Ocala, FL Real Estate FAQs
Real Estate Law | Frequently Asked Questions
Find the answers to the commonly asked questions about real estate law in Florida. The lawyers at Schatt, McGraw, Rauba & Mutarelli provide expert advice and guidance on all real estate issues.
Should the Seller and Buyer sign a contract prepared by the real estate agents?
Yes, but before signing any type of document, it is vital to review it with a real estate lawyer in Ocala, FL. The contract should include numerous provisions to govern how the property will be sold, afforded, and generally maintained. There are also specific Florida real estate laws that the contract should address in order to be considered valid.
Does each party to a real estate transaction pay their own Realtor?
Yes. It is common for parties to rely on their own Realtors during real estate transactions. They are also responsible for paying their own Realtors.
Why hire a real estate attorney for a closing if the parties are represented by real estate agents and can use a title company instead?
Hiring an Ocala real estate attorney is the ultimate way to protect yourself. Whether you are a buyer or a seller, a real estate transaction can be risky. If a stipulation within the contract is unclear or vague, it can lead to later problems down the road. Surely, title companies offer insurance coverage plans to protect an owner from claims, disputes, lawsuits and other forms of legal action against the property. However, if the terms and conditions of the coverage plan do not specify a broad, yet specific, range of legal issues and methods for addressing them, it is possible that title insurance may not be effective in the long run. Further, real estate agents may be pressured by their broker to close a deal. If you want to ensure that your long-term interests are protected when purchasing or selling property, you will need an outside legal representative.
How early should a Buyer apply for a mortgage when looking for a house?
As early as you can. Before you begin actively searching for a home, you will need to have an idea of your budget. You will need to know your price range and the amount of loans that you may have to accept in order to make a home purchase feasible. Frankly, looking for a house before applying for a mortgage can, in some case, be an outright waste of time. Many individuals who do this later discover that their dream home is unaffordable. Apply for a mortgage first and wait for approval. Then, you will be able to search for homes the wise way.
Does a Seller have to make all the repairs listed under the Buyer’s Inspection Report?
No. In fact, the Buyer’s Inspection Report is largely for the benefit of the Buyer. The document provides an overview of the home’s defects so that the Buyer will be totally knowledgeable of what to expect. The Buyer should have access to the inspection report before signing any paperwork or purchasing the home. In some cases, the Buyer may be able to renegotiate pricing, depending on the level and types of issues that are prevalent within the home. Although the Seller does not have to make all of the repairs listed under the Buyer’s Inspection Report, he/she will be required to correct major damages, such as animal infestations.
How does a Buyer know if the Seller really has title to the property being sold?
You can obtain a copy of the Seller’s title insurance to the property. They are accessible via public records.
What happens if the parties are not able to close by the closing date in the contract?
If the contract is good and proper, there should be a section provided in the document that addresses how late transactions should be handled, if at all.
How does a closing take place if any of the parties are out of town on the closing date?
The parties may appoint a Power of Attorney (POA) to manage the matters or submit pre-signed, notarized forms electronically. These methods will have to be discussed and approved by all parties involved for a POA to be accepted.
How can the Seller protect itself and ensure that the Buyer is acting in good faith?
It is possible to detect when a Buyer fails to conduct business under good faith. If you request documents and the Buyer fails to give them to you within a reasonable timeframe, the Buyer may be acting in bad faith. Other examples may include significant delays, falsified information, overpricing, and failure to correct major damages in the home. We recommend that you visit our real estate law firm in Ocala, FL to discuss your concerns with one of our attorneys before moving forward with a transaction.
What exactly happens at closing?
At a closing, all of the necessary paperwork and materials should be prepared. Several parties, including real estate agents, buyers, sellers, attorneys, and insurance company representatives meet at a closing to sign documents in order to seal the deal.
Who pays what at closing?
Sellers will have to afford real estate commission fees and some federal expenses. Buyers are responsible for a broad range of fees associated with preparing a property for purchase. These may include insurance fees, notary fees, credit report fees and general processing fees.
What is the difference between a real estate broker and an agent?
Real estate brokers usually supervise agents. Agents are representatives for companies, whereas brokers work autonomously.
Should we consider buying a home in foreclosure?
Yes. There are numerous benefits associated with buying a home in foreclosure. Mainly, a property is much cheaper during this process. However, before signing any paperwork, you should meet with an attorney to determine if you are entering into a good deal. During foreclosures, you should expect to afford numerous property maintenance and correction fees.
What is a purchase offer?
A document that is prepared by a Buyer with the help of an attorney. It specifies the amount that the Buyer is willing to pay for a property and may also include stipulations. For example, a Buyer may only purchase the property if the Seller provides something desirable in return.
What good is title insurance?
Good title insurance will protect you and your property from every possible type of claim or dispute. The coverage should anticipate issues and properly address them.
Why is a deed required?
A deed is a document that records the specific details and history of a property.
Are commercial real estate transactions more difficult than residential?
Yes. Commercial real estate transactions have more governing regulations and requirements.
What environmental issues are considered a concern?
Environmental issues that may seriously impair one’s safety and health are problematic. A common environmental issue is toxic mold and poor water quality.
What is the best way to value commercial property?
The Gross Rent Multiplier (GRM).
What is the difference between construction real estate and construction law?
Construction law deals with the regulation of how projects are built. Contracts, inspections, and disputes fall under construction law. The completed project becomes construction real estate when the property is prepared to be released on the market or sold.
My tenants are not paying rent — should I sue them?
Just because you have the right to sue your tenants does not mean that you should. Most small claims courts will demand that the tenants pay you rent, and once they do, they can usually remain living in the home. We recommend communicating and working with your tenants first. If issues persist, you may be able to file an eviction or pursue a lawsuit.
Are commercial mortgages assumable?
Yes, only if the original loan document includes a provision on how the commercial mortgage is assumed by a potential buyer.
If I am a tenant in a shopping center, do I have any risk if my landlord loses the building in a foreclosure?
Yes. You may lose your property through an eviction and be forced to rebuild in another area. Because you are binded to a lease between you and your landlord, you can potentially sue your landlord for breaking the contract. This may help you to recover damages.
Can I buy a property if the foreclosure process has begun?
Yes, but work with a real estate attorney throughout these stages.
If I am signing a commercial lease, do I pay for utilities?
It depends. In most cases, you will be required to pay for utilities separately. In other cases, a full service lease may prevent you from paying additional funds for utilities and other maintenance fees. Before entering into a commercial lease, be sure to review the document for maintenance and utility clauses.
To understand Florida real estate, contact our Ocala attorneys at Schatt, McGraw, Rauba & Mutarelli today for a free initial review of your case.