Chicago Real Estate Closing Lawyer To Avoid Common Home Purchase Mistake
The final phase of a home sale is challenging, and the outcome can make or break a sale. It involves a “transfer of ownership,” because the title and deed are transferred to the buyer.
And you need a Chicago real estate closing lawyer to make sure it goes smoothly.
The real estate closing date is set while property is still in negotiation, and it’s usually scheduled for several weeks after the offer has been accepted. Payment is made to the seller, and the ownership is transferred to the buyer. The process is complicated, and it can affect the outcome of the sale. That’s why you need to hire a real estate closing lawyer to cover all the bases before the closing date.
What Happens at a Real Estate Closing
For a first-time home buyer, the real estate closing process can seem confusing. There’s a great deal of paperwork involved, and there are real estate closing costs. Money has to be handled in a certain way, so it’s sent to an escrow company to make sure that the funds are transferred securely. There are also certain upfront fees the buyer has to pay on the closing date (such as mortgage and title fees).
A real estate closing is sometimes referred to as a “settlement,” because it’s a final agreement between the buyer and seller. This is when the money is received, and it’s where the real estate agent earns his or her commission. It’s the buyer’s responsibility to cover any closing costs, which is paid with a cashier’s check.
Here is a specific list of what happens at a real estate closing:
- The buyer writes a check for the money owed for purchasing the property
- The seller transfers the deed to the buyer (along with the keys to the property)
- The title company registers the new deed with the proper branch of government
- The seller receives and money that’s earned from the sale (after the mortgage balance and closing costs have been covered)
There are a lot more specific elements to the closing process, which is why it should involve a real estate closing lawyer.
That way, you can be sure everything is covered.
The real estate closing date is set when the buyer makes an offer. He or she will propose the date, which will be negotiated with the seller. The date can be accepted, or the seller can make a counter-offer (where he or she proposes a different date). That’s when it goes into the “escrow phase” of the sale, which is when the money is made secure. At this point, the sale is still “pending,” which is what it’s meant when a home is “in escrow.”
Real Estate Closing Costs
The process of closing the sale of a home can be costly, and there can be a number of fees and charges. Any company or individual that’s performing a specific task will charge a fee, and everything from a credit check to an appraisal comes with a price tag. All of these are collectively referred to as “closing costs,” which is covered via cashier’s check by the buyer.
The real estate closing costs will vary from state to state, which is usually 3% of the amount of the loan. In higher-cost states (such as New York and California), that number can be as high as 5%. You will get an estimate after you apply for a mortgage, because they’re required by law to give it to you within three days after they receive your application. It’s called a “Good Faith Estimate,” and it gives you a specific breakdown of your entire real estate closing costs.
Several days before the real estate closing date, you will get a HUD-1 Settlement Statement, which will have the actual amount you need to bring.
It’s not uncommon for the real estate closing costs to be higher than the estimate, so be sure to speak to a Chicago real estate closing lawyer for advice.
He or she can look over every real estate closing statement.
The Real Estate Closing Statement
The real estate closing statement will outline the specific costs and fees associated with the sale, and it’s put together by the “closing agent.” This includes any fees, commissions, insurance payments, and any other costs related to the sale. It will also include the cost of mortgage insurance and property taxes.
The Commercial Real Estate Closing
In many respects, a commercial real estate closing is similar to a residential one, but there are certain areas where you need to be careful. It involves a little more due diligence practices, because commercial real estate laws have fewer provisions that protect buyers. And the laws allow for more “creative” negotiations.
Like a residential closing, the money is still secure through an escrow account. But the commercial real estate closing process deals with larger amounts of money, so the procedure is much more involved and is more tightly controlled. Therefore, there are more specific types of paperwork that must be filled out.
Commercial real estate usually involves two or more entities, and there may be more than one contract. So, it can be expensive for everyone involved. Each party will have a “signing authority” that must be verified, because the documents must be signed by an actual person. This proof can be provided by a “corporate charter” that gives authority to that individual.
Because the property is for commercial use, zoning laws can come into play. Everyone has to make sure they’re allowed to use the property for that purpose, which involves verification with the municipal government. So, they must outline the property’s specific purpose.
Finding a Chicago Real Estate Closing Attorney
It’s always a good idea to know what happens at a real estate closing, because the process can be complicated. Issues could arise, and there could always be disagreements. That’s why you need a real estate closing attorney – someone who can take charge when things go awry.
There are certain questions you should ask:
- How long have they been practicing? – Find out how much real-world experience they have, and ask them where they studied law.
- Have they handled cases similar to yours? – Not every aspect of Real Estate Law is the same, so you need to find the area in which they specialize. By finding the right person for the job, you’ll have someone who will be able to see any potential difficulties later on.
- How will they handle your case? – Asking this question can help you determine if they have enough knowledge in the areas of which they claim to have expertise. Do they have a specific answer, or do they offer a more ambiguous response? They should be able to give you a rough idea of what they would do.
- How will they bill you? – Knowing how they would charge you could save a great deal of money, so you should ask about their fee schedule. Find out if they charge a flat rate, or if they bill by the hour. And don’t be afraid to negotiate.
- Who else will be involved in your case? – some law firms may hand a case over to a “junior attorney” or a paralegal. This person may have the knowledge, but he or she may not be a licensed attorney. Find out who those people are before you decide to work with them, and ask specific questions about their respective backgrounds.
It’s always a good idea to do your due diligence when you’re looking for a real estate closing attorney, so make sure you have the right person representing you.
Chicago’s Best Real Estate Closing Lawyer
For the most part, the real estate closing process will go smoothly, but problems can occur. That’s why you need to hire a real estate closing lawyer – someone who can save you a great deal of time and frustration. Money is involved, and so is your ability to secure a residence. This could put you at risk of certain liabilities that may not always be apparent, so you should protect yourself from legal action.
Chicago Real Estate Law Firm has the best team of people, and we have everything you need in a real estate closing lawyer. We can handle every aspect of your case, and we can even prevent certain problems from even happening.
If you want the best Chicago real estate closing lawyer, get in touch with us today!