For most homeowners, the process of closing on a house signifies that the home buying process is almost complete. That doesn't mean that a real estate closing can't be complicated. Until the closing has been completed, there is still a possibility for something to go wrong. With the help of an experienced real estate attorney, you can go into your closing with confidence knowing a seasoned legal professional is on your side.
While many real estate closings are handled by realtors, the reality is that many real estate transactions should be handled by a legal professional. Even relatively small real estate transactions can have an enormous impact on your life, and a minor clerical error can cost you dearly.
With several years of real estate experience under his belt, attorney Brian Schuk can ensure that your real estate closing complies with state law, and that this major investment of yours is handled with care. To discuss your options with an experienced real estate attorney, contact Schuk Law, LLC.
The Closing Process
As your real estate closing approaches, you will have already checked off major milestones in the home buying or selling process. You will have already reviewed the home and made an offer. Your inspections should be completed, and all disclosure should have previously been received and reviewed. If the purchase requires financing, you will have already completed the mortgage application process. Now, it is time to finalize the sale.
While many steps in the home buying process are handled separately, the two parties typically sit down at one table at closing. Of course, it is possible to have legal representation stand in for you if necessary. The final amount owed to the seller is set before the closing is scheduled.
Typically, a final walkthrough is done within days or hours of closing. This walkthrough is designed to ensure that home is in the same condition it was at the time the sale was agreed to, and to determine that no new issues have come up. However, not every contract allows for a final walkthrough. This is an important point of consideration that should be discussed with your real estate closing attorney.
At the closing, a variety of paperwork is signed by both parties. These final closing documents formalize the sale of the property as well as any loan required to complete the purchase. After the paperwork is completed, the buyer pays any funds owed, typically in the form of a down payment. In most transactions, a mortgage lender will pay the remaining balance after the down payment.
Once payment is made, the buyer is typically handed the keys on the spot. The deed that was executed at the closing is then filed with the appropriate government entity in order to record the transaction. This step is critical, as unrecorded deeds can lead to enormous legal headaches in the future. At this point, the buyer is now the new owner and can take possession of the home.
Real Estate Closing Complications
The process described above is what happens in a best-case scenario. Unfortunately, there are a number of complications that can arise during a real estate closing. Some problems are easily rectified, while others are serious legal matters that must be addressed to prevent the delay of the sale. An experienced real estate lawyer can help with any of the issues that might come up at closing.
One of the most complicated problems that can come up at or before closing is an issue with the title to the property. Normally, a title search is completed well before the closing to ensure a smooth transaction. However, clouds on the title can become apparent at the last minute, and dealing with them can require the help of a legal professional.
Final Walkthrough Problems
Most of the time, the final walkthrough is a formality. Buyers typically wander through the home they have seen multiple times without anything standing out. But in some cases, major issues can occur between the sale agreement and closing. Water pipes can burst, structural issues can become apparent, and homes can be damaged through criminal activity. While some sellers are happy to address any issues that come up, others may refuse to spend any more money. If there is an impasse, it can result in the failure of the real estate sale.
It is possible that either the buyer or the seller decides to back out of the deal at the last minute. It is possible that buy pulls out because of buyer's remorse or because the seller refuses to make last-minute repairs. The seller might pull out if the buyer fails to meet all of the conditions of the agreement or if they decide they can get more for the property elsewhere.
It is important to know that a party that pulls out of a real estate deal could ultimately be sued for damages. If you suffer financial damages due to the collapse of a real estate agreement, it is critical that you discuss your options with a Wisconsin real estate lawyer right away.
While a real estate contract typically spells out the details surrounding the sale of a property, the reality is that miscommunications happen. This can be a problem, especially when it relates to the time frame surrounding the seller moving out or the buyer moving in. The best way to avoid these types of headaches is to ensure an attorney reviews the agreement before it is signed.
What to Expect from a Real Estate Closing Lawyer
When you hire a real estate attorney, you can expect the legal experience and attention to detail that a real estate agent can't provide. From a clouded title to simple communications problems, your attorney can address the issues through a variety of means. Attorney Brian Schuk has built his career around helping buyers and sellers of real estate get the most out of those transactions. To learn more, contact Schuk Law, LLC today for a free consultation.