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Miami Real Estate Attorneys:
Real Estate Attorneys in Miami Representing Sellers
While Florida law does not require sellers to have an attorney represent them in the sale of real estate, it is still important for sellers to protect their legal interests with advice from an experienced Miami real estate lawyer. A home sale can impede your property rights, contractual rights, and financial interests. It is important to be sure they are all protected throughout the process of selling a home.
How an Attorney Can Protect a Seller before Listing a Home
Florida law requires sellers of real estate to make certain disclosures about the property that is being sold. Failure to do so can lead to financial penalties under the contract (through the escrow process) or in civil court. Your real estate agent and his or her broker could also face professional sanctions against their real estate licenses. A Florida real estate attorney can help you understand your disclosure obligations and prepare written disclosures that will protect you from liability in the future.
How an Attorney Can Protect a Seller During the Escrow Process
When the buyer and seller agree to a sales price and execute a sales contract, escrow will be opened with a company that provides this service (such as a title company). The buyer will then deposit earnest money into escrow to prove that he or she intends to buy the property. As the parties proceed with inspections, appraisals, and other investigations, the title company acts as a referee for the earnest funds. This means that a seller could lose both the sale and the earnest money if he or she is not represented by a real estate attorney during the escrow process.
A real estate lawyer can also help you prevent these outcomes by effectively negotiating disputes that arise during the escrow process. Perhaps the buyer wants added protection by getting information in writing. Perhaps the buyer is willing to forego repairs if the seller reduces the price of the home. These disputes can be negotiated between the buyer and seller (and their representatives) in order to keep a sale from falling through.
How an Attorney Can Protect a Seller at Closing
At closing, a seller will sign many legally binding documents that completely disclaim any right to the property being sold. If these documents are not prepared correctly, a seller could forfeit contractual or property rights that he or she did not intend to give up. It is critical that sellers understand exactly how and when they are giving up their rights to the property.
It is also important for sellers to ensure that they are receiving adequate compensation for their property. During the escrow process, your escrow officer will prepare a closing settlement sheet. This shows the purchase price of the home, liens that must be paid off (such as your mortgage), closing costs, credits for HOA or property tax payments, and other credits and debits. If this is not prepared properly, a seller could be underpaid for his or her property.
Call Us Today to Speak with a Miami Real Estate Lawyer
At Costa and Associates, our experienced Miami real estate attorneys have helped protect many sellers during real estate transactions. Call (305) 827-0100 to schedule your free consultation at Costa and Associates.