Every man dreams of owning a luxurious house; however, not everyone can afford to make their dreams come true. Planning to purchase a house is one of the biggest decisions in our life. These days, buying a property is not as simple as it looks, because it involves a lot of investment and documentation. So, if we don’t act carefully, there are chances that we end up with huge losses, which may take a lifetime to recover back. While buying a house or a property, it is always better and safer to involve people who have complete knowledge regarding the documentation work and all the do’s and don’ts. Then, the next question is who is more knowledgeable than a real estate lawyer in dealing with such issues? Well, the answer is none. Since these lawyers are in the same profession, they might have seen many cases. Therefore, they know all the loopholes in the transactions and when hired them, they make sure that your transaction is legal without any hassles later on.
It is not necessary that everyone should hire a lawyer while buying property. But, it is true that by hiring a lawyer you will not face any legal issues later on. So if you don’t want to have a risk of legal issues, getting professional help is highly advisable. One needs a real estate lawyer, whether you are buying or selling a property. Basically, real estate attorney assists in many issues related to negotiation, reviewing transactions, getting a bank loan, verifying authenticity of the seller, settling disputes etc. Once you have decided to seek a professional help, look for a competent real estate lawyer in your state. For this, you can either search online or consult a law firm in your state. You can also get the list of lawyers from newspapers, yellow pages or through referrals. The best source of all those mentioned for finding a competent lawyer is referrals. Ask your friends or family members, if they know any real estate lawyer. If yes, then ask their experience with him, like his competency, transparency, and fee structure etc. If you don’t have any referrals, continue with other modes of search and shortlist a few lawyers. While searching for a lawyer, check their qualifications, experience, competency, success rate and fee. After short listing a few, fix an appointment and meet them personally.
However, do remember that not every lawyer you have shortlisted will be interested to take up your case. Since they are reputed lawyers, they may not be willing to take up every case and they may ask you a few questions. So, be prepared while going to meet him and carry all the necessary documents. In your first meeting, the lawyer may ask your personal details like your profession, family information, contact details and your business background if you are a businessman. He may also ask you questions regarding the persons involved in the deal so as to make sure that your deal is genuine without any conflict of interest. He will also make sure that there are no legal disputes regarding the property you are planning to buy. He may ask for the original documents, photographs or memos with regard to your deal. Once he is satisfied with all the details and paperwork you have shown to him, he will take up your case.
Similarly, you should also ask him a few questions regarding his professional experience and expertise, number of cases he has taken up, his success rate and any problems which you may face later on with regard to the property you are planning to buy or sell. Since you have done a check on his background, check if the information he has given to you regarding his experience is true or not. If he proves to be genuine, go ahead and hire him.
First your lawyer will send you a letter outlining what documentation he or she may need from you. Since you will likely be paying at least $1300 plus for legal services, I think it’s important that you know what your lawyer will be doing for you! Below is some detailed information on the role of a real estate lawyer and on what you need to do when working with your lawyer and securing a mortgage. Don’t wait to hire a lawyer just before you taking position of your new purchase, make sure you interview them way before your closing date.
Your Real Estate lawyer should advise you what expenses you’re likely to incur with respect to the closing procedures, including: Land Transfer Tax disbursements, legal fees, property tax. If you’ve bought a new home from a builder, the Real Estate lawyer can give you an educated estimate as to how much you should budget for “hidden charges” such as: Vineyard Utah New Home Warranty Enrolment Fee, Hydro and Water meter installation charges, Fencing charges, Grading Deposit charges many others If all the conditions in the Agreement have been met and the Offer is firm, the lawyer proceeds to investigate the title to the property. Initials searches include:
• utility searches
• property tax searches
• building, zoning and planning searches
• registered title searches
Letters are sent by your lawyer: to all municipal or regional utility departments to confirm that there are no arrears or outstanding charges to ensure there are no conditional sales contracts, easements or unregistered agreements, liens to discover other encumbrances affecting the property or equipment being left by the Seller.
Easements are a big issue and cases are always being written up in the newspapers and real estate journals, about buyers who didn’t realize they weren’t allowed to put up fencing or create a parking space because the property survey they were working from didn’t actually show the City’s rights to access the property. Your lawyer’s job is to make sure all this is disclosed to you. Your lawyer will also advise the utility departments of your name and the scheduled closing date, and request that final meter readings be done on the closing date so the final bills can be sent to the Seller.
A Tax Certificate is requested by your solicitor to verify the amount of the current year’s taxes and to ask about any arrears and outstanding charges for taxes. Your lawyer will also write to the Building and Zoning Department to get the full particulars of zoning by-laws and restrictions and permitted uses (so you’ll know if you’re allowed to operate a business from your home or build a huge deck, for example). It’s important that you send your lawyer a copy of the survey for the property as soon as possible. A Search of Title to the property begun in the Land Registry Office to make sure the Seller is the true owner of the property, has the right to sell you the property, and that the property is not subject to any encumbrances, encroachments, easements, liens, agreements or mortgages that were not disclosed in the Agreement or Purchase and Sale. You may have heard of fraud cases where people’s homes were sold out from under them by con artists who had no title to the land! This is where your lawyer really earns his fees. This search has to be completed prior to the Requisition Date (title search date) shown on your Agreement of Purchase and Sale.
Other important functions of your lawyer include: Carry out a search of Executions in the appropriate Sheriff’s Office to ensure that there are no executions against the prior owners of the property that would affect your title. Prepare and deliver a letter to the Seller’s lawyer requesting that any items revealed in the initial searches be dealt with on or before closing.
Review the contents of the Mortgage Commitment letter your bank will prepare when you arrange your financing, and consult with you about the results of signing it. Advise you of any closing-day costs related to mortgage financing when your financial institution provides you with a final Mortgage Commitment Letter.
If your lawyer is also acting on behalf of the financial institution (it often happens), he/she will prepare all necessary documentation for the mortgage and submit this package to the financial institution for approval prior to closing:
• Certify title of the property to the financial institution on closing.
• Advise you about any government programs designed to assist home buyers that would apply to you, including Land Transfer Tax Rebate programs, Vineyard Utah Home Ownership Savings Plans, RRSP plans, and CMHC 5% Down Payment information.
• Let your insurance broker know the name, address, phone number and fax number of both your lawyer and of the financial institution providing your mortgage. Your lawyer needs a letter confirming that insurance coverage is in place effective on closing – this is super important because the bank will not advance the $ to close your purchase until they know that you have property insurance.
Considering Selling Your Home Without a Real Estate Agent? Understand Your Legal Needs!
As real estate has changed over the past few years many people are trying to sell their homes without a real estate agent in order to avoid paying a commission. In Vineyard Utah you typically pay an agent 6 percent of the sale price in commission. With the price of homes today this number is significant. Especially since so many homes in the Vineyard Utah, have lost value and many homeowners have found they own a home that is not worth what they originally paid for it. When not using an agent many residents will seek out the help of FSBO (for sale by owner) organizations and websites. These marketing tools still require a fee but the most it would be is 3 percent of the sale price and many are considerably less.
Real estate agents would also point out that by paying them a fee you are also gaining access to a number of resources that they have available to them. When selling a property agents will also invest in advertising to aid in selling the home. Many people believe the commission paid to an agent is well worth it. However if you do decide to try and sell your home alone it is important to contact a real estate attorney who can help you navigate the legal aspects selling property.
The legal needs of a home sale include: Purchase and Sale Agreement: This document is one of the many legal aspects involved when buying and selling property that will require an attorney.
Title Search and Clearing: Before finalizing a real estate agreement you want to be sure the title is clear. A lawyer will do the required title search and make sure the title is clear and the property is ready to be sold.
Litigation: There are instances where property ownership issues arise at the time of a sale. This could be a boundary dispute or eminent domain issue. You will want a qualified attorney working with you if you run into one of these problems.
Condo Development: Condominiums require legal documentation that is unlike any other property. Real estate attorneys are well versed in the legal requirements of condominiums and can help ensure the process moves smoothly.
Document Preparation and Review: If you are buying or selling a home you want to make sure all the documentation is complete and done correctly. It is the job of your real estate attorney to review all deeds, notes and any other documentation that is involved in a home sale.
The investment in a real estate attorney is an important addition to any home selling strategy. Buying or selling something as valuable as a home is a daunting prospect. If you plan to try and do it alone make sure you hire a real estate attorney to help supplement your sale strategy. The legal fees are a small price to pay to avoid a commission.
Crucial Things to Understand About Trust and Estate Law
Do you have children, elderly parents, a home, or savings? If so, it’s important to have a plan for what will happen in the event of your untimely death or incapacitation. If you think that planning is only necessary for the wealthy with millions of dollars in assets, you should understand that most families need adequate protection after a loved one is gone. Here are some important things you should understand about trust and estate law.
• A Complete Strategy Involves More Than Just Legal Documents: Although it is always difficult to think about incapacity or death, the truth is that everyone will pass away, and it is better to be prepared rather than leaving your family caught off guard. Educating yourself about trust and estate law is a good start, and completing all of the necessary legal documents is the first step. Beyond documents, it’s also critical to make sure that your assets are owned in the same manner as detailed in the documents. You should also understand the beneficiary designations on your retirement accounts and consider whether you need life or disability insurance.
• How Your Family Will Be Impacted Without Proper Planning: If proper planning is not done, your family will end up in probate court, which is expensive and time-consuming. The court gets the authority to examine your will, in addition to your heirs and potential creditors. The court takes over and decides how to distribute your assets and pay your creditors without your input.
Ways to Avoid the Probate Process
In order to avoid the probate process, you can make specific beneficiary designations for specific assets. For example, you can say that your tax-deferred account or life insurance policy can go directly to the beneficiary that you’ve chosen. Another way to avoid probate completely is to set up a revocable trust. This allows you to transfer ownership of your assets to a trust that details exactly what happens if you are incapacitated or you die. Because this is all contained within one document, you do not need the assistance of a probate court.
How to Determine the Best Options for Your Specific Situation
Depending on your situation, for example, if you are married, or you have kids, family organization determines an entire portion of the process. After that determination is complete, it’s necessary to look closely at your assets and think about how to lessen the amount of estate taxes (if any) that your family will owe.
It’s Imperative to Routinely Update Your Plan
Considering that your financial and family situation can often change, you should review your plan at least once every five years. You should review your documents, how your assets are titled, your beneficiary designations, and your current objectives and goals. Think about your current situation, determine what would be the most beneficial for your family, and then update the plan as time passes. If you make it a priority to learn more about trust and estate law, you will have the comfort of knowing that you’ve done everything you can to protect your family in the event of your death or incapacitation.
Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer
It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506