REAL ESTATE

For Buyers

Congrats – you’re buying a home!  There’s so much to do, such as:

  • Call us first – let’s have a quick conversation about what to expect.

  • Get Pre-Qualified – speak with a lender (institutional, credit union, banker or broker) and determine what you can afford, but more importantly, what you are comfortable paying each month for your mortgage (that includes principal, interest, taxes, and insurance).

  • Find an Agent you trust – your Agent is your ‘eyes and ears’ for new listings, exclusives, and price changes.

  • View homes and make an offer – your Agent will guide you through the viewing and offer process.

  • Complete a Home Inspection with a licensed inspector/engineer – you shouldn’t be signing contracts until you are satisfied with the condition of the home.  Additionally, your inspection should include the Wood Destroying Insect form so remember to ask for one.

  • Communicate with your Legal Counsel – by this time we’ve already had a few conversations, but now it’s time to finalize the contract and riders, and make sure everyone is on the same page.

  • Sign the Contracts and the Down Payment – you’ll come to our office and sign the real estate contract.  At this time you will write a check for the down payment (sometimes referred to as ‘deposit on contract’). Our office will then forward the contract and down payment check to the sellers’ attorney.

  • Mortgage Application – once the contract comes back from the sellers’ attorney “fully executed” (signed by the seller), and your down payment check has been deposited into the sellers’ attorney’s escrow account and cleared, you are “in contract”.  It is time complete the mortgage application process.  Your lender will ask for documentation regarding your income, assets, liabilities, tax returns, employment verification, and the like, which you will need to provide your lender within a timely manner so that a Mortgage Commitment can be issued and your loan can move toward being “cleared to close”.

  • Title Insurance and the Title Search – once you are “in contract”, our office will order a title commitment and review the same in order to assure you receive clear and marketable title at the closing of your purchase.  Since we practice in the area of title insurance litigation, we can spot potential problems prior to the closing, and work toward a resolution in order to avoid any costly delay or surprises.

  • Pre Closing – once your loan has been cleared to close and your lender’s counsel sends us your mortgage funding figures (sometimes referred to as your ‘net funding numbers’), we can work out the adjustments with the seller’s attorney, make certain title is clear and the sellers’ obligations under the contract have been fulfilled, and provide you with exactly how much money you will need to bring to the closing table to purchase your new home.

  • The Closing – once at the closing table, Keith will review your loan documents and explain what you will be signing. After verifying what you will be signing is what was promised to you by your lender, it is time to sign your Note, Mortgage, Closing Disclosures and various notices and affidavits necessary to finalize your purchase and the transfer of title. Once the lender’s attorney has everything they need your mortgage proceeds will be disbursed, your sellers will get their checks and you will get the keys to your new home!

For Sellers

You’ve found a buyer for your home – what’s next? There’s so much to do, such as:

  • Call us first – let’s have a quick conversation about what to expect.

  • Home inspections – it’s very likely that your buyers will want to complete a home inspection. This is a normal part of the sale process. Work with your Agent to set up a time/date convenient for everyone and make sure all areas of your house are as accessible as possible.

  • Communicate with your Legal Counsel – we will discuss the proposed contracts that our office will prepare and send to the buyers’ attorney. We will also discuss any issue that may have arisen at the home inspection and what, if anything, is the responsibility of the sellers to remediate. Finally, we will discuss your timeframe for closing, vacating the home and giving possession to your buyers.

  • Sign the Contracts and the Down Payment – once there is an agreement on the terms of the contract, the buyers will sign and, through their counsel, forward the signed contracts and down payment check to our office. Once received, you will come to our office and sign the contract and any associated riders. Our office will then return a fully executed copy to the buyers’ attorney and deposit the down payment check in our escrow account. Once the down payment check clears, you’ll be “in contract”.

  • Mortgage Application – once “in contract”, the buyers’ will make a good-faith application to a lender for mortgage financing.

  • The Title Search – once you are “in contract”, the buyers’ attorney will order a title commitment. Our office will be provided with, and will review the same in order to assure you are transferring clear and marketable title at the closing (this is a requirement to close). Since we practice in the area of title insurance litigation, we can spot potential problems before the closing, and work towards resolving the same in order to avoid any costly delay or surprises.

  • Pre Closing – once your buyers’ loan has been cleared to close we can work out the adjustments with the buyers’ attorney, make certain title is clear, order your mortgage payoff (if applicable) and provide you with the exact monetary amount you should expect at the closing table.

  • The Closing – once at the closing table, Keith will explain what you’ll be signing, including, but not limited to, the deed to your buyers, the transfer documents, title affidavit, and closing disclosures. Keith will also go over all the numbers with you, and explain your title charges. Once the lender’s attorney has everything they need your buyers’ mortgage proceeds will be disbursed, you will receive your checks, and your buyers will get the keys to their new home.

For Agents & Brokers

We love agents and brokers!  If you are a real estate agent or broker-owner, and are reading this, you may be looking for a new attorney to recommend to your clients, or expanding your list of preferred attorneys.  Let’s talk!  Our owner, Keith S. Garret, understands the market and the pressures agents and brokers are under to provide quality, cost effective representation to their clients.  

While some attorneys can’t be bothered picking up the phone when an agent calls for an update, Keith understands (from his days as an agent himself) that communication is the best way to get a deal to the closing table.  Our real estate practice focuses on getting the deal closed, not fighting with “the other side”.  We are in court every day, and deal with enough litigation.  

As a result, we understand how to avoid problems before they arise, while still zealously advocating for our mutual clients. 

Fees

We like transparency, so this is a good time to let you know about of fee structure.  Most residential purchases and sales are done on a flat-fee basis, with our office’s fee payable at closing.  This means if you do not close, you do not pay.  

We can discuss the dollar-amount when we speak, but we are competitive (usually more than competitive), with other law firms that handle real estate transactions.  What sets us apart, however, is our level of service and accessibility.     

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