The Real Estate Practice group at Leventry, Haschak & Rodkey, LLC handles transactions involving the purchase and sale of all types of real property including: residences; rental properties; vacant land; commercial/industrial properties; and mineral, oil and gas rights.
All real estate transactions begin with the preparation and execution of an Agreement of Sale. The Agreement of Sale must contain all of the economic terms of the transaction. Once an Agreement of Sale is signed, both parties are bound by its terms. Therefore, it is extremely important that your attorney be involved in the negotiation of the Agreement of Sale. Signing an Agreement of Sale without the advice of counsel can have unforeseen negative consequences. Only an attorney, not a title company or closing company, can provide legal advice relative to the negotiation of favorable terms in your Agreement of Sale.
After the Agreement of Sale is signed, there is typically an inspection or due diligence period. In a residential transaction this may simply involve a home inspection. In a commercial transaction, due diligence is much more complex. The attorneys at Leventry, Haschak & Rodkey, LLC can assist you with complex due diligence items including: title review, environmental concerns, zoning review, evaluation of economic considerations, review of financing commitments, and review of encumbrances and deed restrictions. The real estate attorneys at Leventry, Haschak & Rodkey, LLC work with other departments within the firm as well as a vast network of engineers, accountants, environmental consultants, contractors and other professionals to conduct the appropriate due diligence for your transaction.
Closing refers to the actual exchange of money and delivery of the deed for the real property. If a transaction involves financing, the loan closing usually occurs simultaneously with the real estate closing. Closing involves the establishment of an Escrow where funds and documents (including a deed) are collected and then disbursed in accordance with the terms of the Agreement of Sale and Closing Disclosure, HUD-1 or “Settlement Statement”. While there are many closing companies that offer closing services, only an attorney can legally prepare a deed and render legal advice. And, contrary to popular belief, the costs associated with closing a real estate transaction are similar regardless of whether you choose an attorney or settlement company to close your transaction.
Title insurance is an insurance policy purchased to insure good and marketable title to real property. If you are financing your purchase, your lender will probably require title insurance. Title insurance fees are regulated by law in Pennsylvania and are the same whether you use an attorney or a non-attorney settlement company.
Knowing that the costs of employing an attorney to handle your transaction are virtually the same as using a non-attorney settlement company, you may ask, “Why would anybody choose a settlement company over an attorney?” The answer is, “We don’t know.” It is very likely that your real estate transaction represents one of the most important financial decisions of your lifetime. You can be confident with the experienced attorneys at Leventry, Haschak & Rodkey, LLC representing your interests.