Residential real estate and related matters are a major aspect of our practice. We have extensive legal experience representing individual and business clients in residential and commercial real estate transactions, including those involving condominium projects, subdivisions and development of business property. We negotiate the terms of purchase and sale agreements, review and resolve title issues, and address concerns regarding financing. We represent clients in the development of real estate projects, acquisitions, sales and leasing.
The purchase of your home is likely to be your single greatest financial investment. You should have an attorney review the contract to buy or sell your house before you sign a binding contract. We offer a lump-sum fee to represent you in the purchase or sale of your house, which includes review and negotiating the terms of the Purchase and Sale Agreement.
The Purchase and Sale agreement will address such important issues as:
- buyer’s obligation to purchase the house even if it is totally destroyed;
- seller’s obligation to vacate the house completely prior to passing papers;
- seller’s right to sue buyer for damages if buyer defaults (which can be in addition to retaining the deposit); and
- the buyer’s right to have various inspections done at the premises, including inspections of the structure, septic system, and for pests, lead paint, water, UFFI and radon.
After the Contract is Signed
Once you sign a contract to purchase, we will help you with issues that may arise during the inspection period and advise you on compliance with your mortgage contingency requirements. After the purchase and sale agreement has been signed and financing arranged for the buyer, we undertake a full examination of the title, covering at least 50 years. Title examination requires review of the deeds, mortgages, court decrees and all other documents affecting the title and applying the law and court decisions to the various circumstances arising in the title examination. It is the seller’s obligation to correct any defects in the title.
Common Closing Costs
We compute the costs that need to be adjusted between the buyer and the seller, such as taxes, fuel, and rent. We prepare a closing statement showing the amount owed by buyer to seller. We prepare the deed for the seller and review the deed for the buyer. Both buyer and seller will likely be required to sign agreements to reimburse buyer’s bank for losses in connection with smoke detectors, lead paint, and other substances. The Seller’s expenses normally include:
- attorney’s fees, including negotiations and preparation of documents, correction of title defects, removal of liens, etc.
- Massachusetts property transfer tax, also called “stamps”
- the cost of recording documents necessary to clear title
- real estate broker’s commission
Buyer’s expenses normally include:
- attorney’s fee, including negotiations and preparation of documents
- cost of the title examination
- bank fees
- cost of recording the deed, mortgage, and municipal lien certificate
Most banks require that the buyer purchase a lender’s title insurance policy at the closing. The buyer also may choose to purchase an owners title insurance policy to protect against claims relating to the buyer’s title to the property. We can provide this insurance for you.