Residential Closings Lawyer
Closing is the last and most critical step in the process of buying or selling a home. It is the step at which the transaction between the seller and the buyer is completed and the property changes ownership.
Generally, the closing date is decided by the seller and the buyer during the negotiation phase itself and is mentioned in the purchase contract. A number of contingencies or conditions are also mentioned in the contract, which must be met before the closing can take place.
The Contingency Checklist for Buyers
You should hire a home inspector to check the physical condition of the property and look for safety hazards, structural defects, pest infestations, and other types of problems. It is particularly essential in Alabama, since the state follows the caveat emptor doctrine which places the responsibility of inspecting the physical condition of the property on the buyer.
If any major defect is found during the inspection, you can ask the seller to fix it or lower the property’s purchase price.
While applying for a mortgage, you are required to provide the mortgage lender with a fairly accurate estimate of the house’s market value. The value of the house can be determined only by a professional appraiser. Lenders usually insist on an appraisal to make sure that they do not loan more money than what the property is actually worth.
You should perform a title search to make sure that the house you are planning to buy does not have any liens or claims on it.
Before closing on the house, you need to obtain financing at an interest rate that you can afford to pay.
The day before closing, you should inspect the property one last time to make sure its condition has not changed since the home inspection was conducted.
The Need for a Real Estate Attorney at Residential Closings
If you are planning to buy or sell a residential property in Alabama, it is absolutely essential for you to hire a real estate attorney. Section 34-3-6(c) of Alabama Code states that all the legal documents needed for a real estate transaction should be prepared only by a licensed real estate attorney.
Davis, Bingham, Hudson, & Buckner P.C. has a team of licensed real estate lawyers who have several years of experience preparing real estate documents and overseeing the process of buying and selling residential real estate properties.
We can prepare the required documents, guide you through the entire process, and make sure that your rights and interests are not violated by the other party at any point during the sale.
The Benefits of Hiring a Real Estate Attorney
- A real estate attorney can negotiate on your behalf with the seller, prepare the contract, and make sure that the terms of the contract are in compliance with state laws.
- They can perform a comprehensive title search and make sure that the property listed for sale is free of liens, claims, and other such encumbrances. In addition to that, they can also help you obtain title insurance to ensure that you are not personally held liable for any unpaid liens or any other dispute related to the property for that matter.
- They can help you with the home inspection and make sure that the property you are about to buy is free of safety hazards and defects. If there are any major defects, the attorney can negotiate with the seller on your behalf and ask them to pay for the repairs or reduce the purchase price.
- As a buyer, you are required to make a good faith effort to obtain financing by a certain date, as mentioned in your purchase contract. If you fail to do so, it can be considered a breach of contract. A real estate attorney can provide you with multiple financing options and help you obtain the funds you need at a reasonable rate of interest in a timely manner.
- They can accompany you during the closing process, prepare and review all the relevant documents, and ensure that the funds are transferred to the seller without any delay.
Alabama’s caveat emptor doctrine gives you the right to sell a residential property without disclosing all the details related to its physical condition. There are, however, specific circumstances under which you are required to disclose certain information to the buyer. Failing to do so can lead to a legal dispute with the buyer.
An experienced real estate attorney can advise you on what you are allowed to withhold and what you are required to disclose to the buyer. They can also draw up a purchase contract and advise you regarding the steps you can take in the event of a breach of contract by the buyer.
A qualified real estate attorney can also help you do a 1031 exchange, wherein you can invest the proceeds from the sale of your property into another property right away so that you can defer paying capital gains taxes.
For Buyers and Sellers
In the event of a dispute resulting from a breach of contract or non-disclosure of important details, both the buyer and the seller need to be represented by a competent real estate attorney – in a dispute resolution forum or a courtroom – so that the dispute can be resolved as quickly as possible.
Residential Real Estate Attorneys in Alabama
Buying or selling residential property is undoubtedly one of the most important financial decisions you will ever make in your lifetime. With hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line, even the smallest of mistakes you make can cost you dearly. So, it is essential for you to have a skilled real estate attorney by your side throughout the process.
The residential real estate lawyers of Davis, Bingham, Hudson, & Buckner P.C. can represent you in a real estate transaction, provide you with expert advice at every step of the process, and make sure your rights and interests are not infringed upon by the other party at any time.
If you are looking to buy or sell a residential property in Alabama, contact our real estate attorneys today by messaging us online or calling 334-821-1908.