Many times when a Seller is selling a piece of property, they hire a real estate agent to assist them with finding a Buyer for the property. As soon as a Buyer is located, it is prudent for a Seller to hire a real estate lawyer to represent the Seller during the remainder of the sale transaction.
Offer to Purchase:
A Buyer presents a Seller with an Offer to Purchase in which the Buyer details what the Buyer is willing to give to the Seller in exchange for the property. The Offer to Purchase also details the timeline for the transaction and many times details circumstances in which the Buyer can terminate the transaction. A Seller with an experienced attorney will be aware of all of the details of the transaction and will not be surprised if the Buyer terminates pursuant to the Offer to Purchase.
Purchase and Sale Agreement:
A wise Seller will retain a real estate attorney to represent the Seller’s interests in the negotiations surrounding the drafting of the Purchase and Sale Agreement. An expeienced real estate lawyer will modify the “Standard Form Purchase and Sale Agreement” to fully protect the Seller and to insure that the Seller’s goals are met during the sale transaction.
At Closing, the Seller’s attorney will review all documents and explain the same to the Seller prior to the Seller’s execution of the same. Further, the Seller’s lawyer will draft the Deed and insure that all the necessary paperwork is ready prior to the time for Closing.
Documents Often Needed from Seller at Closing:
- Deed – transfers title from Seller to Buyer
- Power of Attorney – authorizes a specific person of the Seller’s choosing to execute documents at Closing on behalf of the Seller because the Seller is unable to attend Closing.
- Final Water Reading – statement from the city or town where the property is located stating that the water meter was read by said city or town and how much is owed by the Seller. In certain towns, other utilities may be public utilities such as electric and a statement from each municipal utility company should be obtained prior to Closing.
- Smoke Detector / Carbon Monoxide Detector Certificate – certificate from the Fire Department of the city or town where the property is located stating that there are approved Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors on the property.
- 6(d) Certificate – certificate needed if the property being sold is a condominium unit. It is a certificate from the condominium association stating that all of the condominium fees for the unit being sold are paid in full through the last day of the month of closing.
- Final Oil Reading – if the property being sold is heated by oil heat, it is standard practice for the Seller to determine the amount of oil left in the tank at the time of closing and receive an adjustment for said oil based on the amount that the Seller paid when they purchased the oil.