Buying or selling a home or business is a significant transaction that will impact your life in some way regardless if this is your first real estate transaction or your thirtieth.
Enlisting the help of a qualified real estate attorney early in the process can help ensure that you have an experienced professional in your corner at every step as you navigate through the process from purchase agreement to sale contract, to final closing.
In this article we will take a closer look at each step of the real estate transaction, and learn how the right real estate attorney can help make sure that your next real estate transaction goes smoothly.
The Purchase Agreement
Whether you are buying or selling a home or business, most real estate transactions will begin with the drawing up and presenting of a purchase agreement. Generally, the buyer, or the buyer’s representative will draw up an agreement which states the price that the buyer is willing to pay for the property, and any terms and conditions that the buyer stipulates as qualifiers for the sale.
For example, the purchase agreement may present an offer to purchase a particular property for a specific dollar amount, on the condition that the seller has a leaking roof repaired prior to the sale.
The initial purchase agreement will then be presented to the seller, or the seller’s representative, who will then review the offer, and either accept it and move forward, or counter the offer with a different set of conditions, or perhaps a higher purchase price.
The process of negotiating the terms of the purchase agreement can go on for some time as counter offers are passed back and forth between buyer and seller until an agreement is reached, or one party chooses to walk away from the transaction.
The Sales Contract
Once the purchase agreement has been negotiated to a successful conclusion with terms that both the buyer and the seller have agreed are acceptable, an official sales contract will be drawn up to lock in the terms and conditions agreed upon during the purchase agreement negotiation process. The sales contract is a legally binding contract which protects both the buyer and the seller by obligating the seller to complete the agreed upon conditions of the sale, and guaranteeing that the buyer will purchase the property for the agreed upon price if the conditions and terms are met.
Let’s revisit the hypothetical leaking roof repairs referenced in the previous scenario. The sales contract helps to assure the seller that they will not incur the cost of the roof repair only to have the buyer choose to buy another property leaving them with a substantial cost investment on their part, without the expected income from the sale of the property after the repairs have been completed.
Once the sales contract has been drawn up, accepted, and signed by both the buyer and the seller, neither party will be able to back out of the agreement without risk of incurring the financial or legal consequences of breaching the contract.
Assuming all has gone according to plan throughout the purchase agreement negotiation process, and the stipulations contained in the sales contract have been satisfied by both parties, the real estate transaction will now move into the closing stage. This is the final stretch of the real estate transaction where the financial considerations are secured, and the ownership and possession of the property is officially transferred from seller to buyer.
While a real estate attorney is an important asset at every stage of the real estate transaction, in many states, retaining the services of a real estate attorney is a legal requirement during the final closing process.
A real estate attorney will carefully review the conditions of the sales contract to ensure that all the stipulated terms have been met by both parties, they will work with the lender’s representative, and the title agency to secure the agreed upon financial considerations, including the confirmation of down payment funds which will be deposited into a secure escrow account to be transferred to the seller, once the buyer has taken possession of the property.
Contact Us Today!
If you are considering the purchase or sale of a home or business in the Poughkeepsie/Dutchess County area we encourage you to contact The Law Office of Rebecca A. Valk to learn more about how we can help you navigate the complex real estate transaction process from the start.
Real Estate Attorney Rebecca Valk has acquired years of experience in all areas of real estate law, and land use & zoning law. Rebecca Valk is able to use her knowledge and industry experience to help her clients navigate through each stage of the process while easily avoiding, or mitigating the myriad challenges that may arise throughout the real estate transaction.