Residential & Commercial Real Estate

Residential & Commercial Need assistance buying or refinancing residential or commercial real estate? I've represented buyers and sellers in hundreds of transactions, ranging from modest family homes to complex commercial developments. With new federal requirements and nervous lenders, real estate law is more challenging than ever. You need an experienced attorney who will stay on top of things. Here are a few preliminary thoughts for your residential transaction.

For SELLERS: start asking your lawyer questions before you list your house. Take it from an attorney with experience: DO NOT sign a binder, no matter what your broker says! Binders bind you, the seller, not the buyer. A seller can ask his attorney to send out a contract immediately, which shows intent to sell to the buyer under specific terms and conditions. I have represented sellers who were sued over binders they signed after contract negotiations broke down resulting in no signed contract. We were successful in defending those sellers, but the delay, financial cost and the emotional toll were significant—and avoidable.

And if you're a BUYER, start asking your lawyer questions before you present a written offer. Here are some suggestions. Standard contingencies (where applicable) that often come with offers include: mortgage; building inspection; and inspections for septic systems, well, radon (air and well water), and termites (actually all insect issues). The best mortgage involves not only a good rate but also a quick commitment. The two do not always go hand in hand. There are excellent local banks and mortgage brokers available, so don't just get steered to your broker's affiliated mortgage company. If you are stretching it and need to reduce your closing costs, consider closing near the end of a month which will reduce the per diem interest total that the bank will charge you for the remainder of that month. And there are dozens of other pointers.

Call me at 203 222-8422 or email me to discuss your real estate matter.