repair unless otherwise noted in this contract). It is the Buyer’s responsibility to discover defects & cosmetic imperfections in the property. It is recommended that the Buyer address any such imperfections in the initial offer to purchase.

3. NORMAL OPERATING CONDITION. In purchase contracts of resale homes, the words “normal operating condition” with regard to heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical systems and any built-in appliances, do not obligate the Seller to replace these components. The Seller may not be obligated to replace these items unless agreeing to do so in the sales contract. Be aware that these components are not “new”; and may function less efficiently than when “new”, yet still be “in normal operating condition.”

4. APPLIANCES. It is normal for built-in appliances to transfer with the property. Appliances such as the refrigerator, washer, dryer, free standing stoves, & counter-top microwave typically do not transfer with the property.

5. FINAL WALK-THROUGH. Buyers should perform a “final walk-through” of the property. This usually takes place just prior to closing or the day before closing. The two-fold purpose of this inspection is to determine that the property is in the same condition as at the time of the sales contract, excluding normal wear and tear, and that all repairs and corrections to the property to be performed by the Seller, if any, are completed. The “final walk-through” is not another inspection allowing the opportunity to address new or different conditions of the property.

6. PROFESSIONAL VENDORS. As a service to the Buyer, names of several vendors such as mortgage lenders, hazard insurance providers, home inspectors, termite companies, surveyors, appraisers, closing attorneys, home repair contractors, etc. may be given to Buyers by the licensee. In no way is the licensee or Agency recommending, guaranteeing, or warranting their work; but is simply providing a service that Buyers may desire and are acknowledging that our clients have had acceptable service from these vendors in past transactions. Buyers acknowledge that the licensee and Agency are not responsible or liable for any errors or omissions of any of these vendors or for any conditions of the property.

7. FIRE/SMOKE DETECTORS: Buyers to satisfy himself/herself that all applicable federal, state and local ordinances and/or regulations concerning fire/smoke detectors or fire protection equipment have been met. Upon closing Buyer shall be solely responsible for compliance with such laws.

8. RADON. Radon is a colorless, odorless and tasteless radioactive gas that occurs naturally in rocks and soil. It is produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. Radon is harmlessly dispersed in outdoor air, but when trapped in buildings can increase the risk of lung cancer, especially at elevated levels. Buyers may elect to have radon testing as part of the home inspection process If Buyers elect to have Radon testing performed, this should be addressed in the initial offer to purchase. . More information about Radon may be found at www.epa.gov.

9. EIFS. EIFS, which is an abbreviation for Exterior Insulation Finishing System, can be problematic when improperly installed. If the subject property has EIFS, the Buyers should have the property inspected by a licensed EIFS inspector as part of the inspection contingency of the purchase agreement for the property.

10. TERMITE INSPECTION. The Alabama Wood Infestation & Termite Report, provided by a licensed pest company, is a visual inspection of accessible areas and usually does not guarantee that inaccessible areas are free from active termites or damage caused by active or previous termites or other wood destroying organisms. The termite inspection IS NOT a “termite bond/contract”.

11. MOLD/FUNGUS/MILDEW. Buyers understand the presence of mold/fungus/mildew and its impact upon the habitability of the property is Buyers responsibility. You may learn more at www.epa.gov

12. SEWER/SEPTIC SYSTEM. Almost all waste disposal systems are either sewer or septic tanks. It is the responsibility of the buyer to determine that the septic tank is operational. Buyers acknowledge that septic tanks required periodic cleaning.

13. SURVEY. Any representations concerning lot size, location of property lines, encroachments or easements, are not warranted to be accurate by the Sellers, Seller’s Licensee or Licensee. It is recommended that Buyers acquire a survey from a registered Alabama surveyor, regardless of whether or not a survey is required by the lender or Closing Attorney.

14. SQUARE FOOTAGE. Representations either verbal or written, concerning the square footage & measurements of the property are estimates only and may have been taken from unreliable sources. The Buyers are responsible for determining square footage & measurements, should that be important in their purchase decision.

15. STIGMATIZED PROPERTY. Buyers acknowledge that certain properties may be “stigmatized,” meaning impacted by certain events which occurred on the property yet had no effect on the actual construction materials of the home, but may have some psychological impact relative to the property. Some examples are murder, suicide, and ghosts. If these issues are important to the Buyers decision to purchase, then the Buyer is advised to investigate further.

16. CRIME & SEX OFFENDERS. If information about crime rate or the presence of registered sex offenders is important in the Buyers decision to purchase a property, it is the Buyers responsibility to check with the proper law enforcement authorities prior to making the initial offer to purchase. A web resource to search for registered sex offenders is http://www.cherokeecountyalsheriff.com/

17. PROXIMITY TO ANNOYANCE. The property’s proximity to busy roads, future development of nearby property, high voltage power lines, railroads, flight paths, or other noise & light sources is important to some Buyers. The Buyers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the neighborhood & its surrounds prior to entering into a contract to purchase.

18. PROPERTY TAXES. The tax year begins on October 1 each year. Taxes are assessed and paid in arrears. Property taxes could increase or decrease depending upon the tax classification and homestead exemption status for the tax year.

19. EARNEST MONEY. Buyers acknowledge that the Earnest Money will be deposited by the Real Estate Agency holding Earnest Money immediately when an offer becomes a completed contract, unless there is a clause in the contract that states otherwise.

20. HOMEOWNER/HAZARD INSURANCE. When talking with homeowner’s insurance providers, Buyers may want to inquire about hazards not covered by the basic policy. It is recommended that all options be discussed with Buyers selected insurance provider. Buyers should determine which insurance provider will be used at the time of contract to prevent delays in closing.

21. SCHOOLS. It is the Buyer’s responsibility to verify the schools zones & school bus service for any property of interest before writing an offer to purchase.

22. FLOOD ZONES. Buyers should be aware that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has established a flood zone classification system. Flood zones that require extra insurance coverage may mean additional cost to the buyer. For more information, Buyers may go to www.msc.FEMA.gov

24. HOMEOWNERS/CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATIONS. Purchase of property may be in a community governed by a Homeowner’s or Condominium Association which would include membership in said Association obligating Buyers to comply with its Covenants, Bylaws, rules and regulations. Buyers are advised to investigate further any obligations they may have resulting from Buyer’s ownership of such property.

24. OTHER OFFERS. Sellers may receive and consider offers other than your offer during the time you and the Sellers are negotiating. Buyers understand that those offers may be generated by your licensee and/or other licensees of this Agency or any other Real Estate Agency. Buyers acknowledge that the Sellers may withdraw any offer at any time, prior to the Sellers receipt of your written acceptance. Buyers should be aware that Sellers may disclose the terms of your offer to other Buyers.