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Real Estate

Buying & Selling Real Estate Or Businesses

Once you've found the house and/or property you'd like to purchase and have agreed on the price, you will probably be asked to sign a contract and provide a deposit and it is usually prepared by the seller's attorney.

As the contract contains many legal obligations, you should have it carefully reviewed by an attorney before signing it. Remember, once you have signed a contract, your rights and obligations concerning the transaction are fixed and your attorney may not be able to nor have the opportunity to re-structure the contract to meet your objectives.

Another reason to consult with an attorney is that the seller is under no obligation to explain the terms of the contract to you, and you may not fully understand the meaning of the legal terminology.

It is a good idea to have a clause included that states if the buyer cannot obtain financing to close the "deal" that the buyer's down payment will be returned. Sometimes, a buyer might wish to add a clause to provide for him/her to retain possession of the property and/or business until a certain date, if so that must be included in the contract.

These are only some of the many things which are covered in a contract. However, this gives you an idea of the variety of conditions , obligations, and terms which you might encounter in your own transaction and what you should consider.

Title
If you are buying real property the issue of title is important. The "title" is the right of the owner to the peaceful possession and use of the property, free from the claims of others.

It is important before you purchase real estate to establish good title since if you do not you may have a problem later on if you wish to sell or mortgage it.

Title Searches
When you are purchasing real property, you will conduct a search after you have signed the contract. This is to ensure that the buyer can convey "marketable title". Additionally, you may purchase title insurance.

It is important to realize that while title insurance may give you some protection against financial loss, it does not lessen the importance of having an attorney. Your attorney can advise you on what type of title insurance to get and whether it covers you for all expected contingencies. Further, your attorney can advise you on the terms, exceptions, and conditions of the title insurance policy.

Representation
It is important to remember that while the other parties to the transaction may have an attorney representing them, they are not your attorney and hence have no obligation to look out for your best interests. (This is true even if the contract provides for you to pay their attorney's fee).

Closing
The "closing" of your business deal/property purchase is the time at which you will get all the documents needed to convey all interests in the business and/or real property.
At the closing all of these documents are reviewed to verify that all the conditions and promises of the contract are fulfilled. Furthermore, the balance of the purchase price is paid at this time, or other arrangements are made for final payment, for example, promissory notes, mortgage, etc.

The important thing to remember is that buying a business or property is a
major investment. It usually involves large sums of money and possibly the making of payments over many years. In the long run, it is usually more economical to receive legal advise, now rather than later when it may be too late. Furthermore, the expense that could result from not having the advice of counsel in the first place could be great.

Mortgage Brokers
Why use a mortgage broker? A mortgage broker works to find you the best mortgage (interest) rate you can get with your credit qualifications. It is important to get in touch with a mortgage broker in the earliest stages of looking for a house you want to purchase. For many sellers it is important that you are “pre-approved” before they start to seriously discuss selling you their property. Preapproved means that the bank will have accepted you as a serious candidate for a loan from them; when the bank agrees to actually give you a loan, they will send you a commitment letter outlining the details of the loan such as the interest rate, the amount of the loan, duration of the loan, and other important information about the loan.

The bank will give you a certain amount of time to sign and return the commitment letter showing that you have accepted their offer. Your attorney will explain the details of this transaction to you. From start to finish, getting a loan to purchase property is complicated and involved so it is important to get legal advice and help with your mortgage FROM THE BEGINNING.



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This website provides general information. Due to complexities and constant changes in the law, exceptions to general principles of law, and variations of state laws, seek professional legal advice before acting on any matter!

Some of the information on this website only pertains to certain states. Accordingly seek professional legal advice before acting on any matter.