After searching and saving, you finally found a house that you are ready to buy! You made an offer, and it was accepted! Now … what?
Like with any major purchase, you need to enter into a contract of sale. Typically, the seller’s attorney will prepare this contract. Where should the attorney send this contract? Are you going to review and negotiate the terms yourself? Most people will provide the name of an attorney whom they trust to receive the contract.
At Gulotta & Gulotta, PLLC, we have been reviewing these contracts for years. Almost every single contract we receive contains provisions that are unfavorable to our clients. We delete these provisions that expose our clients to a financial loss, and we add language to protect our clients from finding themselves in a difficult position later on. It is our job to negotiate on your behalf and make sure that the contract is fair and reasonable.
Once the contract is negotiated properly, we will sit down and walk you through the most important terms to make sure you understand your rights and obligations. Then, you will sign multiple copies of the contract and provide your down payment. This down payment is usually a substantial sum of money, so it is important to have an attorney review the contract before handing such a large deposit over.
The contracts and down payment are then sent to the seller’s attorney. Once the seller signs the contract, you are now officially “in contract” to purchase the property. The down payment will get deposited into the seller’s attorney’s escrow bank account.
While you and your mortgage broker are working on obtaining a mortgage commitment, a good attorney is working tenaciously beind the scenes to ensure that there are no surprises and the property is as it should be. Part of this process involves us ordering a title report. We only work with title companies that we have a long standing relationship with. These are companies that we trust to make sure that your interests are protected.
A title report will reveal valuable information about the property, including whether or not there are any encroachments on the property. If there are, title to the property is considered “unmarketable,” and a mortgage lender may not approve your loan. This also becomes a concern if you were to sell the property in the future. Wouldn’t you like to know if there are any judgments or liens on the property that you are buying? As attorneys, we will navigate these issues for you and resolve them swifty to keep the deal on track.
Similarly, properties are required to have proper certificates of occupancy. These certificates are issued by the town for any updates or additions to the property. If the property you are looking to purchase does not have the proper certificates in place, there may be open violations issued by the town. We will work with the seller’s attorney to resolve this issue prior to closing so that these potential or pending violations do not become your problem. In some instances, we have negotiated over $15,000.00 off of the purchase price. Having a competent knowledgable attorney makes all the difference.
OH, by the way – Did you forget when your mortgage commitment is due? That’s ok, we will stay on top of it and remind you if the date approaches. Our staff is knowledgable and attentive to detail. We have very experienced people working to make sure you are well taken care of.
Once any and all issues are resolved and the mortgage lender gives us a “clear to close,” we can prepare your final documents and schedule your closing date! Now, things get exciting. The closing date is the day when you will usually receive the keys to your new house!
How much money do you need to bring to finish this deal? Well, we will tell you! We calculate all the amounts due and make sure that you know whom those amounts are payable to. The title company, realtors, attorneys, prior mortgages, title closers, etc. all have fees and bills that need to be paid. We will make sure that you are well aware of these amounts before the closing date, and we will instruct you as to what checks to show up with.
Typically, we request checks in various amounts from the mortgage company. When purchsers do not mortgage the full purchase price, they will need to show up with a check from their personal accounts. We will explain how much to have a certified bank check ready for. We will also notify you of any personal checks you may bring to the closing. Basically, we do all the numbers! Just show up to the closing with everything we have discussed beforehand.
We make sure this process is as simple and stress-free as possible for you. Let us negotiate, fight, advocate, calculate, and research on your behalf. Buying a house is a big life event. It is our pleasure to make sure that you enjoy this moment!
CALL US when you are ready to embark on this wonderful exciting adventure! We will be here to help you every step of the way. No question is too small or too silly; Gulotta & Gulotta, PLLC is your resource!