Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases many people ever make, so it’s important to have all your legal ducks in a row before opening your pocketbook. Here are three ways we suggest asking for an attorney’s help as you go through the process:
To ensure the home’s title is adequate
You don’t own a home until the title for the property officially has your name on it. We don’t want you to miss any minute details along the way, from having an offer accepted to transferring the title and everything in between.
We suggest buyers receive adequate title evidence and have it reviewed by an attorney. Title evidence is documentation that verifies the title. Title evidence is usually a title insurance commitment and policy provided by the owner. If involved, a lender will probably require a lender’s commitment and policy as well. Title evidence involves technical legal knowledge. It requires an examination of various public records and a review of the documents found in the chain of title.
An attorney can help you review these items and make sure your title has all of the required elements to complete the sale of the home. Having an attorney perform an independent title examination can also warn you up front about further costs that may be required, and prepare it for future owners after your eventual sale of the property.
To exercise your rights under Ohio’s Residential Disclosure Law
The State of Ohio’s residential disclosure laws require a seller to disclose information about the condition of the home. The prospective seller fills out and signs a form (the Residential Property Disclosure Form) that the buyer must acknowledge. Of course, we still suggest you perform a home inspection. This form only documents conditions of the home known by the seller.
Under this law, you can require the seller to provide the form before you enter a purchase agreement. If you don’t have access to the form until after you have entered into contract, you have a right to back out of the agreement before the time of closing. You can only exercise your right to rescind your agreement within certain time periods. Your attorney can walk you through the residential disclosure documents and help you understand your rights, limitations, and obligations pertaining to them.
For legal representation at the closing
Your closing on your new property in the state of Ohio will be either escrow or round table style. In an escrow closing, a closing agent collects all funds and documentation from both buyer and seller. The agent records all relevant documents at the courthouse and disburses funds properly. In the round table style, buyer and seller sit down and exchange all important materials, funds and documents. The southern half of the state of Ohio generally uses the round table format.
However your closing looks, come prepared. Some things we suggest asking to see before the time of the closing include: title commitment, settlement statement, loan documents, proposed deed and any other documentation. Take these documents to your attorney before your closing so that you can discuss any concerns you might have. Do this with plenty of time before the closing so that you can make changes if needed. Your attorney will also advise you if he or she thinks you ought to have legal representation during the closing.
Buying a home is a big deal, and you certainly don’t want legal issues to weigh you down. Let us help you be prepared. Get in touch with us today to schedule your consultation.