Michigan Real Estate Closings Lawyers

Michigan Real Estate Attorneys Assisting with Closings

real estate closings attorney michiganIf you are buying a home or commercial property to start a business, you have a lot  of time and money invested. Ensuring the process goes smoothly is likely your top  concern.

Going through a real estate transaction alone can leave you exposed to problems  that you may not even be aware of. In Michigan, our lawyers at Hirzel Law, PLC  have helped real estate buyers and sellers in the commercial and residential real  estate transactions complete their real estate closing costs, reducing time and  stress.  In Michigan, a buyer and seller are not required to hire a real estate attorney. However, many people hire real estate attorneys to answer questions and ensure that the transaction goes smoothly. Common reasons to hire a real estate attorney are as follows:

  • The buyer or sell needs a purchase agreement drafted or reviewed.
  • The transaction involves a purchase agreement that deviates from the standard MLS form.
  • The seller needs help in completing the seller disclosure statement.
  • The transaction involves property that has potential title issues.
  • The purchasers of property have questions related to the appropriate way to title the property.
  • The purchaser needs the mortgage reviewed.
  • The property has potential environmental or zoning issues.
  • The property is part of a condominium or homeowners association and the purchaser needs the restrictive covenants reviewed.

What Happens at a Real Estate Closing?       

On closing day, the ownership of the property is transferred to the buyer. The buyer and the seller will each receiving a closing statement that contains all the fees charged to the buyer and the seller. The buyer will deposit funds with the title company that will then be transferred to the seller to purchase the property. The seller will also sign a deed to transfer title to the buyer.  Finally, the title company will issue a title policy that will provide insurance against potential claims against title.

What are Some of the Things to do at or Before Closing?

Many first-time buyers assume that they are “home free,” once the seller accepts their offer, but there are five things you need to do at or before the closing to ensure the closing process goes smoothly according to the real estate lawyers at Hirzel Law.

  1. You want to confirm the legal description on all the deeds and title work
  2. You want to review and make objections to the title insurance policy commitment
  3. You may need to address issues related to seller financing structures such as land contracts
  4. There may be assignments of leases that need to be reviewed/prepared, especially in commercial properties and apartment complexes
  5. There may be survey issues or boundary line disputes that need to be addressed before closing

What Does an Attorney do at Closing?

  1. The primary responsibility of the attorney for a seller in a real estate transaction is to review the title commitment. If the title commitment shows that there are encumbrances on title, a real estate attorney can help a sell clear title to the property before the sale.  The buyer and lender will both want a clear title for the property. Without a clear title, the sale may become much more complicated. The attorney for the buyer will also review the purchase agreement, the title commitment and the title insurance policy to ensure that there are no encumbrances on title.  The seller’s attorney will also review the title insurance policy to make sure that it only contains standard exceptions and that nothing is omitted from the title insurance policy.
  2. On the day of closing an attorney will review the entire closing package. An attorney will ensure that the names on the deed are correct, confirm the type of title that is conveyed, i.e., tenancy in common, joint tenancy, or joint tenancy with rights of survivorship.  A an attorney will also review the loan documentation, note and mortgage to ensure that the correct parties are identified.

Can a Seller Back out of a Real Estate Contract Before Closing?    

Specific performance is a remedy for a failed purchase or sale of real property. In essence, specific performance is a cause of action whereby the party seeking to compel the recalcitrant party to perform their contractual obligation to either buy or sell the property. For some context, below are some examples of situations where a buyer or seller may have ‘cold feet’ and wish to back out of the purchase agreement:

  1. The seller discovers that their new home will be significantly delayed due to construction issues or problems with a Certificate of Occupancy and does not want to find alternative housing in the interim from the move from their existing home to their new home.
  2. The seller has a­­­­ change of heart and simply changes their mind about selling altogether.
  3. The buyer discovers a better home and seeks to terminate the current purchase agreement to purchase the better home instead.
  4. The buyer loses their job and can no longer afford the home.
  5. The buyer changes jobs and now intends to move to another state.

A seller should keep in mind that specific performance may not always be a preferable remedy in the event they want to re-list the property and sell it right away.  In many cases, the buyer and seller will enter into a mutual release and the seller will be allowed to keep the earnest money deposit if the purchase agreement is breached.

Speak to a Real Estate Attorney in Michigan about your Closing

The closing attorney’s role is vital to the real estate transaction. Selecting a closing attorney may prove particularly important, and it is advisable to seek a closing attorney that is organized, attentive to details, and mindful of the importance of your transaction.

Contact Hirzel Law online or call 248-986-2921 (Farmington) or 231-486-5600 (Traverse City) to see how our Michigan real estate attorneys can help with your closing. Contact Hirzel Law online or call 248-986-2921 (Farmington) or 231-486-5600 (Traverse City) or 616-319-9964 (Grand Rapids office) to see how our Michigan real estate attorneys can help with your closing.

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