Few events are more thrilling and rewarding than a Real Estate Closing, provided you have an experienced Real Estate Lawyer by your side.
A Real Estate Closing not only marks the end of a successful property deal, but the beginning of a new chapter your life. Whether you are buying your first home or finding the ideal location for your business, your goal will be the same: Navigating the many procedures and requirements of a property transaction until you get legal ownership of your new residence or commercial space.
With a Jurado & Associates Real Estate Lawyer by your side, your likelihood of reaching this vaunted goal will increase markedly, thanks to our comprehensive understanding of all the complex moving parts that stand between you and your closing.
What is a Real Estate Closing?
Sometimes known as a “settlement” or simply “completion,” a real estate closing is the last step in the property buying process before the property is officially in your ownership. Yet it is a process onto itself, consisting of far more than simply exchanging funds for the keys to the property.
A real estate closing is the culmination of a multistep process that can span several weeks, or possibly longer depending on the complexities of the transaction or other factors. Once the seller accepts your offer for their property, a written purchase agreement—also known as a sales agreement or contract—is made setting forth the terms, conditions, and duties of both parties as well as the closing date.
Creating a purchase agreement is its own process, typically requiring diligent review and deft negotiation to protect your interests while satisfying the seller. It is at this point that the parties determine their agreed-upon closing date, which can be a set date (usually 30 to 60 days from execution of the contact) and/or conditioned on a particular event (such as the buyer obtaining a loan approval from a lender).
This process is particularly important in a commercial real estate closing, where buyers legally obligated to perform “due diligence”—i.e., knowing all the potential assets and liabilities of the property you are acquiring. The onus is on the buyer of a commercial property to know what they are getting into before reaching closing, so if any issues with the property emerge after closing, they will be your burden to bear. A commercial purchase agreement should address these issues—for example by requiring the seller to provide a Certificate of Zoning Compliance proving the property meets all applicable zoning rules.
Luckily, Jurado & Associates has years of experience representing both residential and commercial buyers in their property transactions and will know what to look for and how best to safeguard your interests.
Once the purchase agreement is executed—i.e., signed by the buyer and seller—then you can begin the multistep process towards what should be a smooth and satisfactory closing.
The Many Steps Towards a Closing
The following steps are common in most real estate closings, whether residential or commercial. Understanding them—and hiring an attorney with expertise and experience in real estate—will be key to improving your chances of reaching the real estate closing.
- Escrow. During the process of reaching a real estate closing, a neutral third party must be entrusted to protect all the crucial funds and documents involved. Escrow is maintained by an independent professional who may also provide closing and title services, with the intent of protecting both sides of the transaction from fraud or mishandling.
- Title Search and Title Insurance: The ultimate goal goal of any real estate closing is to acquire title to the property, i.e., your “bundle of rights” to legally own, possess, and use it. Hence it is imperative to conduct a thorough title search before closing to uncover potential problems in the property’s title history that may jeopardize your rights (such as a missing deed, unresolved claim, etc.).
Since there are many “hidden hazards” that even an effective title search will not uncover, you should also purchase a title insurance policy to protect you from future issues that may emerge. Jurado & Associates has the tools and experience to conduct a meticulous title search and draft an effective title insurance policy.
- Mortgage Pre-Approval: Most buyers of both residential and commercial real estate must obtain a mortgage from a lender to acquire the property. It is vital to get preapproved for a mortgage as early as possible in the process to assure the seller that you will ultimately be able to get a mortgage loan in time for closing. Being preapproved for a loan also helps the closing process move faster, since getting a mortgage can be a drawn-out process otherwise. Moreover, lenders will often offer an interest rate lock at the point you get preapproved.
- Determining Closing Costs. There are many fees and expenses associated with most property transactions, ranging from escrow service fees to the cost of conducting a title search. The payment of these costs takes place at closing but should be sorted out as far in advance as possible—figuring out which party pays what expense and how much is better dealt with earlier than on the day of closing. The last thing either party needs for the process to be delayed or derailed because of surprises in certain costs.
Your Jurado & Associates Real Estate Attorney will work diligently to determine and provide a clear, itemized list of the closing costs ahead of the closing. If need be, we will also help negotiate costs that seem spurious or should fall on the seller.
- Inspection: While home inspections are not legally required, they are absolutely necessary for helping ensure there are no underlying problems that can sneak up on you in the future. Many buyers will include a home inspection contingency in their purchase contract, which may also include a provision that the seller remedy whatever issues are discovered within a certain time.
Recall that the inspection process is even more critical to commercial buyers [SL1] since they are legally obligated to perform their due diligence before closing on the deal.
- Renegotiation: If certain issues come up during the transaction, such as the inspection uncovering a problem with the property, you may consider renegotiating your purchase offer with the seller—either to pay for any necessary repairs or to reduce the total purchase price. Your Jurado & Associates Real Estate Attorney will work diligently and passionately to negotiate on your behalf and help ensure your interests are protected and advanced.
- Execute the Paperwork: The actual day of closing is when the buyer and seller will meet in-person to make final payments, sign legal documents, and officially transfer ownership. Among the many documents you will sign is the deed[MRM2] , a vital legal instrument that effectuates the transfer of the property from the seller to the buyer. Given the importance of these documents, they should be prepared, reviewed, and executed in the presence of experienced attorneys.
These are just a few of the steps you may encounter before reaching your real estate closing, and the number or type of procedure will vary considerably between transactions.
Why You Should Hire Jurado & Associates Today
Whether you are getting a new home, a lucrative investment property, or a space for your new or growing business, there is a lot riding on your real estate transaction. To increase your chances of reaching the Real Estate Closing—and doing so at minimal cost, time, and hassle—hire a team of attorneys with years of success representing clients in a wide variety of real estate transactions.
Jurado & Associates combines deep knowledge of the law with unbridled passion for our clients. We know the importance of a smooth and satisfactory closing and will stop at nothing to get you there as efficiently as possible without sacrificing attention to detail. Your Real Estate Attorney will work closely with you to understand the specific circumstances of your transaction and how best to serve you.
To learn more or schedule a consultation, call me at (305) 921-0976 or email [email protected].