Contract Drafting and Negotiations

For most people, buying and selling a home presents the greatest legal obstacle course encountered in their early adult lives.  There are many key issues that arise in the purchasing process that could have adverse implications for as long as you own the home.  A qualified attorney can eliminate the guess work associated with a purchase agreement and associated contract to achieve the optimal and enjoyable ownership.  Often, an attorney can perform the same functions a licensed real estate broker can perform, with a few exceptions.  Having a contract drafter and negotiator familiar with the business and law of residential property transactions has distinct advantages.  Some issues to consider when purchasing residential property:

  • Building codes and related inspections vary greatly depending on your locale and oftentimes lenders have inspection requirements that may or may not exceed the municipal, county, city requirements.
    • Which party will be paying for inspections? When is it desirable for a purchaser to initiate an additional inspection? What is the seller required to disclose to the buyer?
    • Is the purchase subject to available financing or is the purchase subject to the sale of the buyer’s current home?
    • Is a survey required by the lender and who will pay for the survey?
  • What portions of the property and fixtures will be included in the sale of the property?  Does the sale include appliances, furnishings, or outbuildings?
  • When can the purchaser take possession of the property?  Are the parties interested in short term lease-backs where the buyer remains in possession as a tenant while the seller delays moving in for various reasons, such as selling their own home?
  • Do any liens or clouds exist on the title of the property?  Who will pay for a title examination or title insurance?  Who will pay for resolution of title issues?
  • Are there restrictions on the use of the property?  Are these still in effect, given the frequent unrecorded disregard or amendment of such restrictions?
  • What are the remedies if one party defaults under the contract?  What happens to earnest money or escrow funds?

Further, most real estate agents charge flat fees or commission with very little accounting to the client as to how exactly that commission is earned.  At Bibby, McWilliams & Kearney, we can avoid gratuitous flat fees and percentage based commissions, providing itemized details of our representation in a specific accountings to you, meeting your needs as your experience and the transaction's complexity dictates.

These issues and many others frequently and consistently arise in residential real estate transactions.  From full contract drafting and negotiating to simple title research, Bibby, McWilliams & Kearney, PLLC, is happy to assist.