A Trusted Real Estate Attorney Providing the Ultimate Protection for Home Purchases or Sales

The hardest parts are over. You’ve found that perfect home in a haystack of properties, negotiated a deal you’re happy with, secured a mortgage loan with the bank, and now you’re in the final stretch of the home-buying process.  There’s just one last hurdle: The closing. Do you have a real estate attorney you trust to do a thorough job and protect your interests?

The closing is when all the involved parties meet to make the transaction official.  Our real estate attorneys are highly versed in all aspects of the closing process in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts. In fact, we close nearly 400 transactions each year.  We represent buyers, sellers, refinancers, and banks and mortgage companies.

What Duties Do Residential Real Estate Attorneys Perform?

It’s an understandable question we’re asked all the time. The real estate attorneys of Pelletier Marshall & Clark, licensed in both RI and MA, coordinate the following for every real estate transaction:

  • Preparing seller documents, such as:
    • warranty deed
    • residency affidavit
    • powers of attorney
  • Reviewing closing disclosures and discussing with clients in advance of the closing
  • Resolving title issues – perform title exams, clear title issues and issue title insurance
  • Reviewing lender documents
  • Managing private financing
  • Negotiating short sales
  • Conducting the physical closing which all the parties attend
  • Obtaining mortgage payoffs, real estate commission invoices, smoke certificate, tax information, and oil, rent, security and condo fee adjustments, as well as utilities which include final water and sewer bills

Prepare and Review RI or MA Purchase and Sales Agreements

The Purchase and Sale Agreement is the most important document in the real estate transaction. It is the legally binding contract obligating the buyer to buy the house and the seller to sell the house, assuming all the terms of the agreement and contingencies have been satisfied.  If the parties are working with a licensed Rhode Island Realtor™, then the standard Rhode Island Purchase and Sales Agreement is typically used. Blank fields are then curtailed to the specifics of each transaction. It is extremely important to contact one of our knowledgeable real estate attorneys in advance of signing so we can advise you and protect your interest in the transaction. Once signed, it is almost impossible to amend the contract to reinstate rights lost due to a poorly drafted agreement.

Our residential real estate attorneys review the following provisions in the Purchase and Sales Agreement to ensure your rights are protected:

  • Correct names of the parties
  • Purchase Price
  • Closing date, time and location
  • Earnest Money Deposit
  • Mortgage Contingency terms
  • Personal Property and Fixtures included in the sale
  • Type of Deed to be conveyed
  • Taxes, Adjustments and Assessments
  • Possession and Condition of the property
  • Property Disclosures
  • Inspection Contingency
  • Default Provisions
  • Additional Provisions section which typically includes appraisal language, closing cost assistance and any other terms essential to the contract

Draft and Review Contracts

Our clients recognize the long-term impact of executing real estate agreements, but most individuals do not know what to look for in a contract.  Our experienced real estate attorneys draft and review the following:

  • Purchase and Sales Agreements
  • Leases
  • Deeds
  • Mortgages
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Promissory Notes
  • Easements
  • Rights of Way
  • Assignments
  • Affidavits
  • Rights of First Refusal
  • Resale Certificates
  • Discharges

Perform Title Exams

A title search is a close examination of all public records that affect the title to the real estate being purchased.  Our experienced real estate attorneys search the land evidence records and probate files to review past deeds, wills and trusts to make sure the title has passed correctly to each new owner.  We also verify that all prior mortgages, judgments and other liens have been paid in full and properly discharged.

What separates Pelletier Marshall & Clark from most other residential real estate attorneys is that we do not rely on a so-called “title start”.  A title start is an authorization from a title insurance company to search the title on a property from the date the last owner’s title insurance policy was issued.  When a firm uses a title start, it is assuming that the previous attorney thoroughly examined the property and resolved all title issues. Our real estate attorneys do not take short cuts and we perform a full 40-year search for every single purchase transaction. This added precaution saves our clients from having to deal with costly delays when they go to sell the property in the future.

Issue Title Insurance Policies

Title insurance protects homeowners and lenders against any property loss or damage they might experience because of liens, encumbrances or defects in the title to the property. For example, homeowner’s insurance protects only the structure and belongings of your home, but title insurance policy protects you from unexpected claims against your property ownership. To learn more, here are three huge reasons why you should seriously consider title insurance.

 Manage Private Financing

Applying for a conventional mortgage typically requires a borrower to go down to their local bank or credit union and complete a lengthy application and disclosures.  The Bank will pull the tax returns, credit scores and review his or her debt to income ratio and liquid cash in their bank accounts.  Based on that criteria, a bank may deem a borrower too risky and not be willing to lend money to that applicant.  This is where private financing comes into the equation.

A hard money loan is a type of asset-based loan financing in which the borrower receives funds secured by real property from an individual or other entity.  Most hard money loans have a short term re-payment schedule (a few months to a year) and come with higher interest rates.  These loans can be a great alternative to conventional financing if the intent is to buy or flip an investment property.  Our experienced residential real estate attorneys can help private lenders and borrowers with preparing:

  • Promissory Notes
  • Amortization Schedules
  • Deeds
  • Mortgages
  • HUD-1 Settlement Statements
  • Occupancy Affidavits

Negotiate Short Sales

A “short sale” is the sale of a property in which the net proceeds from the transaction fall short of the debts that are owned on the property and the seller’s lien holder agrees to accept a “short” payoff.  A lien holder might be willing to accept this shortfall if the borrower cannot continue to make monthly mortgage payments or does not have enough money to pay back the full loan balance.  Our experienced real estate attorneys help sellers who need to sell their underwater properties by:

  • Submitting a complete short sale application package which includes:
    • Purchase and Sales Agreement
    • Listing Agreement
    • Uniform Borrower’s Assistance Form
    • Hardship Letter
    • Last Two Year’s Tax Returns
    • Two Month’s most recent Bank Statements
    • One Month’s worth of Paystubs
    • Buyer’s Commitment Letter
    • Dodd-Frank Certification
    • 4506-T
    • Real Estate Tax Bill
  • Perform a Title Exam on the property
  • Prepare HUD-1 Settlement Statement or Closing Disclosure
  • Negotiate with the Lender on behalf of the Borrower
  • Prepare Seller Documents if short sale is approved
  • Represent the Seller at Closing

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