Buyer’s counsel can perform any of the following functions if retained early in the process:
- Negotiate the Purchase and Sale Contract – This instrument governs all aspects of the transaction and is arguably the most important document in a real estate transaction. Your attorney will protect you against common, yet costly mistakes that can be made in negotiating a contract to purchase real estate.
- Help you choose your lender and the type of loan wisely, make certain you understand the terms and conditions of financing, and help you to overcome any bumps in the road.
- Determine the status of title. In a standard Vermont Warranty Deed (i.e. the instrument whereby title is transferred), the Sellers warrant that they have “marketable title” to the property they are transferring. The existence of “marketable title” in Vermont, however, is typically verified by Purchasers’ counsel performing what is known as a title search and preparing a title opinion. Generally, this is the most crucial legal work in the transaction because banks typically refuse to loan money unless “marketable title” exists.
- Help you understand the meaning of surveys, inspection reports and the like and explain what legal rights you may be obtaining have depending upon the contents of those documents.
- Resolve issues that commonly arise pending closing – i.e. permitting issues, title defects, tax and other prorations – without unraveling the transaction.
- Close the transaction safely and successfully. At closing, there are a number of documents that need to be signed and/or exchanged. Attorneys are familiar with these documents. Your attorney will make certain: that you understand the meaning of each document you sign; that title is not transferred without receiving proper payment in accordance with the parties’ agreement; and that special arrangements (i.e. escrows) are handled properly without endangering your interests