Kelk Phillips, P.A. handles a wide variety of real estate issues. In the ever-changing complex world of real estate, we can help simplify and guide clients through their issues with the highest quality of legal counsel. Kelk Phillips, P.A. can assist with all forms of transactions and issues relating to real estate. Let us simplify the process of selling your house. We will be working for you every step of the way. We can take the stress out of sales contracts, title insurance, and closings!
Buying a house or farm may be the biggest single investment of your lifetime. Thus, it is extremely important as a prospective buyer, that you use the greatest caution in buying a house or farm. For most of us, buying or selling a home is very exciting, but it’s also one of the largest financial transactions of our lives. Due to the financial and legal factors involved, if you’re contemplating entering into, or are in the midst of, a real estate transaction, you should consult with a lawyer right away.It is very important that you consult a lawyer before you sign a purchase contract.
If you plan to buy your first home, trade up to a larger home, or downsize now that your children are out on their own, a real estate attorney like Kelk Phillips, P.A. can provide you with insight and legal guidance from start to finish.
If you’re a buyer, Kelk Phillips, P.A. can:
We are able to write title insurance policies for any real estate transaction. Whether it is a first house purchase or a commercial deal, having a solid title insurance policy will help protect your investment.
In title insurance, the title insurance company contracts with the insured person named in the policy to protect the title as insured against financial loss and the cost of defending the title in court. Another type of policy, mortgagee’s or lender’s title insurance, protects only the holder of the mortgage and not the owner. You should not forego owner’s title insurance coverage because your lender has its own loan policy. In fact, obtaining both the owner’s and lender’s title policies at the same time is not much more expensive than obtaining a single policy. There is only a one-time charge for an owner’s policy and its protection continues long after you sell the property. You should hold onto the policy indefinitely.
Closing can be an emotional roller coaster that could take you by surprise. Many people don’t realize that negotiations happen right up unto the last minute before the closing documents are signed. Having legal counsel with you throughout your property transaction and especially at the closing will help calm you and make sure that your interests are represented.
One of the first documents given to a prospective buyer by a real estate broker is the purchase and sale agreement or contract. Few people realize that this paper is the most important step in purchasing a home — the details of this agreement determine the terms of your purchase. Detrimental provisions in the contract may not be corrected or avoided later in the transaction so the best time to retain an attorney is before the contract is signed. Before signing, read the agreement carefully. The law usually requires judges to treat you as if you read every word of a document before you signed it, so you should try to read everything carefully before you sign a document. Some of the items you should consider discussing with a lawyer are:
1. Exactly what land, buildings and furnishings are included in your offer? Is the stove, refrigerator and the like included? Which items are included and excluded? Sometimes it is not always easy to know whether something is being sold with the home or not.
2. What payments are due under the contract?
3. When can you take possession?
4. Is the seller to furnish you with a good, marketable title? If not, you may be purchasing the property even though other people may have previously asserted claims to all or some of the property, or there may be claims that have been brought by those involved in the construction or remodeling of a home.
5. Which kind of deed should the seller give? Be sure to discuss the difference between a warranty deed and quit claim deed.
6. Who pays for the title insurance for the property in the event the offer is accepted?
7. Have utilities been installed and paid for?
8. Should a surveyor be employed to locate the improvements on the property and confirm that there are no encroachments onto or from abutting properties? Who should pay for the cost of the survey?
9. If a loan is to be obtained from an outside lender, who will pay the loan closing costs? There are usually local customs as to which costs are paid by the buyer or the seller but it is better to make this explicit in the contract
10. Can the buyer cancel the contract and obtain a refund of the deposits if the buyer is denied a loan, and if so, under what conditions?
11. If termite damage is found, will the seller have to pay the cost of repairs and treatment? If so, is there a limit?
12. What are the zoning regulations or other restrictions on the use of the property?
13. What is the time within which the offer to purchase should be accepted or refused? Is the date of such acceptance to be vital to the offer?
14. If your offer is accepted, what steps should be taken with respect to insuring the improvements to protect you, the prospective buyer, pending the final closing?
15. Who should be required to sign and accept the offer to make it binding?
16. Are boundary lines properly specified?
17. Are timber, mineral and water rights, if any, properly covered?
18. Who is responsible for paying of property taxes?
19. What are the remedies if the buyer or seller defaults?
20. Should the purchase be contingent on any outside matters such as the availability of financing on acceptable terms or the sale of the house which you presently own?
21. Whose responsibility is it to pay for the real estate broker?
22. Whose responsibility is it to pay for governmental special assessments that arise prior to closing? Payable after closing? What about homeowner or condominium association assessments?
23. How long should the buyer have to inspect the property?
24. Does the seller know of any defects? Is there a disclosure form that the lawyer recommends?
We will do proper examination of many public records, including court and governmental files to be able ensure that the contract protects your interests.
It is important that your purchase agreement be prepared or reviewed by a lawyer before you sign to assure the agreement covers your requirements. Remember that even printed form agreements are negotiable, but this requires knowledgeable and independent professional guidance.