Who are the “key players” in a real estate transaction?
A homebuyer will want to employ the services of a real estate agent or broker, a home inspector to check out the property, and may want to call upon the services of an attorney to review documents and explain the legalities of the agreements and contracts. The services and staff of a lending institution or mortgage broker will come into play as well. An accountant or financial planner may be called upon, as well. An insurance agent is necessary to insure that the property is insured to the specifications of the lender and for your full protection. The seller usually uses the services of a real estate agent or broker as well.
Do I need an attorney when buying my home?
Buying a home is the most significant purchase and investment in the lives of most of us. Typically a buyer and seller enter into a written agreement with a real estate broker or agent. In California, the usual Purchase Agreement is published by C.A.R. (California Association of Realtors). It is very helpful to have the final sales agreement reviewed and explained by an attorney, so there are no surprises in the long run.
A tax attorney can advise the seller so that he or she may take full advantage of any tax provisions. Your home provides many tax benefits a summary of the tax benefits may be obtained by visiting the IRS website at www.irs.gov.
Why should I have an attorney when selling a home?
If you are not familiar with contracts and contract language, a real estate broker’s listing agreement can be daunting. Although a realtor may be able to help you understand the contract to a degree, remember he or she is not a legal professional and, even though representing you in the sale, it could be said that, ultimately, all realtors represent the seller. While this may or may not be the case, realtors want to make the sale (and their commission), whereas an attorney is representing you and will be there to help you. Having an attorney, someone educated in the letter of the law is invaluable when one of your objectives is to avoid complications either doing escrow or after the sale is complete.
What do I do if I find problems with my home which weren't disclosed at the time of purchase?
An attorney's services and expertise will be instrumental in handling the legalities in such a case. There are specific requirements that a seller must follow regarding the disclose of problems such as defects, potential hazards and annoyances that could affect the value or desirability of the property. It is fraudulent to not disclose ant items that the seller is aware of and this could result in the seller compensating the buyer for any costs incurred or any loss in value. The State of California has particularly stringent requirements.
Are there tax advantages to owning a home?
There are numerous tax advantages to being a home owner:
- Mortgage interest deductions
- Points deductions
- Possible deductions on home equity loans/lines of credit
- Deductions on home improvement loan
- Property tax deductions
- Home office deductions
- Selling cost or capital improvement deductions
- Capital gains exclusions
- Moving costs
The attorneys at McNally & Associates, P.C., can fully inform you of these advantages and advise you in areas concerning real estate and real estate litigation.