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Real Estate Closing Attorney in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Buying a home represents the biggest investment most people will ever make, but it can be fraught with dangers that aren’t always apparent. In the competition to buy a piece of property, you may rush through the steps so you can beat the competition. In the process, however, details and potential pitfalls can be overlooked. The same dangers lurk for someone anxious to sell.  

According to Redfin, which tracks real estate transactions nationwide, the median selling price in Pennsylvania in January 2023 was up 2.1 percent year over year, but sales were slowing due to rising interest rates. Still, 7,355 homes were sold that month. 

Some states require that attorneys review all closing documents, including the sales agreement, but Pennsylvania is not one of them. Still, a savvy buyer—or seller for that matter—will seek the counsel of an experienced real estate attorney to make sure the terms of the transaction are clearly spelled out and not one-sided. 

If you’re looking to buy or sell a piece of property in or around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, contact Marc V. Taiani, Esquire and Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C. to protect your interests and make sure everything you agree to is on the up and up. As a dedicated real estate attorney, I proudly serve clients throughout Allegheny County and all of the surrounding counties, including Butler, Westmoreland, Beaver, Armstrong, and Washington. 

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The Closing Process of Buying/Selling a Home

A real estate transaction, whether residential or commercial, involves both buyer and seller, and each must look after his or her best interests. The seller wants to get top dollar and make sure the buyer is qualified financially. This involves several steps, including documents to be signed, that are usually coordinated by the agent or broker for each party. 

The buyer must make an offer and then set up an escrow account with a down payment in it to show their seriousness in completing the transaction. The buyer must then also obtain financing, or use their own cash, to prove their qualification for completing the transaction. 

The seller in turn must present a Property Disclosure Statement to the buyer. The buyer should then inspect the property for any defects, usually by hiring a professional home or commercial building inspector.  

If any defects are found that are not on the statement, the buyer should require the seller to correct them. The same, of course, holds true if defects are revealed on the statement. Another option is to request that the purchase price to be lowered. If no agreement is reached on defects, then the buyer can opt out. 

Another important step is to conduct a title search. A title search should reveal any liens on the property or any ownership issues. Perhaps someone who owned the property previously still has a claim on it for some reason, or maybe there are mechanic’s liens or property taxes that haven’t been paid. These must be made good before the sale/purchase can conclude.  

Title companies are usually hired to do these searches, but having an attorney do the search or review the title company’s results can prevent possible glitches down the road. You don’t want to take title to a property and then have someone challenge your ownership because they have a lien the title company didn’t discover. 

Then there is the sales agreement itself. Generally speaking, sales agreements—or contracts—are standard-form documents provided by real estate associations. Here is where an attorney’s review can protect both buyer and seller. Real estate agents and brokers naturally want to rush the process so they can get their commissions, but as always, read the fine print. You want to make sure the details are correct and that the terms and conditions are acceptable. 

Your Attorney’s Role

A real estate closing attorney can vet everything presented to you, so you can cut through the legal jargon and understand what you’re agreeing to. Your attorney can also demand that certain terms or conditions be modified to protect you as either buyer or seller. Your attorney should also protect you as the buyer in the title search.  

Most importantly, your attorney can represent your interests more effectively than you can on your own and will be able to negotiate for better terms throughout the process. 

Real Estate Closing Attorney in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Buying or selling real estate are major moves in a person’s life that can have far-reaching consequences. Don’t let the agents or brokers rush you through the process, but get an attorney to review everything and guide you throughout the negotiations. In the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area and surrounding communities, contact Marc V. Taiani, Esquire and Allegheny Attorneys at Law for ultimate peace of mind in your transaction.