Should I Consult A Real Estate Broker When Buying Property?
Due to a number of tools on the internet and companies like Zillow, sellers can market their property without a real estate broker, and buyers can work more directly with sellers. However, a real estate broker will have a sense of the values in the market and be able to inform a buyer of what is and is not a fair price.
What Are The Steps Involved In Buying Real Estate In Washington?
Once a buyer identifies a property he or she likes , the buyer will schedule an appointment to visit and tour the property. Next, the buyer will work with the agent to create and present an offer to the seller, and the seller will decide whether or not they want to accept it. The buyer should seek to be pre-qualified for a loan before even making an offer, as this will make the offer stronger. If the offer is accepted, then various tasks for closing the sale will need to be completed within certain time frames. The contract will spell out the amount of earnest money the buyer must deposit, and the money will be placed with the escrow agent (it’s not typically given directly to the seller).
Next, a title commitment will be ordered, which will show who owns the property and what encumbrances there are on the title of the property. The buyer must complete an inspection within a certain period of time, which will be done with the help of inspectors who will examine the property and document its physical condition. The seller will prepare a statutory disclosure form so that the buyer has it from the beginning (if they haven’t prepared one before listing the property for sale, they will need to do it very soon after the contract is signed). The buyer generally has a certain number of days to walk away from the transaction if there are things in the disclosure form that cause concern.
Once the loan has been approved and the title report is issued, the buyer needs to review it and make sure that there’s nothing on the title that they don’t want to carry over to them when they buy the property. Closing usually occurs 30 to 45 days after the contract has been signed.
If Financing Is Required, What Role Will My Attorney Play In It?
In most cases, a client will have already prearranged and been preapproved for a loan before contacting me. If a buyer has specific questions about things that the mortgage broker has been telling them, I can answer those questions.
Commercial transactions are much more involved because the lender generally has their own attorneys preparing loan documents. We will review those loan documents on behalf of the buyer and negotiate specific provisions regarding liability. When dealing with very sophisticated transactions, the loan might be what’s called nonrecourse, which means that the property is the only source for repayment for the bank. If the buyer defaults, then the only thing the bank can do is foreclose and take the property in payment of the debt. In some cases, a guarantee will be required. For example, if a buyer were to dump hazardous waste on the property after purchasing it and the bank ended up having to foreclose on the property, then a personal guarantee could be used to have the borrower pay for the cost of cleaning up the hazardous waste.
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