Residential Home Sales

Model house for sale and graphs. Real estate conceptReal Estate Lawyers Helping Boston Residents

If you are selling your home, you will want to avoid any issues that could jeopardize the closing. Transferring title to residential property requires careful planning and thorough knowledge in order to ensure a smooth sale. A Boston residential real estate sale attorney at Pulgini & Norton can advise you on this process anywhere in the Boston area. We bring over 40 years of combined experience to help identify and resolve any potential issues that could affect the sale of your property.

Residential Home Sales

Selling your home means finding a buyer who is able to purchase it in a timely manner. Most property owners will list the home with a real estate agent, who can help price your property and find prospective buyers, although some owners opt to sell their property without the help of an agent.

At every stage of the home sales process, there are certain “form” or “standard” agreements that can create liabilities for the seller. These documents include:

  • Seller’s property disclosures
  • Offer to Purchase
  • Purchase and Sale Agreement

Sellers in Massachusetts must complete a statement of property conditions. Some disclosures are mandated by law, such as any knowledge of the presence of lead if the home was built before 1978. Other information does not have to be disclosed, and the buyer is expected to conduct his or her own due diligence on the property. The seller, however, must be careful to disclose any known defects.

Once a potential buyer is identified, the buyer and you will enter into an Offer to Purchase. This document describes the basic terms of the buyer’s offer to purchase your property, such as the price and earnest money deposit. Even if the arrangement seems fair, the Offer to Purchase creates certain obligations for both the buyer and you. For example, the buyer will want a certain amount of time to inspect the home and secure financing, but you will want the time to be limited so as not to jeopardize your ability to entertain other offers if the buyer decides not to move forward.

The next phase involves the Purchase and Sale Agreement. This document governs the obligations of the seller and buyer between the execution of the Offer to Purchase and the closing. A standard form agreement is used in most Massachusetts residential sales, but your attorney will have to review it and add riders to customize the agreement to the particular transaction. The buyer and his or her lawyer will also make changes that you will either have to accept, reject, or negotiate. For example, the buyer may want certain repairs made on the property before closing. We can negotiate terms that protect your interests while addressing any concerns of the buyer.

Deed

You will need to convey the home to the buyer with a deed. There are three types of deeds in Massachusetts: the quitclaim deed, the warranty deed, and the release deed. The quitclaim deed is the most commonly used deed in Massachusetts residential home sales. This allows the seller to convey the property to the buyer free of any encumbrances. The deed covers the purchase price, the legal description of the property, and how the buyer takes title. The seller’s attorney drafts the deed.

Title Issues

Sellers are responsible for clearing up any title issues. The seller has to convey good, clear, and marketable title to the buyer. If there is a lien, ownership issue, or other concern regarding the title, the seller has to resolve it prior to the closing. For example, if another person also has title to the property, such as a former spouse, that person will also need to sign the deed. We can review the title, identify any potential problems, and advise you on which documents must be obtained prior to closing.

Consult a Boston Real Estate Attorney to Advise on the Sale of Your Home

Pulgini & Norton offers skillful counseling in the sale of residential homes. Our property transactions attorneys work closely with sellers to facilitate the transfer of title to new owners. We are experienced contract drafters who can negotiate terms and provisions that protect your interests. Our real estate lawyers represent Boston residents as well as people in Weymouth, Braintree, and Hyde Park, among other Massachusetts communities. Call us today at 781-843-2200 or contact us online to arrange a consultation.