Louisville Real Estate Closing Lawyers
ABOUT THE CLOSING PROCESS IN KENTUCKY AND INDIANA
Your home is a major investment. Whether you are buying or selling a home, you can take steps to protect that investment by retaining a knowledgeable attorney to review your contract and documents for potential pitfalls and ensure a smooth transaction.
The English Law Group, P.S.C., based in Louisville, Kentucky, assists buyers and sellers in residential transactions in Jefferson County and surrounding counties. We also handle residential real estate transactions in Indiana, including Clark, Floyd, and Harrison counties. Our lawyers offer more than forty years of experience in this field. Below is an overview of the closing process. We invite you to call us at (502) 425-8717 for more information, or to schedule an initial consultation.
THE PURCHASE AGREEMENT AND CONTINGENCY AGREEMENTS
The buyer and seller sign a real estate sales contract, or purchase agreement. If the seller or buyer retained a Realtor or real estate agent, the agent(s) will negotiate and draft the purchase agreement. If there is no Realtor, as in a For Sale by Owner transaction, The English Law Group, P.S.C. can draw up the contract, or review a contract prepared by the homeowner.
THE PURCHASE AGREEMENT ADDRESSES:
- Selling price and down payment / earnest money deposit
- Who is responsible for closing costs (including any mortgage points)
- A date for the closing meeting
- Furnishings and appliances that will remain with the property
- Survey, termite report, inspections and other requirements
Closing is typically contingent on several factors:
- Home inspection- The contract may require the buyer to complete an inspection within a specified period. Buyers should retain a licensed home inspector to examine the structure, utilities, wells and septic systems, and environmental issues (e.g., mold, radon gas). If defects or repairs are identified, the parties negotiate (in writing) how they will be amended. The buyer may demand repairs before closing or compensation at closing.
- Mortgage commitment by contract- The buyer may be required to provide proof of financing. The contract will set a date for mortgage approval contingency. If the seller cannot obtain a mortgage and notifies the seller by that date, the earnest deposit is returned. The seller must provide all documentation of existing mortgages, if any, including the loan number and payoff date.
- Clear title- By offering a home for sale, a seller is stating ownership of the property and rights to sell it. However, the seller may be innocently unaware of defects to title, fraudulently selling a property they don't own, willfully concealing title defects. For many reasons, the buyer should purchase title insurance and be advised to retain an attorney to conduct a title search before closing on a home. This protects the homebuyer from future litigation over:
— Liens, or claims against the property. In Kentucky, a spouse possesses a dower or courtesy interest in the home even if his or her name is not on the deed. The seller may owe taxes or a third party may have a court judgment against the seller's assets. In Kentucky, the city may even hold a "weed lien" against the property for negligent upkeep.
— Easements. A thorough title search should reveal the rights of any third party to use or access the property (utility company, municipal body, or even neighbors).
After all title issues have been identified, The English Law Group, P.S.C. will issue a written opinion of clear title.
Our firm represents homeowners, and buyers for all closing services. We can draft or review the purchase agreement, clear the title, verify loan commitments and otherwise protect your interests. We will act as the escrow agent, taking the buyer's certified check into escrow and making any necessary disbursements from our escrow account.
The English Law Group, P.S.C. will conduct the closing at your convenience — in our office, at your lender's office, or at your home. And we are on hand to address any legal issues that arise at the last minute during signing and conveyance of the property.
Contact the experienced Kentucky real estate law firm of The English Law Group P.S.C., to arrange your initial consultation. Our friendly and patient staff is always available to answer questions.