When making a big decision, like selling a house, you want someone who knows what they’re doing to help you through the process. There is a lot of money on the line, coupled with the stress of moving itself, and what feels like piles of confusing paperwork to get through. Having someone knowledgeable that specializes in real estate to guide you through the process is necessary, not to mention very helpful and calming. But what does your real estate attorney do when representing a client in the sale of their home?
When representing a Seller, a Real Estate Attorney is responsible for drafting and negotiating your Purchase and Sale Agreement (P&S). The P&S formalizes your accepted offer, lays out the terms of the agreement, including the purchase price, contingencies, and any important dates and responsibilities of the parties. They review all P&S’s with clients and are great at translating the legalese into practical, easy to understand language so you understand and agree to everything prior to signing.
2. Drafts the Deed, Power of Attorney (POA), and other relevant documents for closing/recording:
When selling a home, the P&S is not the only paperwork that needs drafting. The Real Estate Attorney will draft all necessary closing documents for you including the Deed (which transfers ownership of the property from you to the buyer) and a transaction-specific Power of Attorney (which allows the Attorney to attend closing on your behalf). In addition to the Deed and Power of Attorney, which a competent Attorney will draft for nearly every transaction, they may also draft a 6(d) Certificate (if you’re selling a condominium), an Estate Tax Affidavit (if you’re selling a home after a loved one has passed away), a Discharge of Mortgage (if you have a private mortgage on your home), as well as many other related documents.
3. Address Liens and Title Issues:
Mortgages are the most common liens on real estate and obtaining a payoff statement from your lender is part of our representation. Other types of liens that need to be addressed prior to closing include executions, federal tax liens, municipal liens (for unpaid real estate taxes or municipal utility bulls) and MassHealth liens.
Real Estate Attorneys will also assist in resolving any title issues that may arise during the title exam. The topic of title insurance requires a blog unto itself but having a title insurance policy helps resolve many common title issues. The most common title issue is that of an undischarged or improperly discharged mortgage. Very rarely are these fatal to a transaction, but having an experienced, resourceful real estate attorney in your corner will help you navigate through any title issues to keep your sale on track for closing.
4. Represent Seller at closing:
Prior to closing, the Real Estate Attorney will review your settlement statement with you to ensure you fully understand your closing related fees, expenses and adjustments. They will then attend closing on your behalf under Power of Attorney and sign all other closing documents for you so you can focus on moving, getting settled in your new home, or breathing a big sigh of relief now that your home sale is fully consummated. And last, but certainly not lease, they will make arrangements to collect your sale proceeds in the manner best suited to your needs.
Ladimer Law has in-house expertise to help with any Real Estate transaction. Contact us today to speak with Steve Allen, our resident Real Estate Attorney, to assist with the sale of your home!
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Natick, MA 01760
Ladimer Law specializes in estate planning. We protect our clients, their heirs, and their assets by listening closely, knowing the law, and executing estate plans that fit and evolve.