Sale & Purchase of Residential & Commercial Properties
HoganWillig's Sales and Purchases Group works closely with real estate professionals and individuals to assist home buyers and sellers with financing, inspection, title and insurance needs, plus provide necessary advice to guide them through the entire closing process. We not only provide legal representation to individual homeowners, but to commercial owners as well.
Whether you are buying or selling, choosing HoganWillig to represent you offers you numerous practical benefits. For example, we are authorized to represent most lenders so the majority of closings occur at one of four convenient office locations; saving clients a trip to the County Clerk's Office. We also prepare and complete title insurance policies in-house so this important bank closing condition will be completed several days sooner.
Additionally, all of our residential purchasers and sellers staying in the Western New York area are offered a complimentary Will package, which includes the essential estate planning documents, such as a Living Will/Health Care Proxy, Power of Attorney and Last Will & Testament.
With a team of experienced real estate professionals, there will always be someone available to help and answer your questions. Every client will receive personal, attentive representation from a team of dedicated professionals.
Whether you are buying or selling, choosing HoganWillig offers numerous practical benefits. We represent most banks, therefore, the majority of closings occur in one of our three convenient office locations, saving clients time and a trip to the County Clerk's Office. We complete title insurance policies in-house so your bank closing conditions will be completed several days sooner. Additionally, all our residential purchasers are offered a complimentary Will package, which includes the three essential estate planning documents.
- What is a closing?
- When should I find an attorney - what do they do - what do they charge?
- Do I need a home inspection - what does the inspector do - should I be there?
- What gets sold along with the house?
- When do I apply for a mortgage?
- What comes next after the mortgage commitment?
- What about Homeowner's Insurance?
- Why is everyone always waiting for the Search & Survey?
- When do I move?
- When does the final inspection take place?
- Do I have to be at the closing?
- Where and when will my closing take place?
- Who pays the closing costs?
- How much money do I need - do I get - at closing?
When a buyer and seller agree on the terms of a sale of real property, a contract is signed. This contract is "open" and will "close" when the buyer pays the seller and legal ownership is transferred. Since much of the work involved to reach that goal is performed well ahead of the closing date, the entire transaction is commonly referred to as a closing.
You should find an attorney as soon as possible so you will have legal guidance throughout the entire transaction. An attorney will review the contract to ensure that it reflects the intention of the buyer and seller, and that the property will be transferred so that the buyer becomes the owner and the seller is paid the sale price. HoganWillig charges a flat fee for representation in a closing.
A home inspection will alert you to potential problems in the structure, construction and mechanical systems of your house. While this is no guarantee of the prevention of future problems, it is an important first step to making sure you are getting what you intend. Your presence at the inspection will give you direct experience of this and the opportunity to renegotiate your contract or cancel it. Other inspections that may be done are for radon and lead-based paint, and those required for septic systems, wells and sump pumps.
Generally, the contract includes anything attached to the physical structure; anything removable typically does not stay. Items can be negotiated as part of an offer and the agreement put into the contract.
A buyer can apply for mortgage pre-approval even before finding a house. Once you have a contract to purchase a property, your mortgage application can be completed and you can receive a quick response from your lender.
Once you receive your written commitment, sign and return it to your lender so your loan will continue to be processed. Carefully read it to see if there are any conditions that must be satisfied before closing is authorized to be scheduled. If you are not sure, check with your attorney and make sure that he/she receives a copy as well.
You will need Homeowner's Insurance in order to schedule your closing with your lender's attorney. You can start checking into this as soon as you have applied for your mortgage. Decide what coverage and company you want, and let your insurer or agent know as soon as you have received your commitment. Once a closing has been scheduled, let your insurance agent know that date. If you are not getting a mortgage to buy your house, you still need insurance to protect yourself in case of fire or other loss. If you are selling, keep your insurance valid until after the closing.
The search (Abstract of Title) is a written record of all the recorded documents in the County Clerk's Office that relate to the land that your house is on. Your attorney will examine it to determine who has the legal ability to transfer the property. The survey is a small map of the land, showing the location of all structures. Together these items are called the "title documents," and their examination is essential to ensure that you will be the owner of the piece of land that you intend to purchase. They are necessary to prepare title insurance for both the new lender and owner. The seller's attorney will use these items to find out what documents the seller will need to sign and what other curative documents will be needed for closing to take place.
A buyer usually takes possession of the property at closing. Some-times one party may prefer pre-closing or post-closing occupancy. As long as both parties are willing to accommodate the needs of the other, the agreement can be included in the contract to protect everyone involved. Be sure to check with your attorney before scheduling your move.
The seller must keep the property in the same condition it was in when the contract was signed. Absent fraud, New York is a "buyer beware" state. After closing, any repairs or replacements become the new owner's responsibility. Your realtor will accompany you on the final inspection to ensure that the property still complies with the contract.
Ordinarily, if you are purchasing with a mortgage, you will need to be present to sign all of the closing documents. If this is inconvenient, you may give someone your Power of Attorney so that he/she can sign on your behalf. Some lenders will not accept this, so make sure that you find a lender who will. Sellers and cash purchasers do not need to be present.
Closing location is decided by your lender's attorney. Some choose the County Clerk's Office for their convenience. If location is crucial to you, check with your lender before completing your application. In New York State, the closing date in a contract is not a material element and can be seen only as a target date. Your attorney will let you know the exact date as soon as it has been scheduled.
Allocation of closing costs is determined by the contract, which varies by location. Often the seller pays the costs related to the transfer of the property, and the buyer pays the costs associated with his/her mortgage. Your attorney can provide you with an estimate when you have your first conversation. Remember, though, this will only be an estimate.
Generally, a buyer will need the balance of the purchase price, plus his/her share of prorated real property taxes, as well as the lender's closings costs. These will be calculated by the lender's attorney very close to closing. The exact figures will typically not be available until days before your closing. In order to be ready, your funds should be available locally since you will need to obtain a cashier's check or bank draft in a short amount of time. Your attorney will give you this information, as well as tell you how these checks need to be broken down and to whom they should be made payable. The closing proceeds will be used to pay off any existing mortgages, and the seller will receive the proceeds of sale, less any seller's closing costs.