Below are answers to the most common questions we receive from home buyers. If you have questions about a real estate transaction, contact our office to schedule and a consultation.

Q: What is the first step that I should take when looking to purchase a home?

A: The first step a purchase should consider is to get pre-approval from a lender. Before starting your house hunt, it is wise to make an appointment at your bank or at a mortgage broker’s office to discover your mortgage pre-approval amount. This amount will be determined by looking at your monthly income, debts and credit history.
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Q: Who else is involved in helping me purchase a home?

A: You’ll want to find a realtor that you are comfortable with, who understands your budget and what you’re looking for in a home. A realtor can provide valuable insight to the safety of the neighborhood, if the home is located in a flood area, school ratings if you have children or are planning for children, and local town resources, such as parks, town pools and/or transportation hubs.
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Q: I found a property that I like. What is my next step?

A: Once you find a home that fits your budget and is located in a neighborhood you love, an offer is prepared by your realtor and presented to the Seller.
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Q: What is an Offer?

A: An offer is a boilerplate contract for the purchase of real estate, which is subject to being accepted, canceled, or having its terms modified by either the Buyer or Seller. The Seller has to accept the offer for Attorney Review to begin.
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Q: What is Attorney Review?

A: Attorney review is usually a three-day period in which either Buyer or Seller, through their respective attorneys, can cancel the contract for any reason or no reason at all. If either the Buyer or the Seller, after reviewing the contract with their attorney, desire to modify the terms of the initial contract, either party can cancel the contract and communicate in writing the proposed changes which would make the contract acceptable.
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Q: What inspections can I have done to the property?

A: As part of the Attorney Review process, the Buyer is given an opportunity to inspect the condition of the property for any defects, including structural, underground storage tanks, radon and insects. The Buyer is given a period of time to hire a licensed professional to render a report so that the Buyer is made aware of the condition of the property prior to the closing of title.
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Q: What can I do if the property that I am looking to purchase needs repair?

A: Upon receipt and review of your inspection reports, you can ask your attorney to communicate a request for certain repairs or credits to be given by Seller.
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Q: Who holds my deposit?

A: Typically, the Seller’s attorney will hold any deposit until the closing of title in their trust account. In some circumstances, the title company or escrow agent may hold the deposit.
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Q: I was denied a loan but have entered into a contract to purchase a property. Can I cancel the contract?

A: If your attorney negotiated a mortgage contingency agreement that provides that if you are unable to secure the funds needed to close on the property by way of a mortgage commitment, then you have an opportunity to cancel the contract and have your down payment returned.
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Q: If I cancel the contract what happens with my deposit?

A: The deposit or down payment can be returned based upon the terms of the contract so long as the cancellation is made timely and in accordance with the contract or any riders amending the original contract of sale.
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Q: What is a Title Search?

A: A title search is a search of public records to determine if there are any liens or encumbrances against the property and to determine the true owner of the property.
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Q: The Title Search came up with judgments in the name of the prior owner, what happens?

A: All judgments are required to be paid or settled by the Seller prior to closing.
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Q: What is title insurance?

A: Title insurance is a policy that protects the Buyer and any lienholder from any judgments, liens or encumbrances which may have accrued during the ownership of a prior owner. It is important to review your title insurance policy to understand what parties are insured by it and what items are covered.
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Q: What is a property Survey?

A: A Survey is a drawing created from the legal description which is part of the Deed. The drawing indicates measurements and boundary lines, noting any encroachments.
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Q: What is my Closing going to look like?

A: Three days prior to closing you will receive a closing disclosure statement which sets forth all of the financial debits and credits and will itemize each of the expenses being paid out at closing. This should be reviewed in detail prior to the closing so that you know if any money needs to be brought to closing.

At the closing, you will be required to review the title with your attorney once again and execute the loan and closing documents.
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Q: What do I bring to Closing day with me?

A: You should bring a driver’s license, social security card, certified check if needed.
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Q: I received an offer after having my house out on the market, what do I do?

A: It is up to the Seller to decide whether or not they want to accept the offer. If the offer is rejected, the Seller can continue to show the house until an acceptable offer is made. If the offer is accepted, the parties enter into attorney review.
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Q: The Buyer is seeking repairs or a credit. What are my options?

A: Depending on the terms of the contract and any Rider amending terms thereto the Buyer or Seller or Both parties may be able to cancel the contract if the parties are not able to negotiate an amicable solution. Whereby either certain repairs are made by the Seller prior to closing or that a credit is negotiated in consideration of the repairs sought by the Buyer.
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Q: What if I do not want to make any repairs to the property?

A: The Seller has the option to provide a credit or state that they are not willing to make any repair and allow the Buyer to proceed “As-Is” or attempt to cancel the contract pursuant to its terms.
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Q: What happens to the judgments on my property when I go to sell?

A: Any judgments attached to the property being conveyed must be paid off at the time of the closing unless there is an expressed agreement to the contrary.
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