REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS
Real estate transactions in Florida are a multi-step multi-party process best guided with the help of legal counsel. After a buyer and a seller meet via a realtor or otherwise, a contract for purchase and sale usually must be arrived at. Terms need to be discussed and understood whether a residential or even commercial transaction. Most of the work after a contract is consummated is done by a Title Company/Closing Agent. Typically, the realtor and title company do not legally represent one party or the other, the buyer or the seller, as they are typically considered ‘transactional agents’ only concerned with closing the deal. For this reason, as either a buyer or seller in a transaction, you should be represented by legal counsel to review the documents before you sign them and to attend closing perhaps even with you to ensure that the process goes without complications and is otherwise as smooth as possible. We assist as legal counsel, with the preparation and review of leases, as-is contracts for purchase and sale, full warranty contracts for purchase and sale, contracts on vacant land and even builder’s contracts.
Representing a buyer or seller in a purchase or sale of real property to review documentation and attend closing.
While we are NOT a title company/closing agent involved in the preparation of title insurance commitments, title searches, open permit searches, or title insurance policies themselves, we often review all of these…in fact, when we represent purchasers/buyers, for example, we look to have the standard title exceptions removed/marked as satisfied from the commitment at closing, which carries over to the final title policy. As attorneys in a closing process, we assist in the review of seller’s documents such as a warranty deed, bill of sale, FIRPTA rider, affidavit of no lien, ALTA closing disclosure statements, etc. We can also review financing/mortgage documents such as a mortgage, promissory note, PUD Rider, homeowner’s documents including declaration of covenants and restrictions, etc. There are many negatives that can go into these documents if not careful like pre-payment penalties, acceleration of mortgage clauses, balloon payments, negative amortization, restrictive covenants, etc.
When making a purchase or sale is one of the largest financial transactions undertaken in his/her lifetime, going this process alone is not recommended. Often it is harder to be reactive than to be proactive…we can help.