Below you will find common concerns and questions that our clients have found to be helpful. Even though we provide a great deal of general information on our site, it is important you consult with an attorney about your exact situation before making a decision.
How are you different from title companies?
In Florida, closings are conducted both by licensed attorneys and by title insurance companies. Generally a buyer's closing costs will be the same whether an attorney or title company handles the closing. This result occurs since both attorneys and title companies issue title insurance at promulgated approved rates.
When we handle a closing we are typically compensated by the title insurance charges. For this reason we can typically handle all aspects of a closing for the same cost that would be incurred if a title insurance company handled the closing. We are also able to provide many services that title insurance company are unable to provide such as drafting contracts and providing advice concerning contract terms. For these reasons many buyer's choose to hire an attorney and in particular, a board certified real estate attorney.What closing costs am I required to pay?
Typical closing costs include loan related charges (points, application fees, etc.), prepayments/escrows (prepaid interest, insurance and taxes), title charges and closing fees (title search fee, title examination fee, closing fee, title insurance premiums), government fees and taxes (recording fees, documentary stamps tax, intangible tax), miscellaneous charges (survey fee, pest inspection, etc.) and prorations (condominium or homeowner's association fees and real estate taxes). Your real estate contract will determine who pays many of these charges. Others charges are paid by the party who requires the service.What happens if my spouse or I cannot be present at the closing?
Due to the nature of our Florida market, many of our clients are located in other states or countries and are therefore unable to attend their closings. In these instances we will send you the closing documents by overnight courier along with detailed instructions. Our team will address all your questions and represent your interests whether you attend your closing in our office or you sign documents in another location and return them by overnight courier.
How soon should I hire an attorney?
We often begin working with buyers or sellers prior to their signing the contract. At this early stage we can review the contract, explain its terms, and assist in negotiating more favorable terms if appropriate. The sooner we are engaged, the more assistance we can provide. If a real estate agent is involved in the preparation of the contract, it is fairly common that we do not see the contract until after it is signed and you are referred to our office. In this instance we can review the contract with you in preparation for closing. If no real estate agent is involved, we often prepare the contract utilizing the customary forms for our community.
Do you handle 1031 exchange transactions?
We regularly handle transactions that are part of 1031 exchanges. A 1031 exchange is a vehicle under the federal tax laws whereby a seller may use the proceeds from the sale of an investment property to acquire a replacement investment property without currently paying federal income tax. A 1031 exchange is a tax deferral mechanism. Please call our office if you require further information.What does being a Board Certified Real Estate Lawyer mean?
Certification as a Board Certified Real Estate Lawyer represents the highest level of recognition by The Florida Bar of the competency and experience of attorneys in practicing in the area of real estate law.What if I still have questions?
Please send us a message or call our office and we will answer