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Buying Or Selling A Home? You Probably Have Questions.

Buying or selling a home can be one of the biggest transactions of your life. Whether you are buying your first home or move on a regular basis, understanding the process involved from the offer to the closing can help prevent problems long after you have unpacked those moving boxes.

Do I really need a lawyer? Can’t the broker handle the transaction?

Working with a lawyer is crucial when you buy or sell real estate. Although real estate brokers can be helpful during the transaction, they cannot prepare certain legal documents or give legal advice. To avoid legal pitfalls in the transaction involving taxes, contracts, insurance and other subjects, you can work with an experienced real estate attorney.

Why do I need a lawyer if the bank has one?

The bank’s attorneys are looking out for only one thing: the bank’s money. You need a legal representative who has your best interests in mind and does not answer to any other institution. Your own attorney will be concerned with all these matters and will work diligently to make sure your concerns are addressed.

Why can’t I take the hanging lamp in the front hall when we move?

In legal terms, the lamp is considered a fixture. A fixture is an object which is attached to the property in such a way as to make their removal impossible without altering the property. Fixtures can also include (but are not limited to) built-in closet organizers, crown molding and certain types of window treatments. If you want to take a fixture, you must delete it from the purchase and sale agreement and replace it with a different fixture.

The mortgage broker mentioned to me that I may need PMI when I buy my house. What is it, and why do I need it?

Private mortgage insurance, or PMI, protects lenders from losses due to a borrower’s default. It is required if a loan exceeds 80% of the fair market value of a property. Some other instances require it as well. This requirement can be waived after the loan is reduced a certain amount. Some lenders may also require you to purchase insurance against other specific hazards.

What is title insurance?

Title insurance protects buyers and lenders against financial loss that could arise from any title defects or claims against the property. There are two types of title insurance policies:

  1. The owner policy: This protects the homeowner and any heirs.
  2. The mortgagee policy: This protects the lender and its assigns.

These are separate policies; most lenders require insurance that protects them, but not the homeowners. If a buyer wants title insurance that protects them, they must work with an attorney to purchase a separate policy.

My mortgage application mentioned something about “points.” What are they?

Banks charge fees, also referred to as “points,” to their customers for using money. Points are sometimes charged in loan transactions but are usually associated with residential loans. Each point is calculated at 1% of the amount of the loan.

Contact Stramer Law Offices

To ask more questions about buying and selling, contact our office and schedule a consultation. For your convenience, we offer evening and weekend appointments upon request. Call our Milford location at 508-478-6944, or contact us online.

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