Although there is no law regarding who picks the closing agent in a Florida real estate transaction, it is customary for the Seller of the property to choose the Florida Closing Agent. It is also customary for the party who chooses the closing agent to pay the “closing costs,” such as the deed recording, the title search, etc.Although it is customary in the industry for the Seller of a property to pick the Florida closing agent, it is beneficial to the Buyer of a property to choose the closing agent, especially if the buyer is from another country and/or English is not their first language.
If you hire a Florida Real Estate Attorney as your Florida Closing Agent, they may be able to easily satisfy some of the items required by the Title Company before Title Insurance can be issued to the buyer. These items may consist of documents that are legally binding and should be drafted by an attorney.
In one case, a title company not headed by an attorney performed a title search in which they found only five (5) items that needed to be completed. When Boyer Law Firm, P.L. performed a title search on the same property in Florida, we found twelve (12) items, almost double of the original search and several of which were critical.
Title Insurance rates are set by the State, so there isn’t much financial savings in choosing a title company over an attorney. Title insurance agents for Attorney’s Title Services are considered the reference in the real estate industry. Only attorneys can join/use this Title Service, which is of the highest quality in diligence and conveying a clear and marketable title.
Real Estate law is usually state-specific. A standard form will not provide the type of Florida-specific language you need to make sure your rental agreement is legal and in your favor. At a minimum, if you must use an online template, take it to an experienced attorney to review and finalize it with you.
If you need a rental agreement for your properties or have any questions about how to make a legal rental agreement contact, contact Attorney Francis Boyer today.
The closing is the end of the long and arduous process of buying a house. It refers to the day you close the deal on a piece of real estate and on the mortgage to buy that real estate. Essentially, it’s the final transfer of money and keys.
Additionally, timing is critical when scheduling the transaction. make sure you take into consideration your current living situations, mortgage considerations, work schedules, and moving.
The Real Estate Documents
• HUD Form 1 or Disclosure/Settlement Statement. This is one to read carefully (though, of course, all these papers are important and need to be read). The form will contain all the actual settlement costs and amounts.The closing agent will go over this document with the buyer and seller.
• Warranty deed. This document should include the names of the buyer, the seller and a description of the property. Often this deed also guarantees that the seller has the right to sell the property. With the signatures of the seller and buyer, this piece of paper transfers the title of property.
• Proration agreements. These describe how you and the seller are divvying up the costs of the house for the month in which it is being bought.
• Tax and utility receipts. You’ll probably also be signing various city and state receipts acknowledging that this or that has been paid by the seller or will be paid by the buyer.
• Name affidavit – This document is certifying that you are who you say you are.
• Acknowledgment of reports. More legalese assures that the buyer has seen all of the reports regarding the property. These can include surveys and a termite inspection.
• Search or Abstract of Title – gives a listing of every document that has been recorded about this particular piece of property.
Lastly, once all the documents are signed it is time to end the closing. This is the favorite part for most buyers and sellers: handing over the money and receiving the keys. Here are a few things a buyer will be paying for at the closing:
• Closing costs. Expect to pay a portion of the closing costs. These can vary from state to state and even from county to county. Also, most are negotiable (ahead of time), so closing costs can vary greatly.
• Payment for the house. The buyer brings the down payment (if any) at this time, minus any earlier deposit(s).The money is given to the closing agent, along with the lender’s check for the balance.
• Escrows. Often the buyer’s annual taxes, insurance and other items are paid through the lender. An escrow account (or reserve) will be established at this time. To learn more on real estate closings read here.
Some of the main advantage points of hiring a real estate attorney are:
– Ensuring that you receive clear title to your new property;
– Drafting and explaining to you the appropriate documents;
– Finalize closing and register the deed in your name
Not all attorney’s fees are tax-deductible, but many are. The 2016 tax deductible attorney’s fees generally include those that can be written off as a business expense. So, fees for services like business planning sessions, commercial litigation, and trademark research and rights acquisition are likely tax deductible.
You can even pre-pay attorney’s fees for 2017 calendar year and deduct those fees from your 2016 taxable year.
Some of our popular tax-deductible legal services include contract drafting and contract review, real estate closing for a commercial property or for a business that buys and sells residential real estate, business incorporation services, business tax preparation, and business immigration.
Business immigration includes filing and acquiring all necessary documents in order to move an employee or owner to the Unites States from abroad. Our office offers quick and accurate visa services.
Some services that are not tax-deductible include creating contracts or review contracts for an individual (unless that individual is a business owner/ sole proprietor), real estate closing for an individual, estate planning, probate, will drafting, individual tax preparation, and individual or family immigration matters.
Don’t forget: Pay your attorney’s fees before December 31, 2016 to qualify for a tax deduction for the 2016 taxable year.
When a party breaches a contract for the sale of a home or a lot, the non-breaching party is entitled to certain remedies for breach of land sale contract, including damages. In this case, damages would be the difference between the contract price and the market value of the land on the date of the breach, plus any incidental costs.
An example of an incidental cost to the buyer would be rent payments made elsewhere while waiting to move. For the seller, it might be the cost of utilities or any accruing taxes.
To obtain specific performance, a plaintiff must show (1) that a contract exists, (2) that the plaintiff has performed or is ready, willing, and able to perform, (3) that the legal remedy is inadequate, (4) that enforcement is feasible, and (5) that there are no defenses available to the defendant.
The issue with seeking specific performance is usually in proving the third element, that the legal remedy is inadequate. Generally, the legal remedy is inadequate when an item for sale is unique.
Because land is always unique, specific performance is an available remedy. Specific performance here would be the forced sale of a home. So the court would essential force the buyer to transfer funds to the seller or force the seller to transfer possession of the premises to the buyer.
Real estates sales contracts usually require the buyer to deposit “earnest money” into an account with the seller. They also frequently provide that if the buyer defaults in performance and fails to make payments, the seller may retain the earnest money as liquidated damages.
Liquidated damages must be agreed to in a contract and cannot be punitive in nature. Courts generally uphold the seller’s retention of the earnest money if the amount appears to be reasonable in light of the seller’s anticipated and actual damages.
If you have any questions about your contracts or would like to discuss the sale of property, contact one of our experienced Florida business law attorneys today.