At the Law Office of John C. Kim, P.C., we represent parties in residential and commercial property transactions and related matters. Whether you are a potential first-time home owner or seasoned investor, we’re here to help you at every step of the way. When selling or purchasing you need to consider a variety of issues: real estate taxes, transfer taxes, maintenance or common charges, flip tax, real estate broker fees, bank and/or mortgage brokers fees, and title issues to name a few. The list is endless; the process can be complex and confusing.
Even in a simple transaction the parties involved will include sellers and purchasers, but may also include real estate agents, mortgage brokers, bank and bank attorneys, title agents and title closers, not to mention the attorney representing the party at the other side of the table. All these people are representing their own competing interests. The only person at the table watching out for your interest is your own attorney. That’s why it’s important to retain an attorney who knows what they’re doing and whom you can trust.
Buying a home: role of your real estate agents and attorneys
Many buyers use a real estate agent when purchasing a home. They can help in finding the potential homes meeting your requirements and advise you on the prices for comparable homes sold, and help you to determine the price you can offer to the seller.
Most sellers have their agents (listing agent), so your agent and the seller’s agent negotiate for the basic terms such as the price, contingency of you obtaining a mortgage, personal properties, and fixtures.
As the agreement is made with the seller, your home will be inspected by an inspector, together with your agent who will advise you of any identified problems.
In New York, seller’s attorney customarily prepare the first draft of the contract of sale. Because the contract prepared by the seller’s attorney could be written in favor of the seller, you should have your own attorney to protect your interest. A house is not only the most expensive piece of property you will own, but also must be free of legal defects as much as it needs to be free of physical defects. All the “what if”s should be accounted for, so that you are not stuck with a house with past, present, and future problems, or lose all your time and effort, including the downpayment.
Once the seller’s and buyer’s attorneys have finalized the contract, you and the seller will sign it, and you will send the downpayment, which is typically 10% of the purchase price, and which the seller’s attorney will hold in a neutral account called an escrow account.
After the contract is signed, your attorney will order a title report to check for any issues such as liens or violations that the seller must resolve before the closing, which is the day that you become the new homeowner. In addition to checking for the issues of your potential new home, your attorney will also help you with providing the information and documents to the lenders for your mortgage. You will have to pay the seller, pay off any current mortgage on the house, and title company for the insurance–and your attorney will manage all the calculations as well as representing you at the closing to review and advise on the legal documents as well as payments.
Drafting, reviewing, and negotiating the contract, coordinating the closing, making the final adjustments, making sure all the details are worked before the date of the closing are all vital steps to a smooth sale or purchase which must be done efficiently with an eye to detail. The Law Office of John C. Kim, P.C. will take you step-by-step through the process. What will probably be one of the most important transactions in your life will be handled with great care and a high degree of professional expertise. You will know what you are doing and your interests will be protected by the Law Office of John C. Kim, P.C. Some quick hints:
• Don’t sign anything before you consult an attorney.
• Make sure you trust the attorney you consult.
• If you’re on the market to either buy or sell, you should call that attorney.
Be Smart. Get the Facts. Know the Law.