Expedite Your Residential And Commercial Real Estate Transactions
When you first decide to enter into a real estate transaction, whether buying, selling or renting, the place to begin is with your attorney. Most people do not see an attorney until they have already signed a listing agreement, or the contract to buy, sell or lease. This can cause unforeseen problems in the future.
We Are Title Agents For Attorneys’ Title Insurance Fund, Inc., And Fidelity National Title Insurance Company
Our attorneys at Klein & Fortune, PA, can help you and may even be able to save you money by guiding you through the documentation, costs and procedures. Our in-depth knowledge of Florida’s real estate laws can help you avoid costly future litigation.
A Listing Agreement Is The First Step In Your Real Estate Transaction
Broker commissions can become payable when a broker produces a buyer ready, willing and able to buy your property, or for effectuating a closing of the transaction. Most people prefer that the broker be paid a commission only if the transaction actually closes with a buyer whom the broker produced. However, most listing agreements provide that the commission is payable once the broker finds a buyer ready, willing and able to buy. If it should turn out that there is a title problem, or another reason that precludes the seller from closing, the commission may still be due and payable even though the seller never received the sale proceeds, or the landlord never received any rent from a prospective tenant. Please let us review the listing agreement before you sign it so we can advise you as to its terms and conditions.
Important Real Estate Contract Information To Consider
Who is the broker representing? Most sellers who list their property believe that the broker is their agent. In the past that is how it was, unless the brokerage agreement specifically provided to the contrary. Today, the brokerage agreements can provide that the broker is a “transaction broker,” and their obligations to the buyer and seller are limited. A transactional broker does not represent the buyer or the seller.
At Klein & Fortune, PA, our attorneys will help you every step of the way. We can help you with:
- The contract — Once you get through the listing portion of the transaction, or in the event you elect to sell on your own, at some point in time a contract will be presented to you, or you will need to have a contract prepared. Your lawyer should be the one to prepare the contract. Your attorney is the one whom you employ to protect your interests. The contract sets forth all your rights, duties and obligations, and determines under what circumstances the broker, the seller or both are entitled to retain the deposit and under what circumstances the purchaser is entitled to a refund of the deposit.
- The deposit — Most purchase and rental agreements require the purchaser or tenant to place a cash deposit with someone. Who holds your money and whether you receive interest on your money is determined by the contract. What happens if the person who is holding your deposit misappropriates the funds? Your lawyer can build into the contract provisions that protect you and your deposit.
- Conditions — The contract contains many conditions that should be explained to you, whether you are the purchaser, seller or landlord. Conditions that usually permit return of the deposit are those relating to the failure of the purchaser to obtain mortgage financing after the exercise of diligent effort and those relating to the condition of the property. On the seller’s side, sellers do not like conditions and want to limit them as much as possible so that they know the sale is done. Your lawyer can write specific clauses to tailor the contract to your needs.
The ‘Closing’ Of Your Purchase Usually Completes The Transaction
The closing takes place at the location designated in the contract. At the closing, you will be presented with many documents to sign. Do you know which ones you are legally obligated to sign? Some documents may be presented to you for signature that you have no legal obligation to sign. The closing statement is usually a nightmare. Do you know which charges you are paying are customary and reasonable, which are higher than normal and which ones you are not legally responsible for? Our attorneys at Klein & Fortune, PA, can answer your questions.
Important closing information to know includes:
- Title search and insurance — The purchaser receives a title policy to the property they are buying. The title policy usually has many exceptions from coverage and reflects the restrictions that affect your use of the property. Who did your title search? Was that person an attorney or a paraprofessional? Do you have confidence in the title examiner? Many times, you do not know if the examination was done properly until you go to sell, and a title objection is raised concerning a matter that occurred prior to the time you purchased the property. Klein & Fortune, PA, charges the lowest title insurance premiums allowed by Florida law.
- The survey — A survey designates the boundaries of your property, easements, encroachments, the location of the improvements, the correct legal description and the property address. Surveys are complicated instruments. Easements may give utility companies, governmental authorities or others the right to use a part of your land for electrical lines, gas lines, sewers, drainage and other purposes. At Klein & Fortune, PA, we can properly explain to you any limitations reflected on the survey that may interfere with your use of the property.
- Inspections — Before closing, most of us conduct some form of inspection of the property. We recommend that purchasers employ their own inspection company to do the work, and one who is independent of the seller, broker and mortgage lender.
A Word Of Caution About Designating Your Closing Agent
If you did not employ an attorney prior to the time you signed the purchase and sale contract, make sure that you designate the closing agent. Otherwise, one will probably be selected for you by the broker or the mortgage lender. Closing costs can vary depending on the closing agent. Generally, the fees charged by Klein & Fortune, PA, for the same services provided by a title company to do the title work and close the transaction may cost the same or less, and you have the benefit of an attorney on your side to protect your interests. Check the rates, then decide. Even if an attorney costs more, remember, a lawyer represents your interests only, and a title company does not. Just having your attorney to assist you and protect your interests at closing is invaluable.
Let Us Help You With Your Commercial And Residential Real Estate Transactions
If you feel you require assistance with your real estate sale or purchase, or with your leasing transaction, please give us the opportunity to be of assistance to you. Call our office in Hollywood at 954-228-4285 or email our firm today. Our firm can also help you with your mortgage loan modification, foreclosure defense, mortgages, reverse mortgage or 1031 exchange questions.