The Kitch firm's residential real estate practice handles a number of residential sales matters, including negotiating the purchase or sale of all types of residential property (including single-family homes, condominiums, duplexes and other multi-family dwellings). The firm's attorneys provide legal advice to clients contemplating a purchase or sale, draft and review purchase agreements, and prepare clients for real estate closings. When necessary, we draft all documents necessary to successfully close a residential real estate transaction, including deeds, notes, mortgages, easements, and settlement statements, satisfaction of mortgages and liens, and related closing documents. We work closely with brokers to insure proper representation. A number of the firm's attorneys are also licensed real estate brokers.
The firm works with its clients to make the most of their property, while always protecting a client's property rights and insuring that they enter into fair and favorable agreements. Clients appreciate that the firm's attorneys work with them every step of the way, ensuring that the transaction is handled correctly the first time.
Issues that we typically handle are:
Dealing with the Broker. We start with the initial document and represent sellers before they sign a brokerage agreement that does not deal with a number of potential legal problems. Even if the agreement is a so-called "standard form," its terms should be explained to the seller and revised, if necessary.
Dealing with tax consequences and other issues. We deal with both sellers and buyers and discuss the tax consequences of a sale, particularly if the seller has a large profit or when there may be a substantial change in the appraised value. We also handle questions about the date set for closing, the date of occupancy, the condition of the property, arranging for an inspection and what personal property is included in the sale.
Dealing with the contract of sale. The formal written contract for the sale and purchase of a home is the single most important piece of paper in the transaction. Although printed forms are useful and frequently used by real estate salespersons, proper representation is necessary to explain the form and make changes and additions for a particular transaction to reflect the understanding of the buyer and the seller.
Arranging for financing. Most buyers finance a substantial portion of the purchase price for a one or two family home with a mortgage loan from a bank or other lending institution. We insure that the contract contains carefully worded provisions is subject to the buyer's obtaining a commitment for financing. Printed contract forms are generally inadequate to incorporate the real understanding of the buyer and seller without changes being made.
Searching and insuring title. We help establish the state of the seller's title to the property to the satisfaction of the buyer as spelled out in the contract. Even though a title search is typically ordered from a title insurance company, our representation includes explanation of title exceptions and confirming that proper title is being transferred.
Zoning and other restrictions. Because residential title searchers does not typically tell the buyer or seller anything about existing and prospective zoning. We work with both buyers and sellers to confirm that current and planned uses of the property are not restricted or prohibited by zoning ordinances or prior restrictive covenants.
Survey Review. While representing buyers we can review surveys of the property, which is a necessary adjunct to a title search. Our attorneys are trained to review surveys to eliminate issues which may give rise to future problems.
Conducting the closing. The closing process can be confusing and complex to the buyer and seller. Those present at the closing often include the buyer and seller, their respective attorneys, the title closer, a representative of the lending institution and real estate broker. Documents need to be recorded; various transfer taxes need to be paid, and provisions for insurance and other incidents of ownership need to be concluded. We confirm that all matters are properly completed.