Three Mistakes To Avoid In Real Estate Closings
At Bell Law Firm in Jacksonville, North Carolina, we have seen unrepresented buyers and sellers make a number of mistakes over our 30 years of practice. Here are a few of the more common ones:
Mistake #1: Trying To Do It On Your Own
Real estate transactions are rarely a do-it-yourself endeavor. However, some people go into a closing thinking that they don’t really need a lawyer. They may also worry that an attorney is too expensive.
The truth is, hiring a real estate lawyer can potentially save you a significant amount of money and stress. Your attorney can conduct a thorough title search to disclose any liens or judgments against the property that the seller either failed to mention or simply didn’t know about. The last thing you want is to sign the buy-sell agreement and later discover that you are now responsible for the full amount of that lien or judgment. This can easily happen without experienced legal representation.
Mistake #2: Letting The Appraisal Wait Too Long
Make sure you stay on top of the lender, prompting them to get the appraisal ordered in a timely manner. The appraiser must assess the property and file his or her report with the lender before the loan can move forward. Until then, the loan process is at a standstill.
Mistake #3: Not Disclosing Your True Marital Status
Believe it or not, your marital status makes a significant difference in real estate transactions. If you are separated from your spouse, you may be tempted to tell your Realtor that you’re single. However, your legal status is still “married” until the divorce is actually finalized.
Why is the distinction important? Because if you are married, North Carolina law states that your spouse is legally a 50-50 co-owner of the property. If you buy a house while married, your spouse owns it, too. If you sell a house while married, you will typically need a quit claim deed.