Purchasing Your Home


Purchasing Your Home
The largest, most involved, and most long term, financial commitment people generally make is the purchase of their home.

By the time you have asked us to represent you, you have no doubt selected the property you wish to purchase. You have considered location, neighborhood, age, type and style of building, school system available, cost of purchase, real estate taxes and other costs of ownership. You have made your own inspection of the home and appliances, but without the benefit of a professional inspector. You are aware of the nature of the water supply and the sewage disposal systems but perhaps not their limitations.

First, we should see any papers you have signed. You may have already bound yourself to purchase the property if you have signed a brokerís contract and time has passed beyond when we can change it for you. If you have signed such a document, and time has passed beyond when we can negotiate changes for you, we will advise you of the terms and conditions to which you have bound yourself. Of course, we recommend that you do not sign anything until we have reviewed it for you, unless it contains language allowing for our review and provides sufficient time for discussion with you.

The Contract of Sale

The Real Estate Sales Agreement or Contract is the basis of the entire transaction. If you are working with a real estate sales person they will prepare a contract and ask you to sign it as your offer to purchase. It is required by law to contain an ìAttorney Reviewî clause allowing it to be cancelled by us if after review you are not totally satisfied with what it provides. If there is not a broker or sales person, by custom, it is usually prepared by the attorney for the seller, at the sellerís cost. It is prepared based on the sellerís understandings of your agreement. It is prepared from his viewpoint. It must be reviewed to be sure that it does not omit terms important to you.

As we review it, we determine whether or not it provides that you receive title that will allow use of the property as you anticipate. Is the closing scheduled to meet your requirements? If you have not already made arrangements for financing, or for selling your existing home, have these contingencies been provided for? If you have not yet had an opportunity to inspect for possible structural or termite damage, measure radon levels, to determine water potability, or to make other tests, does the contract permit you to do so with the aid of professional inspectors? What happens if the buildings or fences encroach upon property lines? What happens if the seller decides to take the window air conditioner with him which you thought was included in the purchase of the home and was to become yours upon closing?

You may not be able to negotiate a perfect contract, but at least we will have been able to advise you of the business risks you are taking if we know your goals and review the contract with you. It is up to you to tell us of your expectations.

Our Service to You

Once the contract is signed and all conditions have been met, we prepare you for closing. County, municipal, and upper court searches are ordered, received, and reviewed. Appropriate title insurance binders are secured and reviewed. If the title is found not to be in accordance with the contract, extra work of dealing with title problems is encountered. The title is either cleared or you are advised of unsolvable problems. The requirements of your mortgage institution are determined and met. Your surveyor is advised of certification requirements of your mortgage company and title company.

As we approach the closing date called for by the contract, we obtain and review advance copies of the proposed Deed and Affidavit of Title from cooperative attorneys for the seller. We communicate with the sellerís attorney to calculate adjustments for real estate taxes, municipal assessments, fuel charges, etc. We prepare the note, mortgage, your Mortgage Affidavit of Title, Mortgage Closing Statement, and other required documents in accord with the lending institutionís instructions, or review the documents provided by the lender for your signature. We communicate with you to make final arrangements to schedule the closing and to review the form and amount of funds needed to complete the transaction. At the actual closing, we ensure that figures are correct, the liens on the property are paid, and that documents are properly signed and recorded. Finally, after the closing, we see to it that you receive your Deed and your Title Policy after all else is accomplished.

Time Set for Closing

It is important to know that the time for closing set forth in your contract is not an absolute deadline from the viewpoint of any of the parties to the contract. We like to refer to it as a target or estimated date and acknowledge its flexibility, for a party may find himself unable to meet the exact deadline set. In the event title closing at a particular time and on a particular day is of extreme importance to you, we should be told, since time can be made of the essence in a real estate agreement as long as you and the seller agree and you understand the risks of our doing so for you. We will explain those risks to you if you ask.

Form of Your Money at Closing

The contract will normally provide that closing funds be by bank or certified check or wire transfer. We will have the mortgage funds available in satisfactory form. We suggest that the balance of funds required be in the form of a bank or certified check payable directly to you, if you will be at the closing, or to our office. Adjustments or remaining balances of less than $100 are usually acceptable in he form of a personal check.

Your Closing Costs

You may estimate the costs of purchasing your home by adding our fee, which we will estimate for you at our first conference, a one-time charge for title insurance, disbursements for searches and recording of documents which we will estimate for you, the first year premium on your homeownerís insurance, the cost of your survey if you have one made (perhaps we can save this cost for you if the seller has a recent survey in satisfactory form), and any bank fees, escrows, etc. that your lending institution requires.

If You Have Any Questions

If any questions concerning the purchase of your home remain unanswered, call to arrange an appointment. We will be pleased to meet with you for the purpose of providing you with answers.