Buying or selling real estate, whether commercial/industrial property, apartment buildings, a primary residence, vacation home, or investment property, is a large financial commitment for most individuals. It can be one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. There are hundreds of pages of documents to sign at the closing, and unless you are an experienced buyer/seller, you do not know what you are about to sign. That is where a lawyer can be the calming voice for you. We help assure the first-time homebuyers, up through the real-estate tycoons that their rights are protected and enforced. In other words, we make the experience as pleasant as possible by reassuring you that the legal process is being followed correctly.
Once an owner decides to sell a property, oftentimes the property is turned over to a real estate broker. After the property is listed, a potential buyer will make a formal offer that is secured by a deposit. Most real estate brokers are ethical people, but they are not lawyers. The offer must be in writing to be valid under Ohio law. No matter what is said, if you did not get it in writing, you did not get a contract when it comes to real estate. If the property owner accepts the offer, a contract occurs when both the buyers and sellers sign a written document setting forth the rights and obligations with regard to the sale of the property. In Ohio, both the husband and wife are required to sign as sellers, but only the husband or wife are required to sign as buyers. Unlike several other states, the Ohio residential real estate contract presently lacks a three-day attorney review period during which either buyer’s attorney or seller’s attorney can disapprove the contract and terminate it or begin to negotiate changes to it. Therefore, it is important either to have your attorney review the purchase agreement before you submit an offer (if the buyer) or you accept the offer (if the Seller). An alternative is to simply add the 3 day attorney review requirement. Once the changes to the contract are successfully negotiated or the three days pass without the contract being disapproved, the contract becomes binding.
Hiring an attorney guarantees that you will receive an expert, unbiased explanation and evaluation of the contract. Your real estate attorney will work to negotiate fair and reasonable terms and will help you avoid problems. You may think the contract is complex and hard to understand, but your lawyer should be able to explain it to you in a way that you can understand.
You are not required to hire a real estate broker to sell your property. You can do a “for sale by owner,” and save the commission fees. However, you will usually need an attorney to prepare the paperwork needed for a buy/sell agreement, the disclosure forms required by law, deed preparation, and mortgage review. If you buy or sell your property on a land contract, different laws apply, and you must record the contract with the county recorder within a short period of time after entering into the contract. Land contracts are also required to have certain information in them that must not be omitted. The right attorney will be able to prepare all of these documents for you at a fair and reasonable cost.
We handle all phases of real estate transactions, including: Listing Agreements; Purchase and Sale Agreements; Representation at Closing; Draft and Review Real Estate Contracts; Draft and Review Land Contracts; Draft and Review Mortgage Documents; and provide representation at closing.
Phillips Law Firm, Inc. has extensive experience in real estate transactions. Being a small law firm, our clients are able to spend time working directly with a lawyer, receiving personal service during the real estate transaction. Whether you are buying or selling, we charge reasonable and affordable rates.