Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or an experienced home owner, our team will guide you through the process to ensure your purchase goes as smoothly as possible. As your counsel, we will advise you on your rights and obligations regarding your new home purchase and explain each step… in language you will understand.
Some of the services we provide when representing buyers are:
- Work with you and your real estate professional to make a solid, fair, and reasonable offer. Call us before you decide to purchase your new home.
- Review the Offer to Purchase.
The Offer is a legally binding agreement which is the framework for the entire transaction. It includes the parties to the transaction (Buyer and Seller), the property, the purchase price, and the closing date. It may also include other aspects of the transaction such as financing contingencies, inspection contingencies, or Seller obligations to remove or include personal items at the property. This is typically a brief document.
- Draft contingency language and monitor deadlines.
Your offer may contain two types of contingencies: an Inspection Contingency and/or a Financing Contingency. The Inspection Contingency will take place after you make the Offer to Purchase and before the Purchase and Sale agreement is signed. You and your real estate professional will hire an inspector who will evaluate physical attributes of the property and its systems. This may include heating, electrical, plumbing, water quality (for well water), septic systems (if not served by a municipal sewer), the presence/absence of radon gas, etc. When you complete the inspection, you will have a specific time frame to notify the seller of any deficiencies and negotiate further if necessary. The Financing Contingency will establish a date by when you will have a mortgage commitment in hand. In a timely manner, you will need to monitor and facilitate the mortgage application process so that you meet your obligations under the Purchase & Sale agreement. For either contingency, we will help you monitor the process and meet deadlines.
- Draft, negotiate, and review the Purchase and Sale Agreement.
The Purchase and Sale Agreement, or P&S, is a detailed and comprehensive contract which contains all of the terms and conditions of the transaction. It states the rights and obligations of each party (Buyer and Seller), the time frame in which this will happen, and the consequences if one or more parties fail to fulfill those obligations. The Agreement may be heavily negotiated between the attorneys of both parties.
- Review Condominium or Home Owner’s Association Documents.
Condominiums include areas you own and have exclusive right of use, and areas that you own “in common” with other owners. If you’re purchasing a condominium, it is critical to review the Condominium Documents, which usually include the Master Deed, Plans, Declaration of Trust, Bylaws, Rules and Regulations, and the Budget for the Condominium Association. The Documents will outline the areas of the property considered “in common” and those to which you have exclusive use. They will also outline rules of living, such as whether you can rent your unit, pet allowance, use of parking spaces, roof rights and access, storage areas, etc.
- Answer your questions and explain all the legal documents.
We know that buying a home is a complex and often emotional process, so we are committed to guide you through it and answer your questions in language you understand and with compassion.
- Represent you at the closing.
Our primary goal is to make sure you meet all of your goals and objectives for the purchase of your new home. We will review and negotiate the necessary documents below to ensure a smooth closing. Not all of them will pertain to your property.
- Title Abstract.
This document outlines the physical review of the property’s title from records from the Registry of Deeds and Probate, and may include bankruptcy and tax matters where available. Our title examiner will perform this work and review it with your closing agent.
- Mortgage Survey Plan.
This is a survey of the land plus any improvements, such as the house, garage, driveway, etc., to be mortgaged. The survey will determine if any improvements or buildings violate zoning laws, and that neighboring properties also comply. A registered land surveyor will perform the survey and review it with your closing agent. This will not take place if you are purchasing a condominium.
- Municipal Lien Certificate.
The city or town tax collector prepares this document. It shows any outstanding tax or municipal services fees that may be owed, such as for water/sewer or refuse collection. We will review this document and collect any amount owed by the current owner.
- 6(d) Certificate.
This document applies to condominiums only. It is a notarized statement from the condominium association certifying that all outstanding condominium fees and charges assessed against the unit have been paid up through the time of closing.
- Title Insurance.
Real estate title insurance is an insured statement of the conditions of one’s title or ownership rights to a certain piece of real estate. The lender requires a policy for the amount of the loan to protect their interests. The lender’s policy does not protect the buyer. An owner’s policy of title insurance ensures that you, the buyer, have a good marketable property title free of any encumbrances or liens that would adversely affect the property at the time of purchase. It also ensures you that if any such liens, encumbrances, defects, or other title problems become known, the title insurer will defend your title to the property.
- Recording Documents and Certified Copy.
We will record the mortgage and other transactional documents and obtain Registry certified copies, required in certain transactions, in a timely and safe manner using courier and overnight service. In addition, we will return the original loan documentation back to the lender.
- Title Abstract.
This may all sound confusing at first, but it’s all ultimately done to protect both the buyer and the seller.