Top 10 Things to Expect in a Real Estate Transaction


What to Expect In A Real Estate Transaction:

  1. Sign Real Estate Contract.  Negotiations lead to the Buyer and Seller signing a Contract typically prepared by a realtor.
  2. Attorney Review.  The three day attorney review period begins when the fully signed Contract is delivered to both parties.  Both parties then have three days to have the Contract reviewed by their own attorney.
  3. Call Us to Review Contract. You should immediately call our Attorneys to review your Contract.  The Contract is legally binding upon signing, but is subject to your right to have an attorney propose revisions or cancel the Contract on your behalf during the three day attorney review period. This is a critical time.  Under the attorney review clause, only an attorney may cancel the Contract on your behalf. Call us right away at 610-391-9500.
  4. Home Inspection. The Buyer has a home inspection performed usually during the first 14 days after signing the contract.  Some of the things inspected for include:​
    • The presence of termites and carpenter ants;
    • Major structural defects with the home, including roof, foundation and structural support;
    • Problems with the major systems like electrical, heating, cooling and plumbing;
    • Functioning of major appliances;
    • The presence of high levels of radon gas, mold or other contamination; and
    • Septic system and potable water (if applicable).

    ​Depending on the inspection, further Contract negotiations may be necessary.  If negotiations fail to resolve the home inspection issues, then the Contract can be canceled and the deposit returned.  This is another reason why it is very important to have an experienced attorney review your Contract from the beginning. ​

  5. Apply for Mortgage. Soon after signing the Contract, the Buyer applies for mortgage loan.  The Buyer is usually approved or rejected within 30 days.  If the Buyer cannot obtain a mortgage, then the parties may cancel the Contract pursuant to a special clause called a “mortgage contingency clause,” and the Buyer’s deposit is returned.​
  6. Title Inspection. The Buyer’s attorney obtains a title search, tax search and judgment search.  The attorney will insure that there are no liens on the property, or restrictions which unreasonably limit the normal use of the property.  The Buyer’s attorney can also assist the Buyer in obtaining a survey of the property, if required.  ​
  7. Certificate of Occupancy. If the municipality where the property is located requires a certificate of occupancy as a condition of sale, the Seller obtains the certificate, unless the Contract states otherwise.
  8. Prepare Closing Documents and Attend Settlement. As a Title Company, our attorneys work closely with the lender in order to prepare the closing documents. Both the Buyer and the Seller attend the “real estate closing,” also known as the “real estate settlement.”  This usually takes place at the office of the Buyer’s attorney or at the title company.
  9. Sign Documents. At the settlement, the Buyer’s attorney reviews all of the loan documents with the Buyer and makes sure that the Buyer’s interests are protected.  The Seller’s attorney protects the interests of the Seller and prepares documents such as a Deed and Affidavit of Title.  Frequently, issues arise at the settlement table, and the attorneys assist with negotiating and resolving those issues.  The Seller delivers a Deed to the Buyer which conveys title to the property.  Finally, the Buyer tenders the purchase price.  This concludes the transaction.
  10. Time for the Buyer to Move In and Celebrate!