Florida Real Estate Closings, Start To Finish
The anatomy of a Florida real estate closing can be straightforward, but it may also be difficult and confusing to navigate, particularly if the buyer or seller involved has never participated in the process before. There is quite a lot that must go on behind the scenes before the parties ever meet to hand over the keys, and enlisting a Florida real estate attorney to represent your interests can help ensure your rights are always protected.
A “Meeting Of The Minds”
The first, most important part of a real estate transaction is a valid contract for purchase. In order for a real estate contract to be valid, there must be a “meeting of the minds” on all the issues – in other words, both parties have to properly understand the terms of the agreement, as well as agree upon them. If, for example, one party agrees to the sale contract only because they misunderstood a certain provision, the contract would likely not be valid, because no “meeting of the minds” has occurred.
To ensure that this ‘meeting’ has actually occurred between the buyer and the seller, research and verification has to happen before the official closing – for example, verifying what constitutes a “reasonable” deposit on the home, or ensuring any cloud on the property’s title has been removed. Some parties may labor under the misapprehension that the realtor or closing agent can do all this work – but in reality, most Florida realtors do not act in the interests of their clients; rather, they work as “transaction brokers,” meaning that their aim is simply to see the transaction concluded.
Often Two Closings In One
In essence, the work required to ensure the sale contract represents a “meeting of the minds” is paving the way for the eventual closing to run smoothly. If the parties show up on closing day with a contract that is valid but for the signatures, it means less time debating and negotiating on these issues because they will already have been decided. In some cases, though, a real estate closing is essentially two closings in one, specifically if financial support is required. A loan closing is when the appropriate loan documents are signed, such as the note and the mortgage itself.
Once the financing for the real estate purchase is secured, the ‘second’ closing is the time when the keys (and title) are exchanged for the agreed-upon funds and the transaction officially takes place. The closing agent (who may be an attorney, a title insurance agent, or other person representing the title agency) will then have the deed and mortgage recorded with the appropriate authorities, and issue a title insurance policy to the property’s new owner (and the mortgage holder, if applicable).
Contact A Tampa Real Estate Attorney
Real estate closings involve many different moving parts, and while engaging a Tampa real estate attorney to help you through it is not legally required, it is highly recommended. Alicia Seward and the Seward Law Office have experience in these cases, and can try to put it to work for you. Call our office today at 813-252-6789 to schedule a consultation.