Are there advantages to selling my home without an agent?

The big advantage to selling your home without an agent is the money that you’ll save, which is usually 6% of the purchase price. However, real estate agents perform an important function in the sale of real estate, and will do a lot of your leg work for you if time is an issue.

Do the buyer and seller need to be physically present for the closing?

The good news is that, in Florida, many times we do what we call a mail-away closing where neither party is actually present at the closing. The seller can pre-sign the documents, and the buyer can sign them as well and then send them to the closing agent.

Do I need an attorney if I already have a real estate broker?

A real estate broker serves a very different function than an attorney does. A real estate broker has the job of getting the deal closed. A real estate attorney has the job of representing you and your interests. Sometimes your interests are more than just getting a deal closed quickly. That’s why it’s important to...

Do I need title insurance?

Title insurance is your guarantee that you’re actually the owner of your property. If you’re buying with a mortgage your lender is going to insist on it. It means that a large corporation has done the work to determine that there are no liens on your property and you own it free and clear.

How do I choose an attorney for my real estate transaction?

When looking for an attorney for a real estate transaction, the most important thing is to choose an attorney who does this every day. Just as I would never do a murder trial, I would expect that somebody who was in another field of law would not be comfortable doing what I do.

What fee will I pay on the sale of my home?

The biggest fee you’ll pay on the sale of your home is your real estate broker’s fee, which is usually 6% of the purchase price. After that, you’ll have certain title fees. In Palm Beach County, the seller pays title insurance, which is a fee that’s promulgated by the state of Florida. There are also...

What happens to my earnest money deposit if we do not complete the sale?

Most real estate contracts have contingencies for mortgages and inspections. If you don’t obtain your mortgage within the contingency period and you notify your seller in time, you will get your deposit back. It’s important to work with an experienced real estate attorney to be sure you don’t miss any of your dates.

What is a notice of commencement?

A notice of commencement is a form that’s filed with the public records of the county to give people notice that there’s actually construction going on, on your property. It’s important because the lien rights of your contractors will relate back to the date of that notice of commencement.

What is a survey and what is the purpose of a survey?

A survey is an actual drawing of the property you’re purchasing. Usually, it will show the boundaries of the property and your house on it, as well as any easements. The purpose of it is to show that there are no easements, for example a train track running through the middle of your property.

What is a transfer tax?

Transport tax in Florida is called a documentary stamp tax and it’s 7/10 of 1%. On a mortgage, it’s half that, and there’s an additional tax called an intangible tax, which is 2/1,000 of 1%.

What is involved in a home inspection?

In most cases, a home inspection is two inspections. The first inspection is of the home, of the structure, of the appliances, of the plumbing and everything around the house. The second inspection is a termite inspection to be sure that there are no termites in the house.

What legal papers should I have before putting my home on the market?

The good news is that today everything is online, and so the only thing you really need to put your house on the market is your address. The only time this isn’t true is when there’s an estate involved or a recent divorce. You should check with an experienced real estate attorney to see what...