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Seward Law Office, P.A. Motto
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Are You Ready To Close On Your Real Property?


A real estate closing can be a momentous, life-changing event for a person or a couple, particularly if it is their first time buying a home. However, it can be quite intimidating for the same reason, especially if you are trying to navigate the process alone. There are several different factors that go into the successful purchase of and closing on a home, and it is crucial to understand exactly what you want and how to get it. A knowledgeable real estate attorney can help you and your spouse navigate the process.

Settle Financing & Tax Questions

In general, a real estate attorney can help to handle the questions and concerns you might have, but this can be particularly important when dealing with financing. For most buyers, financing will come from a bank or similar institution. However, trying to navigate this process alone may lock you into a higher rate than you need to pay, or to exorbitant interest based on the overall structure of the agreement. Having a knowledgeable attorney assisting you means they can evaluate the proposed terms of a mortgage, and potentially negotiate to save you money.

The tax picture of your soon-to-be new property may also come up for discussion, particularly with the seller. Properties are sold at all points of the year, but regardless of who owns the land at a specific moment, property taxes are due in November in Florida. In many situations, the buyer and seller agree to prorate the taxes between them, because doing so is much easier than trying to negotiate who might pay the full amount at closing. This is not required, but it happens fairly frequently just because closings are complex, and both parties usually want to minimize further potential issues.

Is Your Title Clear?

If the monetary questions are mostly handled, the next (and arguably most important) step is to ensure that the title to the property in question is marketable.  Every piece of property in Florida that is owned by someone has a legal title, and in order for property to be transferred to a new owner, title must be clear. For example, if you contract to purchase a property from a seller who represents that they have recorded a deed to the property, but it turns out that another person has a deed that states they own the property, title is said to be clouded. An attorney can file what is known as an action to quiet title, which is intended to identify and clear any potential problems. If the title is not clear at the time of closing, the transaction cannot go forward.

This is also true if the seller turns out to not have reported a material defect in the property. Sellers have obligations under Florida law to inform a potential buyer of any fact “materially affecting the value of the property” that the buyer could not have discovered on their own. Failure to do so may be grounds for invalidating the transaction or putting off a closing until the defect has been remedied. An experienced attorney by your side can help ensure that these procedural obligations are met.

Call A Tampa Real Estate Attorney

Acquiring real estate is a momentous life occasion for many people, but too often it can come with unforeseen complications that might have been avoided. If you are in the market for a new home, attorney Alicia Seward and the Seward Law Office can help to ensure that the process goes as it should. A Tampa real estate attorney can make the difference between success and failure – contact our office today at 813-252-6789 to schedule a consultation.


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