Real Estate in Wisconsin

It’s very important for you to know your rights as either the buyer or the seller when it comes to dealing with real estate in Wisconsin.  While there are laws in place to protect all parties involved in a real estate transaction and your real estate agent will explain them all to you, it’s a good idea for you to have at least a brief idea of how real estate law works.

The Disclosure Statement and Offer

Before you enter into serious negotiations with the seller to purchase real estate, the seller should present you with a disclosure statement.  They are required by law to do this, and they are required to be completely honest in their statement as well.  The disclosure statement lists defects, a term that, in the real estate world, means anything wrong with the property.  This can include problems not only with the land but with any buildings or other constructs on it (such as fences, sheds, etc.).

Once you look over the disclosure statement, you can better formulate your offer for the property.  This doesn’t have to match the seller’s listed price, of course, and generally the buyer’s first offer is lower.  At this point, you may also present the seller with anything you found on the disclosure statement that you want fixed.  Some things simply can’t be changed, of course, but usually, a buyer will have a list of items they want fixed before purchasing the home.  The seller will have a chance to remove items from this list and to counter your offer with their own.  It may take two or three rounds of offer and counter offer before an agreement is reached.  Once the buyer and seller both sign the offer, it becomes legally binding, so be certain you’re happy with the amount and with all listed repairs before you sign.

The Closing

The term “closing” is thrown around a lot in real estate circles.  But what exactly is a closing?  Basically, it’s the final meeting between the buyer, the seller, their agents, and other real estate officials like a representative from a title company.  This is where the actual paperwork is signed transferring the property from one person to another.  If you have any final questions or concerns, it’s important to voice them at the beginning of this meeting.  If you don’t and you’ve already signed the paperwork, it may be too late to change anything.