Purchasing a Home: The Attorney's Role
Often times the purchase of a home, whether it is a condominium, townhouse, or house, is the largest purchase you will make. Therefore, it can be overwhelming at times. As real estate attorneys, we provide the purchaser with the important legal assistance to assure you that the transaction proceeds in a easy and timely manner.
The attorney's role in the real estate transaction begins on the day the offer is accepted by the seller. Upon execution of the contract, the attorney will review the contract to confirm that it contains all of the necessary language in order to assure that you are purchasing the property under the terms and conditions you intended. If the property is a condominium or is a member of a homeowners association, we will request all of the documents, including the by-laws, declarations, rules and regulations, budgets and minutes from recent meetings to determine the financial viability of the association. We will also request and review a 22.1 disclosure form from the association. This review is extremely important since it often times will reflect whether a special assessment, which you had not planned for, may be imminent. Our review of the contract and documents take place during the attorney approval period as provided in the contract.
The next phase in purchasing a home is the inspection. An inspection done by a professional real estate inspector is important to confirm that the property is structurally and mechanically as good as it looks. After the inspection is completed, we will review with you all of the items that the inspector discovered which may need to be repaired or replaced. You will then have an opportunity to decide what items you want the seller to repair or replace. As your attorneys, we will then negotiate these requests with the seller's attorney. These changes will then be incorporated into the contract.
After the attorney approval and inspection contingencies have been satisfied, the next phase is to work with you and your lender to secure the documents necessary to obtain a mortgage. In many instances these documents include a title commitment and survey. Upon receipt of these documents, we will confirm that the title to the property is without any liens or encroachments. Upon approval of your loan, we will then schedule the closing time with you.
Prior to the closing we will review all of the title documents, including the deed and bill of sale, which transfer the property to you. We will also calculate all of the figures to assure that you are receiving the proper credits for real estate taxes and other prorations. The day before the closing, you will receive the actual amount of money you need to bring to the closing. We will be at the closing with you to review, explain and answer any questions you may have regarding the documents provided by your lender and the seller.
We look forward to an opportunity to represent you in the purchase of your new home. If there are ever any questions you have regarding any aspect of the transaction, we will gladly provide you with the answers or direct you to the source with the answers. As your attorneys, we will work with you to make the purchase of your new home an exciting and positive experience.