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  • Writer's pictureVenessa Favia

What Do Real Estate Attorneys For Home Sellers Do DuringThe Home Sales Process

The role of real estate attorneys for home sellers is to assist home sellers during the sale process of their homes. The seller's attorney oversees the sale process from the time a purchase offer is signed to the closing of the home. Real estate attorneys act in the best interest of the home seller. Sellers attorneys make sure sellers are fully protected and the home sale goes smoothly. They make sure the seller is fully protected and has no liability on the sale of their home.

What Do Real Estate Attorneys For Home Sellers Do During The Home Sales Process

Once the real estate purchase contract is signed, the seller will forward the contract to the attorney. The contract will state an attorney review clause where the seller and buyer have the right to make amendments to the contract. Attorneys will oversee the home buying and mortgage process through closings. Attorneys thoroughly review the terms of the contracts, contingencies, terms, and attend the home closing to make sure everything goes well. Selling a home has a lot of moving parts and involves multiple tasks during the process. The process is quite complex and you need a professional with experience and knowledge of local and state laws and regulations. Hiring a reputable experienced attorney is a must to help you protect your investment and make sure you have no liability on the sale of your home.

It is best recommended for both home-buyers and sellers to hire a real estate attorney on home purchase and sales transactions to protect their best interests.

Is A Real Estate Attorney Required On A Private Sale Of My Home?

If you are selling your home privately without a real estate agent in one of the above states, a real estate attorney is highly recommended. It is best recommended to hire an attorney to represent you whether you are a home buyer or home seller. The cost of hiring an attorney is worth its weight in gold when buying or selling a home. A home is most people's largest investment in their lives. Trying to save a few dollars on a large investment may not be the best choice and judgment.

The Role Of The Seller's Attorney During The Home Sale Process

The first phase of the attorney's representation starts with the attorney review period. This period begins the first business day after the contract is fully executed. Generally, either party may back out of the contract during the attorney review period without consequence. During this time period, the buyer may have a professional inspection performed as well as a radon inspection performed in the home. Once that is completed, the buyer and their attorney will send a Buyer Modification Letter to outline any repairs or concerns with the property. The office of the seller's attorney will email that letter to the home seller and follow up to review. The attorney will respond and the buyer will reply. Once an agreement is met, it will conclude the Attorney Review period.

Once The Attorney Review Period Is Completed

Once the Attorney Review is completed, the seller's attorney's office will order the title insurance commitment and survey as required by the contract. The seller's attorney's office is an agent with a title company to secure a title commitment. The real estate purchase contract also calls for a survey that is no more than 6 months old. Homeowners with the previous surveys and have not made any improvements to the land, the attorney can present the existing survey to the buyer to see if the buyer and/or the lender will accept the older survey along with an affidavit of no new improvements. If not, the attorney will contact the surveyor and order a survey of the property. The average price for this is approximately $495.00. This fee will be paid for at the closing as a closing cost from the proceeds of the sale. The attorney will also provide the survey company with either seller's name and contact information or the seller's agents and ask that they keep the seller informed of when they will visit the property. When the title search is completed, the seller's attorney will have a better understanding of what documents they will need to clear the title for a smooth closing. This can range from legal documents relating to a trust, a mortgage payoff, home equity line of credit, mechanic’s liens, judgments, village requirements, and/or Homeowners Associations documents. To assist in this regard, and to order appropriate Payoff and Release(s), the seller needs to provide their date of birth and social security number as well as the seller's forwarding address at their earliest convenience.

Local Codes And Guidelines On Home Sales Transactions

The seller's attorney will know if the seller's local municipality has additional requirements for real estate transactions, such as a transfer stamp, final water bill reading, or a local inspection. The seller's attorney's office will assist in completing the required documents to complete the majority of village requirements as well as order the necessary Homeowner Association Closing documents. If a physical stamp is required necessitating a trip to the village hall, a $100 courier fee is applied. However, either the seller or the seller's real estate agent may choose to pick up the stamp instead. As a service, the seller's attorney's office can advance the fees for some of these items on an as-needed basis and be reimbursed from the seller's proceeds at closing.

Preparing For The Home Loan Closing

The attorney's office will begin to prepare for the closing by preparing the closing documents including but not limited to the Affidavit of Title, Bill of Sale, Warranty Deed, Tax Documents, and Closing Statement. The seller's attorneys do require an original signature on the Warranty Deed for the owner(s) of the property and spouse if the spouse ever lived in the property. During Covid-19, The title companies have minimized the in-person traffic for closings and ask that the sellers avoid attendance, when possible. The seller's attorney's office can execute a Power of Attorney, limited to the real estate transaction so that the sellers do not need to attend in person. The seller may pre-sign at the attorney's office or do a Remote Notarization and Fed Ex the originals back. The seller's attorney can be authorized to sign the closing documents on the seller's behalf. The fee for this additional service is $50.00. Once the buyer has an unconditional loan commitment and all contingencies have been met, the seller's attorney will begin the scheduling process.

The Final Step Of The Home Sales Process

The seller's attorney will be in contact with the seller to make sure the date and time are acceptable and will email the closing confirmation once it is scheduled. Typically, 24-48 hours prior to the closing, the seller's attorney will receive a preliminary settlement statement that will outline all the financials including the seller's net proceeds of the closing. At this time, the seller's attorney will meet or call the seller to go over the statement and verify how the seller would like to receive the proceeds from their sale. On the day of closing, the seller will be called when the closing is completed!! The seller's attorneys strive to make the process as simple and stress-free as possible. The seller's attorneys are always available for calls or emails so sellers should always take advantage of not hesitate to contact them with any questions or concerns.

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