FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHY SHOULD I HIRE A LAWYER WHEN PURCHASING A HOME?
Most of the times, a home is the most significant and expensive purchase a person will ever make. It will likely become a long-term investment and a major source of future capital. Purchasing a home involves unique real property law, issues and risks not present in other business transactions. Real estate lawyers are uniquely qualified to oversee the purchase of a home. Our office has handled thousands of successful real estate transactions over more than forty years and our experience can insure success in your purchase
WHY SHOULD HIRE A LAWYER WHEN SELLING A HOME?
There are many expenses involved in a typical real estate transaction. Many times, sellers unknowingly end up paying for expenses that are not their responsibility or that could have been negotiated or reduced. Our office can help you insure that you end up paying only what you need to pay in the sale of your property.
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN THE PURCHASE OF A HOME?
The first step, once you find a home that you like, is signing a contract for the purchase of the property. An initial deposit is normally required, to guarantee buyer’s performance of the contract. Most real estate contracts are “as is” contracts, which allow the buyer to inspect the property and withdraw from the contract within a certain time if the property is not satisfactory. We search the public records of the county where the property in located in order to ascertain its actual owner and outstanding debts, as well as obtain the amounts required to payoff any outstanding debts against the property.
Since most persons don’t have sufficient funds to purchase their home outright, the buyer needs to apply for a mortgage loan from a lender. The contract normally specifies a certain time within which the buyer must apply and be approved for the mortgage. The contract will also specify a certain time within which the transaction must be closed.
AT WHAT POINT SHOULD I HIRE A LAWYER WHEN PURCHASING OR SELLING A HOME?
Ideally, the lawyer should be hired before signing any contracts or offers. This way, the terms of the contract can be negotiated to your satisfaction. Once the contract or offer is signed by both parties, the buyer and seller are bound by its terms and conditions.
WHAT IS A MORTGAGE LOAN?
When you purchase real property and you ask a bank for a loan to pay it, the bank will make you sign a promissory note, which is an agreement to pay the debt, usually in monthly installments, and which will be secured by a mortgage. A mortgage is a document that specifies the terms and conditions under which you are given the loan, and which is secured by the property you have purchased. In the event you fail to pay any installment or violate any of the conditions of the note or the mortgage, the bank may declare the entire loan balance to be due and payable and may ask the court to sell your property in order for them to recover the entire amount owed, plus interests and expenses.
WHAT IS TITLE INSURANCE?
Title insurance is an insurance policy issued by our office, as attorney agents, which is paid at the time of purchase of residential or commercial real property, which guarantees that the property is free of debts, that the title of the property is good and marketable, and that the title insurance company will defend your title in case someone makes a claim against it and that will pay you back your loss or investment in case the claimant prevails.
FROM WHAT TYPES OF CLAIMS WILL A TITLE POLICY PROTECT ME?
Your title insurance policy protects against many types of claims, such as undisclosed debts, undisclosed heirs, forged documents, unpaid taxes, lawsuits or disputes over the property, liens or judgments against the current or prior owners, mistakes in the records of the property and fraudulent claims, among others.
CAN YOU HELP ME SELL MY PROPERTY?
Of course we can. In two different ways. If you want to sell the property on your own, once you find a buyer we will prepare the contract for sale and represent you in the transaction. If you want us to market and sell the property for you, we can do that through our sister company, Seacoast Real Estate, Inc. Once we find a buyer we will prepare the contract and will represent you in the sale.
CAN YOU HELP ME BUY A PROPERTY?
Yes, we can. If you want to buy a property from a seller not represented by a real estate agent, we can prepare the contract and represent you in the transaction. If you are looking for a home or commercial property, we can help you find a property that suits your needs and budget, through our sister company, Seacoast Real Estate, Inc., and once we find a property, our office will represent you in the purchase.