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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why do I need a Real Estate Attorney?

A. Representing a buyer or seller in a real estate closing constitutes the practice of law, which only an attorney can do. You will need an attorney to examine the title records for prior conveyances, liens, encumbrances and errors in the deeds within the chain of title.

The purchase of a home is the biggest investment most of us will ever make and a real estate closing is a complicated legal process involving the execution of many legal documents which have significant financial implications.


Q. When will I need an Attorney?


A. As soon as you decide to sell or buy your home, you should contact your attorney to review and make any changes to the contract during the 5 day attorney review period. There are important dates that can be missed if you wait to contact an attorney. Retain an experienced real estate attorney to avoid any problems and to solve problems as they arise.


Q. How do I know that the property I am buying has clear title?


A. John Clery will examine all documents pertaining to the property. He will secure the title commitment from the title company to ensure that the property is marketable and clear of any future litigation or liens. John will ensure you are protected against financial loss related to the title, as well as the cost of defending the title in court.

Q. As a seller, are there any defects which I must disclose to the buyers before signing a contract?


A. You should disclose all known defects; however, it’s very important that you discuss your options with an attorney. You will be filling out a Real Property Disclosure answering 23 questions that will be given to every buyer when the contract is signed. If there are defects in the home and you do not disclose them, you could find yourself in court.

Q.Must the seller make all the repairs listed under the Buyer’s Inspection Report?


A. Sellers are not  obligated to make any repairs. However, an experienced attorney will negotiate with the buyers attorney to reach an amicable result. 

Q. What exactly happens at closing?


A. Closing is the process in which title is transferred from Seller to Buyer. Seller will execute all the documents transferring title to the property and the Buyer signs the documents and the loan documents, if applicable. Buyer's attorney will explain all legal documents and the buyer's closing disclosure and ALTA Settlement Statement to verify that the buyer receives all credits that he/she is entitled to and is not charged unnecessary or undisclosed lender and title fees.

Q. Do I need to be at closing?


A. Some sellers choose not to attend and will pre-sign the closing documents and give power of attorney to their lawyer who will be at the closing representing them. It is uncommon for buyers to not attend a closing since many lenders require the borrow to attend. Exceptions can be made if the lender gives prior permission and approves the form of the power of attorney required.


For answers to any other questions, or for more detailed answers to these questions, please contact our office at 847.330.1000

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