Real Estate Closing Lawyers in Florida
Serving You and The State of Florida
When it is time to close your real estate deal, you wan to make sure you have the right team on your side. The closing day can be both exciting and stressful, and that is why we are so passionate about assisting the community with their real estate closing needs.
It is crucial that on the day of closing, you have superior representation to avoid any future issues. Real estate closing involves an extraordinary amount of paperwork, including the contract, title, and insurance coverage. Having a knowledgable legal counselor on hand to guide you through the process can help you to avoid any potential issues and increases the odds of a smooth closing where all parties walk away satisfied.
At the Lopez Law Group, we specialize in protecting our Florida clients during real estate closings. That is why we offer comprehensive and customized services that can address common issues. If this is your first Florida real estate closing, you may be wondering what happens in a real estate closing and the steps required to complete a closing. A typical real estate closing will involve:
- Earnest Money is Deposited—When someone in the market goes and looks at a property and decides that they want to buy it, an offer is placed in conjunction with an earnest money deposit. The money is deposited and held by the escrow agent. Typically, the earnest money is a small amount of money used to secure your offer. Assuming the deal moves forward, the earnest money is normally applied to the down payment or the closing costs. If not, it is returned to you at closing.
- Apply for a Mortgage Loan—Unless you are paying for a property in cash, you will need to secure a home loan to buy the house. Most buyers get pre-approval for a mortgage before they start the shopping process through a conventional or FHA loan. Having pre-approval is not a guarantee of a loan amount, so you need to take care to ensure that nothing impacts your credit while shopping for a home.
- Having the Property Appraised—The bank or financial institution that you select as your mortgage lender will send someone out to the property to make sure that the property appraises for the amount of the loan. The appraiser is typically selected by the lender and will visit the property to give you an idea of what the property is worth. If the property appraises for the amount of the loan, or higher, you are good. If it appraises below the amount of the loan you are trying to obtain, there will need to be some negotiation between the buyer and seller about the sale price of the home.
- Obtaining Title Insurance—During this process, a title insurance agent will examine the property’s title at the appraiser’s office to ensure that there are no encumbrances on the property. If the title is found to be free and clear, the title insurance company will issue title insurance. Title insurance guarantees that the title is free from defects, and if any defects are found after the purchase is complete, the title insurance company will be responsible for any remedies.
A clear title and reputable title insurance are critical. A mistake in making sure the title is free and clear can lead to legal issues with your home even years down the road. A title search and the issuance of title insurance ensures that the property will be yours once the mortgage is paid without any legal encumbrances from issues before you purchased the property.
- Inspection of the premises—In Florida, because of the weather and humid conditions, an inspection is a crucial part of the purchase process. A home will not sell if an inspection is not performed. The inspector comes to the property on behalf of the buyer and carefully reviews every part of the structure, including electrical and plumbing. Their job is to determine if there are any defects or damage. The inspector should examine the interior, exterior, foundation, and roof of the home. If the inspector determines that there are housing violations or other defects which do not meet the building code, the inspector will recommend these items be fixed before closing.
Buyers can be tempted to skip the inspection process out of a need to save money on the purchase of a new home. It is a bad idea to buy a property without a thorough inspection. Inspectors are trained to look for issues that might escape the attention of even someone with some construction knowledge. You want to ensure that your new home will be your dream home and not a money pit. There are some problems, such as issues with the foundation, that could render a home worth far less than the asking price. Without an inspection, you could be left with a home that is worth far less than you paid for it.
- Survey—The boundaries of the property will need to be established. A survey will ensure that the property description is up to date and will examine to see if there are any ingresses or egresses from the property that you should be aware of before the final closing.
- Obtain Necessary Insurance Policies—Your mortgage lender may add requirements about the type of insurance you will need. Regardless, a home is a substantial investment, and you will want to make sure it is protected with the necessary insurance, including flood insurance and insurance that covers wind and other hazards.
- Final Inspection—The final inspection is the last time the buyer will have to walk through the property and make sure that all agreed-upon repairs were made. You will also want to ensure that all agreed-upon fixtures that are to remain with the home remain in place. It is a good idea to make a list of the items that needed repair so that you can be sure and check that each one was adequately repaired.
- Final Closing Meeting—Everyone involved, including the buyer and seller, will gather and review all of the financial documents that need to be executed in order for the real estate to be sold. Everyone will be in the same room, and necessary changes will take place on sight, then all final documents will be signed.
The Services The Lopez Law Group Offers
Title Examination—Before signing the paperwork, you will need to make sure that everything on your title is in order. We carefully evaluate your documents for issues such as:
- Existing Mortgages
- Any other pre-existing issues
- Changes to the terms of the original contract
If we encounter anything unexpected or concerning, we will address the situation immediately to streamline the process. When you use a traditional title insurance company, they can hold identify any deficiencies, but correcting them will take involving an attorney and can delay closing. At The Lopez Law Group, we are able to both identify and correct any defects we discover expediently.
Title Insurance—Although this insurance is usually optional, we highly recommend it for buyers. We will draft a title evaluation so that you can take advantage of this inexpensive protection. Here at The Lopez Law Group, we can help you find a title insurance policies that meet your needs and ensure you are protected from any future claims against the title to your new property.
There are other types of insurance you may need to consider as well. For commercial real estate, you will need to consider property insurance, liability, and even Worker’s Compensation insurance to make sure you are adequately protected. As real estate attorneys that handle residential and commercial properties, The Lopez Law Group can help you determine what type of insurance you need and even put you in touch with the right insurance broker to assist you with quotes and help you find the best rates on the market.
Coordination—Closings require the presence of every party involved in the transaction. That can be a significant hassle when the sale involves a large group. We will coordinate with all involved parties, which can include:
- Other attorneys and important entities
Having all parties involved present at the closing help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that any last-minute issues can be resolved on the spot. The goal is to make the closing as easy and painless as possible. If you prefer that we coordinate scheduling matters with all involved parties, we can do that. We will make sure that everyone who needs to be there on closing day is present. The simple task of coordinating scheduling can make all the difference at your closing.
At The Lopez Law Group in St. Petersburg, Florida, we are excited for buyers and sellers who have looked forward to closing day as a new chapter in their lives. We have a genuine desire to make sure everything goes smoothly for you. We will be happy to discuss all of your real estate needs when you schedule a consultation by calling (727) 933-0015.
Our consultations on real estate closings are always free, and you can expect total honesty about how we can help you moving forward. If you are in the process of buying or selling a home, our experienced real estate attorneys are here to help. We will be happy to walk you through each step of the process. Give us a call today.
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What Our Clients Say
Mr. Lopez was a Godsend and really helped me with my situation. Him and the entire firm were very diligent and helped speed the early stages of the process along due to a pressing situation. Throughout my experience working with the firm, they were always responsive and available any time I had a question or wanted to check on the state of affairs. Hopefully I won’t have to recommend Lopez Law Group to my friends or family, but if those unfortunate circumstances arise then there’s only one name I would trust. Thank you again for all your help!