Attorney Review Period
Residential real estate contracts are subject to review by real estate lawyers. This is called the attorney review period and it typically lasts three business days (more or less). It allows a real estate attorney who represents either the buyer or the seller to make changes to the contract to the benefit of his or her client and/or the sale and transfer of the home. However, this period of time also allows either the buyer or seller through counsel to legally cancel the contract without any fear of repercussion or reprisal. While neither party wants to rush this process, the best real estate attorneys can complete this task promptly to protect your interests, ensure the contract goes forward and the client’s expectations and goals are achieved to the extent feasible and possible.
The legal services to be provided include the preparation, negotiation, and/or review of the Contract of Sale and any amendments thereto; securing title searches and survey; review of title reports, survey and mortgage commitment; preparation and review of closing documents; securing payoff information on seller's existing mortgages; preparation for and representation at the closing; and postclosing followup (recording of documents, obtaining title policy, etc.). In addition I will be available to answer any questions that you might have regarding all the documents that you must execute and handle any problems which occur at the settlement table.
Responsibilities as a Buyer
As a Buyer, certain documents must be prepared so that you can purchase the property I will handle ordering the title search and title insurance commitment for you. Please advise your realtor of this so that duplicate title work is not ordered. , I will also make arrangements for the property survey to be performed. If I do not hear from you, I will assume that you will require a survey and I will order one at your cost. A survey will be required in most jurisdictions so it is imperative for me to order a survey immediately after attorney review.
Unless you are buying a condominium, you may be required by your finance company to obtain Homeowner's Insurance coverage (hazard insurance * ). This must be prepaid for a full year and you must bring a receipt to the closing. If you need assistance in selecting an insurance agent for homeowner's coverage, I would be glad to provide you with some references.
In addition, the Agreement of Sale provides you the opportunity to have the home inspected. You must do this within a certain period of time which is set forth in the Agreement. If you do not perform the home inspection within the appropriate time period and notify the Seller of the results, you will waive your right to demand repairs which, in the opinion of the home inspector, are needed.
Likewise, you must also obtain a certification with respect to woodboring insects and termites. Again, this must be done within a certain period of time. To the extent that you do not perform such a review, you will have waived your right to make a demand that the Seller pay any portion of this. Most mortgage companies will require a termite certification before closing Again, I would be glad to assist you with references with regard to home inspectors or termite certification companies if you so desire.
Services Not Included
Please be aware that there are certain services that are not part of our regular representation in matters of this kind. For example, if you are purchasing a condominium or a cooperative unit, or other type of planned unit development, we do not review the governing association's status or financial wellbeing. Should you have concerns in this regard, we would recommend you seek guidance from your accountant.
Should you wish to verify or determine whether or not there are offsite conditions which might affect the value of the Property, please contact the clerk or applicable municipalities, including those which contain and border the subject Property. You are also encouraged to independently investigate the area surrounding the subject Property in order to become familiar with any conditions which might affect the value of the property.
Even if we are successful in extracting certain representations from sellers of real property, we do not make independent investigations to determine the truthfulness of those representations. For example:
The legal services to be provided include the preparation, negotiation, and/or review of the Contract of Sale and any amendments thereto; review of title reports, survey and other documentation; preparation and review of closing documents; securing payoff information on any existing mortgages; preparation for and representation at the closing; and postclosing followup. In addition I will be available to answer any questions that you might have regarding all the documents that you must execute and handle any problems which occur at the settlement table.
Responsibilities as a Seller
As mentioned, I will handle preparation of the legal documents necessary for you to attend the closing. However, it is important that you also perform certain tasks. Please remember to contact the telephone company, the utility company, the water company, the cable company, and the alarm company (if applicable) to advise them that you are selling the premises and to order a "shutoff' of service. In addition, please advise me promptly of the scheduled closing date or any changes in the closing date as my calendar fills quickly.
If you are selling the property with a mortgage you will be responsible to obtain a "payoff" from your mortgage company prior to closing. This office will gladly obtain this for you if you send to this office as soon as possible copies of any monthly mortgage payment slips or lines of credit that you have on the property so this office can call for the payoff amount. If you need assistance with this, please advise me and I will be glad to help. You will also need to obtain from your township a Certificate of Occupancy, a smoke detector inspection, and possibly a sump pump certification.
If you are a widow(er), you will need to bring a copy of your spouse's death certificate to the Closing. If any of the Sellers who sign the Agreement will not be attending the closing please advise immediately and I will prepare a limited Power of Attorney so that the attending Seller can sign for both parties.