AN ATTORNEY CAN HELP YOU WHEN BUYING OR SELLING A HOME
For most people, purchasing a home is one of the largest and most important investments they will make in their lifetime. It can be a daunting undertaking with its complicated procedures and complex legal documents. Fortunately, Joseph E. Kluger, Attorney at HKQ Law points out, “An attorney can help simplify the process, and protect your interests.” While real estate brokers/agents and lenders have a vested interest in closing the sale, they are not permitted to provide legal counsel.
A real estate attorney can objectively review all pertinent documents on the buyer’s behalf. One of the first documents a buyer may encounter is a buyer-broker contract, which defines the responsibilities of the broker/agent to you as well as the buyer’s responsibilities to the broker/agent.
The single most crucial document in the transaction is the purchase agreement. Although standard printed forms are often used, an attorney is helpful in explaining the contents of the document, and making changes or additions to reflect the buyer's desires. The preprinted form is sometimes deemed “seller-friendly” and simple modifications, when appropriate, may better protect the interests of a buyer.
A title search is an important part of the process. The purpose of the search is to determine if there are any financial liens or claims of ownership to the property beyond the seller’s ownership, or any other title issues that may adversely affect the interests of the property owner. A real estate attorney can review the title search and see if they are any potential issues such as problems with adjoining owners or prior owners. The attorney can also explain the effect of any existing easements, covenants, or restrictions, as well as any future ramifications of zoning regulations.
To protect buyers from claims or liens that may be discovered after the purchase is complete, title insurance can be purchased. Not only is title insurance generally required by mortgage lenders, but Richard Williams, another estate lawyer at Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn states that “We strongly urge all buyers to obtain title insurance in the acquisition of any property.”
Mortgage financing has become increasingly complicated based upon regulations. The real estate team at HKQ is poised to assist you in simplifying the process by explaining what documents may be required, the typical time for loan approval, and the documents that will need to be signed at closing to complete the financing.
The closing (also known as the settlement) is the final step in the home purchase process. An attorney can explain the nature, amount, and fairness of closing costs, and assure that the deed and mortgage instruments are appropriately executed. At the closing, last minute disputes may arise. If you are not represented by an attorney, your rights could be at risk.
Legal Help For Sellers.
A real estate attorney can help a seller understand the often complex legal documents involved in the sales process. They include a listing contract, a Seller’s Disclosure and brokerage agreement.
Without a carefully crafted brokerage agreement, a seller may be liable for a brokerage commission even if a sale does not occur. Or, the seller may be required to pay more than one brokerage commission. A real estate attorney can explain the ramifications of multiple listings. The attorney can also negotiate the realtor's rights if the seller withdraws the property from the market, or can't deliver a good “marketable title”. Time parameters of the contract, fee structure and agency arrangements are all concepts that should be reviewed with an attorney before signing a broker agreement.
The all-important Purchase Agreement should be reviewed to make certain that it best meets the seller’s needs. An attorney can recommend beneficial changes or additions to the agreement.
A seller will need a deed prepared for the sale of the property. Attorney Brian Stahl in HKQ Law’s real estate department says “The paralegals and lawyers at HKQ Law have prepared thousands of deeds over the years for our law firm’s clients.”
The title report should be reviewed by a real estate attorney in order to identify any legal issues which may delay a sale. If a problem is found, the lawyer will work to address it prior to the sale.
At the closing, an attorney can help the seller negotiate any sudden changes that may enter into the agreement and ensure that the distribution of the sale proceeds are handled appropriately.
Matters Handled By The Real Estate Attorneys At HKQ Law Include:
- Acquisition and sale of commercial and residential property
- Closing services for real estate acquisitions and sales
- Deed preparation
- Drafting, review and negotiation of purchase agreements and finance documents
- Review of easements, right of ways, covenants, conditions, and private road agreements
- Preparing Installment Sales Agreements
- Land use and zoning requirements
- Quiet title actions
- Drafting leases
- Preparing or reviewing the purchase agreement
- Providing or reviewing seller's required disclosures
- Title search and title insurance
- Review of mortgage lending commitment and loan documents
To discuss how the real estate team of attorneys and paralegals at HKQ Law may be of service to you, call us at 570-287-3000 to schedule your consultation.