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Real Estate

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THE REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION

Once a homeowner decides to sell his or her home, they generally list their home with a real estate broker. 
Once the property is listed a potential buyer will make a formal offer that is secured by a deposit. If the property owner accepts the offer, a formal acceptance is signed that creates a binding contract to sell. The buyer and seller then begin to negotiate a purchase and sale agreement, (or "P&S"). A P&S is a legally binding contract that commits both the buyer and seller to the transaction and explains what both parties rights and obligations are regarding the sale of the property.

WHY HIRE A REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY?

The $1,000+ you spend now could save you thousands later!

Why? Once the P&S is signed, both parties are legally bound by the terms of that document. While you might think that the P&S is clear on its face, it may contain provisions that are unenforceable or create more liability than you expected. Having an attorney review the P&S is a good idea since trying to litigate your rights under the P&S could take years and cost you thousands of dollars. At Victor & Associates, we work for you and promise to look out for your best interest. Whether you are buying or selling a condominium, house, or land, we offer affordable flat rates and several closing packages that are tailored to meet your needs. Moreover, we offer a free consultation and you pay nothing until closing. So contact us today for more information.

SHOULD I ALLOW THE REALTOR TO REVIEW THE PURCHASE AND SALE AGREEMENT?

Absolutely Not! Your Realtor specializes in helping you buy or sell your home, they are not qualified nor are they permitted to offer you legal advice. However, the main reason you should not rely on your Realtor to review or draft your P&S is that your Realtor is an interested party in the sale of a piece of real estate. This means that a Realtor only gets paid if there is a sale, so it is in their interest to ensure a sale, even if the terms of the sale are not in your best interest. Hiring an attorney guarantees that you get an expert, unbiased explanation and opinion of the contract. Moreover, your attorney will work to negotiate fair and reasonable terms on the P&S and will represent you in the closing.

BUYER - ITEMS TO BRING TO CLOSING

-Buyer’s copy of purchase agreement
-Cashier’s check(s) to make all payments
-Proof of purchase of insurance for fire, casualty, etc.
-Invoices for any unpaid taxes, utilities or assessments
-Photo identification (passport, driver’s license, or state-issued identification card)

SELLER - ITEMS TO BRING TO CLOSING

-Seller’s copy of purchase agreement
-Invoices for any unpaid taxes, utilities, assessments, and latest utilities meter readings
-Receipts for last payment of interest on mortgages
-Bill of Sale of personal property covered by the purchase agreement
-Any unrecorded instruments that affect the title
Proof of satisfaction of any mechanics’ liens, chattel mortgages, judgments, or mortgages that were paid prior to the closing
-Photo identification (passport, driver’s license, or state-issued identification card)

Check out the Office of Consumer Affairs tips for "Before you Buy" 

IF I SELL MY HOME DO I HAVE TO PAY A CAPITAL GAIN TAX?

The maximum capital gain tax is now 20% for all property including real estate if the property was owned for more than twelve (12) months. There is a special rule if the property sold is your principal residence, in which case a married couple filing jointly may exclude up to $500,000 of gain ($250,000 for a single taxpayer) provided (1) either spouse owned the home for at least two of the five years before the sale, (2) both spouses used the property as their home for two years during the five year period, and (3) neither spouse excluded a gain within two years prior to the sale. This rule replaces the old rollover provisions and one time exclusion of $125,000 for persons over age 55.

See also IRS Real Estate Tax Tips

HOW DO I COMPUTE GAIN IF I SELL INHERITED PROPERTY?

The sale of inherited property will not result in taxable gain because the heir is given a new tax basis equal to the property's value on the date of death.

Estate Planning, Elder Law and Medicaid Attorney

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