Legal Inspection of Home Purchase & Transfer Documents
It’s interesting that in virtually every real estate transaction in California that you are advised on the physical inspections of the property. Some of these inspections are mandatory and some are so strongly encouraged that they have become commonplace on 90% of real estate transactions. These Inspections commonly include:
- General Home Inspection
- Termite & Pest Inspection
- Roof Inspection
- Chimney Inspection
- Pool Inspection
- Radon Inspection
- Soils Inspection
These physical inspections are ALL important inspections that should be undertaken so you become educated on the condition of the property you have made an offer on or are likely already “in escrow” on prior to “closing.”
Where is the Legal Document Inspection? – Real Estate Attorney Valerie Kramer believes that most consumers have little knowledge about the legal structure of their transaction. Just as you want to know the physical condition of the property you are about to purchase, you need to know the legal details of your deal as well. This financial transaction will likely be the biggest deal in your life, and as such, there should be a review of the legalities of the transaction prior to signing documents. It is what we call a: “Legal Inspection of Documents.”
What is a “Legal Inspection Of Documents?”
A legal inspection of documents is a comprehensive review and explanation of all real estate documents prior to your legal and binding signature. This is a total review of anything and everything that has legal significance that you are required to sign – giving you an opportunity to ask questions and have concerns addressed by a competent real estate attorney. Amazingly, looking at the list of required and typical Home Inspections (above) – a review of Legal Documents is the most fundamental Home Inspection you should consider to protect your interests.
What Documents are Reviewed?
Documents that we consider vital for a thorough Legal Inspection of Documents prior to your final signature include, but are not limited to:
- Listing Agreement
- Residential Purchase Agreement (the main contract)
- Agency Agreement (usually 2 of these documents)
- Disclosure Agreements (Hot Water Strapping, Lead-based Paint, Smoke-Detectors…)
- SPQ – Seller Property Questionnaire
- TDS – Transfer Disclosure Statement
- SBSA – Statewide Buyer and Seller Advisory
- GFE – Good Faith Estimate Form (from Mortgage Lender/Broker)
- Agent Visual Inspection (Disclosure Document from both Agents)
- Preliminary Title Report
- Uniform Settlement Statement (HUD-1 – at closing)
- Loan Documents (From Mortgage Company)
- Note: Policy of Title Insurance (is issued at close of escrow)
All of these documents can be critical to your real estate transaction and all but those issued at close of escrow can and should be reviewed. If changes are needed, the legal clauses and language should be set with your best interests in mind. Only an attorney who has legal experience in residential real estate transactions can offer you such a thorough review.
Business Attorney Valerie Kramer understands that investing some time in getting your business contracts in order, handling common legal transactions, or negotiating a lease should be cost-effective.
Valerie Kramer is also a Real Estate Attorney and helps Property Owners, Buyers & Sellers, Real Estate Brokers, Commercial Tenants and others involved in everyday real estate transactions and disputes. Valeries’s clients get maximum value for every penny spent, without padded hours for unnecessary “additional services.”
Call me personally – (619) 259-5030
– Let’s talk through your issue or opportunity.
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