Home Sweet Home: The basics of buying a house

Buying a home is an exciting, and sometimes overwhelming process.  Once you have found the house of your dreams, here are the legal aspects that you need to consider.

The Offer

Residential Real Estate begins with the signing of a Real Estate Purchase Contract often referred to as the “Offer”. Usually the Offer is prepared and negotiated through your Realtors.  Once is is signed, your Realtor will send it to us to complete the transaction according to the terms of the Offer.

We can:

  • Review the Offer prior to signing to advise you of the legal obligations you are undertaking if you sign;
  • review the a signed Offer if it has a condition for lawyer’s review and advise you of your legal obligations you waive this condition;
  • If there are no Realtors and it is a private sale, we can work with you to prepare the Offer.

At this stage you will need to complete any conditions you have put in place:

  • Talk to the bank or lender to get approval for financing
  • Have an home inspector check out the new home, and address any issues that come up
  • Sell your own home

The Closing

Once any conditions of the Offer are waived, the next step is to close or complete the deal. This is what you are hiring us to do for you

We prepare any forms needed for the Buyer such as transfer instructions and mortgage documents and ensure that you are receiving clear title, a compliant property, vacant possession and only paying the amount of the agreed purchase price.

We will have you in to sign documents around a week before your closing date.  At this point, we will also ask you to bring in your cash to close, which is the outstanding amount of money you need to pay to purchase the property.  We will let you know what amount to bring in.

Title Insurance

One other thing to consider when purchasing a house, is if you would like to purchase Title Insurance.  This is often an optional policy that provides additional protection against errors on your Real Property Report, errors transferring title, and protection if you are the victims of title or mortgage fraud in the future.  Occasionally, a mortgage lender requires title insurance as a term of your mortgage.  This is a one time purchase that costs around $250-350 for a typical in-town home.

MHR Law partners with Chicago Title Insurance. Please refer to Chicago Title and this video for more information.

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