Home Buying in 33928>Question Details

Gdcredit, Home Buyer in Estero, FL

As a N.C. resident about to close on a Florida Condo (a short sale) would you suggest hiring a lawyer...some say no,title agent and realtor OK...?

Asked by Gdcredit, Estero, FL Fri May 20, 2011

Real estate for short sale

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If anyone EVER tells you not to use a real estate attorney....think twice about their advice! Attorneys are here to assist us with things that we may not be aware of.They didn't attend law school for nothing. In a short sale ESPECIALLY, the advice and guidance of an attorney who has handled short sales is recommended! I am currently working with Michael Michetti of Woods, Weidenmiller & Michetti, PL
5150 Tamiami Trl N, Ste 603, Naples, FL 34103..... (239)325-4070
He handled a recent deal for me which successfully closed and is absolutely a fantastic wealth of knowledge which can make all the difference in the world. Due to his success in the last closing I am now using him for an additional contract on a short sale and can not imagine having not. His rates are reasonable and in the big picture of it, isn't it nice to have someone to turn to when you don't have the answer? Hope it works out or has worked out...Don't ever hesitate to go with your gut. A real estate attorney is a SMART choice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 20, 2011
A common Purchase Contract that is used when buying a short sale, is the FAR BAR "AS IS" Residential Contract For Sale and Purchase. On line 489, it states in BOLD for the Buyer or Seller to seek Legal advice if not fully understood. A REALTOR can not practice law and advise our customers. If you feel you understand the documents and contract, then you may feel comfortable closing without an attorney to assist the process. Most Buyers do not hire an attorney, in my experience.

However, If I were a Buyer, and I was paying CASH for a condo, I may be likely to hire an attorney to review the contract, the HOA docs, and the Title Commitment. If I were a Buyer and I was getting a mortgage, I may feel somewhat comfortable that the mortgage underwriter would likely identify issues that may not be readily visible. If you haven't seen a Loan Commitment lately, (they are far and few between, lol! ) there are a million (being dramatic) items that the underwriter wants clarified.

Please note that in my experience, an attorney usually can not change anything in the mortgage document, unless it was interest rate or term (length of the loan) error. I do not think having an attorney review the mortgage and note would likely result in a change in the documents. Be sure that you check your interest rate and terms of the loan at the closing.

I hope that helps you with your decision. If you need a good attorney, email me and I will send you a few names.

Megan Eister
Broker, Florida WestShore Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 13, 2011
I beleive it is OK to buy a condo in florida which is a short sale. Usually the title company will handle this tranaction. They will check for you if there are any liens on the property. But for your comfort you could hire an Attorney who specializes in real estate.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 23, 2011
If you feel all of the paperwork is not in order or do not feel comfortable then by all means get a Real Estate Attorney, not just any Attorney you need one that specializes in Real Estate! The few hundred dollars spent is well worth the security you will feel in finalizing the sale! Congratulations by the way! enjoy your new Condo! and welcome to Florida.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 22, 2011
Hi there,
Usually our clients from the northern states have a strong belief in using attorneys. Not all title companies have attorneys on staff but there are quite a few attorneys that offer title services (ie: Frank Aloia Jr in Fort Myers is attorney and has a title company too).
The title company will not be able to get you closed unless all liens are released. The bank holding the mortgage could be one, a secondary loan such as an equity loan is another, plus more than likely the Home Owners Association has also filed a lien. If for example the HOA and the attorney's title company disagree on the amounts owed on the HOA fees, interests, their atty's fee's etc. then this could end up in court for weeks or months. The seller's bank will want to keep expenses down to a minimum in order to get out of the short sale as cheap as possible so the HOA expenses could fall into your lap. The sellers bank is probably already using the attorney's they have on retainer and since they are now regulating the process of short sales and foreclosures more closely, you probably have a greater comfort level than 2 years ago.
You can also talk to your title company doing your closing and tell them of your concerns and let them do the convincing or explain worst case scenarios of the short sale world. Good luck to you and so glad to hear of your purchase.
Sarah Garrett, Realtor
"Chosen Best in Client Satisfaction 2006-2011"by Gulfshore Life Magazine
Cell: 239-464-8620
Email: sarahgarrett@argfl.com
Website Access to MLS:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 22, 2011
I would never tell someone not to do it......I could tell them though that I would not waste my money.....typically 700+ dollars to review a contract written by attorneys and approved by the state. The Short sale process closes the same way as a regular sale from the buyers perspective. I live and specialize in Estero myself.....welcome to the area. If you ever need any help or suggestions please do not hesitate to contact me. If you ever want to consider renting your unit out let us know as well......we manage close to 300 rentals as well.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
In my years of practice no one has ever used an attorney to represent them at closing. There has been very few who paid extra to have an attorney review their documents. It is completely up to you, if your peace of mind is worth the extra few dollars then do it. Most Title companies are owned by attorneys or have them on staff.

Tony Vega
Charles Rutenberg Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
It is customary to use the Title company here in Florida. But if you have any hesitation at all get your own representation and hire a Lawyer to review you documents.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
you always have the right to hire an attorney, That said, title companies are usually owned by attorneys or at least have one on staff. They make sure the title search is done. Do make sure you get title insurance. If you have any questions about the documents, ask for clarification. If your agent can't help you, ask for someone who can. that said, attorneys are rarely part of the closing process in Florida.
Congratulations on your new home. Estero is a lovely area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
You have already started the process..... This should have been done from the beginning. You can review your short sale approval letter with an attorney if there is language you don't understand. As for clear terms on the approval letter. Are they forgiving deficiency?

Maggie Castro
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
The title agent will be able to close your purchase, the lawyer should have been used before signing any docs to review what you were signing. At this point the title company should provide the same services by conducting a title search, reviewing closing docs and conducting the closing, further legal service is up to yo, i would recomend getting owners title insurance as it is a short sale.


Please see my blog with tips and advice on buying a short sale
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
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