Sherrard Law Group

A Beginner’s Guide to Buying a Home in Florida (Part 5).

Part 5 –  Processing the Contract for Closing and Preparation of Closing Documents

Buying a home is one of the most important decisions in a person’s life. As we discussed last month, in Part 4 of our Beginner’s Guide to Buying a Home in Florida, Title Insurance, even for the most experienced sellers/buyers, closing on a home in Florida can become an intimidating challenge. This series is written to assist you in understanding the basics of real estate transactions in Florida.

Processing the Contract for Closing

In addition to the closing attorney or his staff ordering title insurance under the terms of the contract, there will be other items that need to be ordered or tasks to be accomplished. The processing stage includes the Sherrard Law Group attorneys and staff gathering ad valorem tax information, ordering loan payoff statements, ordering a survey, ordering an appraisal, obtaining homeowner or condominium association estoppel letters showing maintenance fees, ordering a permit and lien search, ordering inspection and waste management reports and gathering all of the information on sums to be prorated and paid at closing. This will entail contacting the parties, the lender’s agents, the brokers, the inspector, the appraiser and all lienholders in order to have all items ready to prepare the closing documents.

Preparation of Closing Documents

When all of the preliminary documents have been received, reviewed and approved by the parties, the closing attorney and staff will prepare all of the documents necessary to close on the sale. The contract provides a deadline for closing, but closing can take place before that date if all parties agree. If the deadline cannot be met due to delays of lenders or document providers, a written  extension must be obtained and signed by the seller and buyer as soon as the parties are aware that an extension is needed, or else either party can cancel the contract and a dispute over the deposit or other damages may arise. The closing documents usually include the deed to the property, a bill of sale for personal property, the loan documents, necessary affidavits and the closing statement. If a mortgage lender is involved, the lender will provide closing instructions to the closing attorney, and the closing attorney will be required to follow the instructions explicitly in order to “close the loan”. All of the charges and prorations required by the lender will be set forth in the closing statement, along with the standard fees and expenses for the sale from seller to buyer. The attorneys and staff at the Sherrard Law Group work tirelessly to meet all deadlines in the contract and prepare all documentation necessary to consummate the sale and purchase in a professional and timely manner.

No matter if you’re buying or selling a home in Florida, you should have a skilled representative working with you throughout the process. While an agent or realtor can answer certain questions you may have, only an attorney will act in your best interests and is often less expensive than people think. In fact, in most instances having a real estate lawyer close your transaction will cost no more than a title company will charge to conduct the closing. That is why we invite you to contact the Sherrard Law Group today to speak to a member of our legal team about your real estate transaction. We look forward to serving as your trusted legal representatives.

Next week – Part 6…Buyer Requests, Repairs, and Pre-Closing Inspection

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