Lawrence Real Estate

Real estate offer. Businessman holds an artificial model of the houseCapable Lawyers Representing Lawrence Residents in Property Transactions

If you have an issue related to real estate, the attorneys at Pulgini & Norton can provide you with experienced and capable legal representation. With over 40 years of combined experience in this area of the law, our property transactions attorneys have represented clients from Lawrence and the surrounding area in home sales and purchases, financing, and other real estate concerns. We can carefully evaluate the legal issues surrounding your needs and goals before helping you navigate through any hurdles that arise.

Home Sales and Purchases

Buyers and sellers of real estate in Lawrence will often need guidance when it comes to the complex process of purchasing or selling a home. The two main documents that govern residential real estate transactions in Massachusetts are the Offer to Purchase and the Purchase and Sale Agreement.

The Offer to Purchase is the buyer’s formal offer to buy the property. The document will include the purchase price for the home, its location, and the buyer’s right to inspect the property as a condition to purchase. If the seller agrees to the offer, the buyer has a certain period of time to exercise its rights under the document before both parties have to agree and execute the terms of the Purchase and Sale Agreement.

The Purchase and Sale Agreement describes the mutual rights and obligations of both the seller and the buyer. It will include a legal description of the property, the price (which may differ from the price in the offer if there were renegotiations based on the inspection or other provision), and other key clauses that could affect the parties’ ability to close the deal. These clauses include the mortgage contingency and any remedies for the presence of lead paint on the property.

Both the Offer to Purchase and the Purchase and Sale Agreement are based on form documents. The seller and the buyer must negotiate the various provisions in the documents to protect their respective interests and understand their obligations. We can carefully review these documents, explain your rights and obligations, and negotiate terms that protect your interests.

Before property is conveyed, you will also need to ensure that there are no issues related to title. Under Massachusetts law, the transfer of title to real property must be good, clear, and marketable. In other words, there cannot be any issues regarding the seller’s right to actually transfer the property to the buyer. Examples of title issues include a person other than the seller listed on the deed, or a lien on the property. If an issue arises, we can help resolve it in time for the closing.

Short Sales

You may have a home that is worth more than the outstanding balance on your mortgage. With a short sale, you can dispose of your property without having to pay off the remaining balance on your mortgage. You will need the consent of each of your lenders before proceeding with a short sale. Most will agree to a short sale if you can prove that you have a financial hardship that is out of your control, such as a medical condition or the loss of a job. You may need to find a buyer before the lender agrees to the short sale, in which case the sale is subject to the lender’s approval of the Offer to Purchase. Alternatively, the lender may review your finances and determine an acceptable range for you to sell the property without having to pre-approve the buyer.

You will also have to negotiate what happens with any deficit, or the amount that falls “short” of the balance on the mortgage. Ideally, the lender will forgive the deficit, but if you do not negotiate a deficiency waiver with each of your lenders, you may be on the hook for paying the deficit even after the short sale. We can negotiate with your lender on your behalf and represent you throughout the process.

Explore Your Real Estate Options with a Dedicated Lawrence Attorney

The real estate lawyers at Pulgini & Norton offer skilled counseling and representation in a broad range of property transactions near Lawrence. Our attorneys understand the nuances in the law and have honed our drafting and negotiation skills over decades. Call us today at 781-843-2200 or contact us using our online form for a consultation.