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Florida Real Estate Closing Services
Buying or Selling a Home from Contract to Closing
The purchase or sale of a home is often one of the largest transactions an individual and/or family will make in their lifetime. From contract to closing, there are numerous decisions to make. For example, a Seller is required to make certain Disclosures to the Buyer. If the Disclosures are not made, then unpleasant consequences could arise leading to rescinding of the contract or money damages. Likewise, a Buyer also has obligations. A Buyer may be required to pay monies known as an "Escrow Deposit" as a good faith pledge to perform their obligations on the contract. If the Buyer doesn't perform, then the Escrow Deposit can be forfeited. A contract to Purchase or Sell a home should not be taken lightly. To help protect your interest, a Real Estate Attorney can advise and counsel you through your transaction.
Real Estate Contracts
Pursuant to Florida law, a Purchase Contract for Real Estate must be in writing. Within the Real Estate industry, there are various standardized contracts. The Florida Association of Realtors and The Florida Bar have teamed up on a few standardized contracts to simplify the process. These types of contracts within the Real Estate Industry are known as FAR/BAR Contracts. However, these FAR/BAR Contracts are not simple. FAR/BAR Contracts cover vast arrays of conditions and obligations of both parties ranging from escrow deposit, marketable title, financing, inspection, survey, closing, property taxes, insurance, and many fine print disclosures. If you haven't read the Purchase Contract in its entirety, don't sign it until you are fully aware of your conditions and responsibilities. To help protect your interest, a Real Estate Attorney can advise and counsel you through your transaction.
Residential Real Estate Closings
To complete any real estate transaction requires, a process known as "the Closing" must be completed. Prior to the Closing numerous tasks have to be completed by the Closing/Title Agent. To begin with a title search report must be ordered from a title underwriter to determine whether or not title is marketable and insurable. Letters and requests to Homeowner's Associations and Mortgage lenders are sent out to determine the current owner's liability. A survey is ordered to determine whether or not there are any encroachments or boundary issues with the subject property. An inspection is ordered to determine if there are any significant issues with the house in relation to roof, electrical, plumbing, foundation, and other matters. If the house is being financed, an appraisal will need to be obtained to determine the value. Once all this information is obtained, a HUD-1 Settlement Statement will need to be drafted to reflect all the costs and expenses associated with the Purchase. All parties (Buyer, Seller, Buyer's Lender, Buyer's Mortgage Broker, Realtors) will receive a copy of the HUD-1 Settlement Statement. If all parties agree with the HUD-1 Settlement Statement, it is then finalized. The Closing occurs after all the conditions and obligations of the Buyer and Seller have been performed. At that time, the Seller conveys the Real Property to the Buyer, and the Buyer comes forth with the monies or proceeds to be distributed to the Seller, after all title encumbrances and liabilities associated with the Real Property are satisfied. As you can see, a tremendous amount of work goes into a Real Estate Closing. However, the closing doesn't end with the Deed being signed and the checks being written to all parties. To complete the Purchase, all legal documents (Deed, Mortgage, Satisfactions and Affidavits) must be recorded at the local Land Records Department and then returned to respective parties. Furthermore, the Title Insurance Policy must be completed and sent to the Owner. If the Purchase was financed, the Lender must also receive a Title Insurance Policy. At the NeJame Law Firm, we are experienced with real estate closings. We are Title Agents for Old Republic National Title Insurance affiliated through Attorney's Title Fund Services, LLC. All of our Closings are supervised by an Attorney. If you are looking for quality Residential Real Estate Closing Services call the NeJame Law Firm.
Special Concerns with Short-Sales and Foreclosures
Lately, the number of home sales related to short-sales and foreclosures has risen drastically. These types of sales are becoming a larger part of the market and more acceptable to Purchasers. Purchasing a home in a short-sale is different from purchasing a foreclosure.
When a buyer purchases a short-sale, the buyer enters into a Purchase –Sale Contract with a seller (usually, the owner, who has defaulted on the mortgage). All the usual protocols with Seller's Disclosures are followed. A short sale must be approved by the Lender (the owner's mortgage company). The proceeds from a short-sale will not fully satisfy the mortgage on the home, hence the term "short-sale". No proceeds from the transaction will be distributed to the Owner, the defaulted borrower. However, the Lender (the owner's mortgage company) will fully release the property to the Buyer-New Owner, to recover some of the money lent. Since lender approval is required, Buyer's can wait a long period of time to get a positive response, sometimes up to 6 months. Recently, the Federal Government passed a new law requiring Lender's to respond within 30 days. However, with the increased number of homes going into default, Lenders have not improved their response time.
There are two ways to purchase a foreclosed home. The first way is through auction on the courthouse steps. A schedule of foreclosure auctions is made available to the public by your local Clerk of Court. Buying through an auction is very risky. I do not recommend buying a foreclosure through a foreclosure sale from the Clerk of Court.
The second way to purchase a foreclosure is from the Lender. A buyer enters into a Purchase-Sale Contract directly with the Bank (usually the Lender of the previous owner who defaulted on the mortgage). Generally, the Seller (Lender) sells the property "as is" and makes no warranties to the quality of the property. At times, foreclosed properties can sit vacant and abandoned for months and sometimes even years. This neglect can accelerate a once minor problem into a major one. Other issues may need to be taken care of, such as code enforcement liens, homeowner association liens, and tax liens. If you plan on purchasing a foreclosed home, a tremendous amount of due diligence is required. Additionally, invest in a quality home inspection to determine the condition of the house. It's better to find out sooner rather than later, so that proper maintenance and repairs can be anticipated.
Contact our Real Estate Attorneys in Orlando, Florida
If you are planning on purchasing a short-sale or a foreclosed home, call NeJame, LaFay, Jancha, Ahmed, Barker & Joshi, P.A.. We can help you with your purchase and address all your concerns. Our lawyers are conscientious and ready to help resolve your issues. Call us at 407-245-1232 where we can be reached 7 days a week. If you would rather, please fill out a form online or email us directly at Civil@NeJameLaw.com. We value your privacy and will keep any information strictly confidential.