What Are Some Of The Reasons A Real Estate Attorney Is Needed?
Real estate is often the largest asset owned by an individual, family, or entity. A real estate transaction has many participants, from buyers and sellers, to real estate agents, to inspectors, appraisers, contractors, attorneys, property managers, mortgage loan officers, and title/escrow officers. The Law Office of Seth K. Bell will be on your side throughout the process protecting your best interest.
There are many facets to a real estate transaction, some of which are detailed below. Careful consideration should be taken during each step, from start to finish.
- negotiation of price and sales terms
- preparation of letters of intent and/or contracts for purchase and sale
- management of option fees, and escrow of earnest money
- management of feasibility and option periods
- management of property appraisal and inspection
- negotiation of repairs and price subsequent to appraisals, inspection and/or feasibility periods
- review of the title commitment and response to the title company’s requests for additional documents and other information requests
- review and/or preparation of financing documents, such as the promissory note and deed of trust
- review and confirm accuracy of the money trail detailed in the closing statement
- review and/or preparation of numerous closing documents, from disclosures to deeds
How Should I Prepare Beforehand To Sell My Property, Or To Buy Another One?
Work with your financial institution on financing options to determine if you must sell your current home before or at the same time that you buy another home. Furthermore, receive financing pre-approval from your financial institution before submitting an offer on another home, and determine whether that offer must be contingent on selling your current home.
Should I Use A Standard Sales Contract Provided By A RealtorⓇ For A Real Estate Transaction, Or Have An Attorney Draft A Customized One?
In a residential real estate transaction, the standard sales contract is promulgated and approved by the Texas Real Estate Commission. It is more than adequate and used often by my office.
In a commercial real estate transaction, the sales contract is typically a form promulgated by the Texas Association of Realtors. It is adequate for most commercial transactions and is also used by my office.
Should I Be More Concerned With A Title Search Or Home Inspection, In A Real Estate Transaction?
In a residential real estate transaction, the home inspection is much more important than the title search. And in fact, lawyers are rarely involved in the residential real estate process in the state of Texas. The Texas Real Estate Commission drafts the promulgated forms used in residential real estate transactions. In most situations, lawyers only become involved in residential real estate transactions when problems arise with the title or sellers’ disclosure, or due to a lack of disclosure with property issues.
In a commercial real estate transaction, lawyers are more involved throughout the process. A property inspection is extremely important in a commercial real estate transaction.
What Is A Clear Title? How Can It Affect a Real Estate Purchase?
Title to most property in Texas, especially in urban areas, is encumbered by easements or right of ways for services such as utilities or water. The goal is to prove that you have clearly conveyable property in a residential or commercial real estate transaction. Once the parties have executed the real estate sales contract, the contract is delivered to a title company for handling. The title company generates a title commitment that sets forth items that need to be addressed prior to closing the sale on the property. The most common title issues are the payment of property taxes, and the completion of payments for the seller’s existing mortgage on the property, from the sales proceeds. The seller may also have judgments against him or her that are encumbering the property that must be satisfied and released from the sales proceeds. Title insurance insures the title conveyed from the seller to the buyer at closing, with some exceptions.
What Is The Implication To A Buyer Who Accepts The Property As Is, Where Is?
The term, “As Is, Where Is” denotes that the buyer is accepting the property in its present condition, and it is a commonly utilized term in a real estate sales contract, and in the resulting deed conveying property from the buyer to the seller. An inspection is essential to the buyer in an “As Is, Where Is” transaction. In a residential real estate transaction, an option period can be negotiated, for a nominal amount of consideration, for an inspection to be performed prior to the buyer’s final decision to move forward in purchasing the property. In a commercial real estate transaction, a feasibility period can be negotiated, for a nominal amount of consideration, for an inspection to be performed (as well as the handling of other matters such as platting and zoning) prior to the buyer’s final decision to move forward in purchasing the property.
What Is The Difference Between A Mortgage And A Deed Of Trust?
A mortgage is a loan obtained from a financial institution to buy the property. The two key documents to a mortgage loan are a promissory note and a deed of trust. A promissory note is a contract between the buyer and the lender setting forth the terms of loan repayment. A deed of trust secures the promissory note and permits the lender to foreclose on the property in the event of default by the buyer. A deed of trust is recorded in the county property records where the property is located.
What Other Types Of Deeds Exist In Texas?
In Texas, the two most common deeds are a general warranty deed and a special warranty deed. In a general warranty deed, the seller warrants title from inception. Often that seller’s warranty of title is insured with title insurance issued by the title company. If the buyer requires a mortgage loan to buy the property, the financial institution will require that the buyer obtain and pay for title insurance.
A special warranty deed warrants title only from the seller to the buyer. In the probate process, the executor conveys the deceased’s property on behalf of the estate by special warranty deed.
A less common type of deed is a quit claim deed. A quit claim deed provides no warranty of title from seller to buyer. In this type of deed, the buyer is conveying to the seller, without warranty of title, whatever interest there is, if any at all, in the property.
What Are The Most Common Disputes/Allegations In Real Estate Litigation?
The most common allegations in real estate litigation are that a seller misrepresented and/or failed to disclose the property’s condition.
Should I Use The Same Attorney Who Helped Me Buy/Sell My Property If I Believe I Have A Claim After The Transaction Is Done?
That should be your first call. He or she may refer you to someone who handles litigation. My office handles both transactional and litigation matters.
Should I Contact My RealtorⓇ Or The Other Party’s RealtorⓇ Before I Talk To A Lawyer To Resolve A Dispute?
You should only contact your RealtorⓇ or an attorney to discuss the matter.
What Are The Remedies If A Buyer Or A Seller Defaults Under A Real Estate Contract?
If the buyer defaults on a contract for sale, the seller often retains the earnest money the buyer deposited with the title company and both parties are released from the sales contract. If the seller defaults on the sales contract, the buyer is often refunded their earnest money deposited with the title company and both parties are released from the sales contract. The buyer can also seek specific performance to force the seller to convey the property pursuant to the contract for sale. A real estate sales contract often requires mediation between the parties if they cannot agree to the retention or release of earnest money.
It should be noted that Seth K. Bell is also a Texas licensed real estate sales agent. Depending on the transaction, Seth K. Bell may be able to participate in the real estate commission from the sale of the property in lieu of charging legal fees for services.
For more information on Common Disputes In Real Estate Litigation, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (210) 987-3333 today.
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