Residential Real Estate Closings Staten Island

Buying and/or selling your home is an important event for any individual, couple, or family. Whether you are navigating two transactions or only one, a residential real estate closing is the culmination of a complex process including packing up your belongings, seeking a buyer and/or finding a desirable home, negotiating a price acceptable to both parties, and going through an inspection and title search. One thing is for sure — you need an experienced real estate attorney to guide you.

For real estate closings in Staten Island, the New York City area, and East Brunswick, New Jersey, Merlino & Gonzalez is a fine choice. We have been successfully representing clients at residential real estate closings for more than two decades. Our real estate attorneys are as sharp as they are congenial, and have an impressive track record of noticing and correcting small defects in documents and payments that might have caused trouble had we not been so detail-oriented.

Although a real estate closing may seem to be just a formality after all the previous commotion, it is actually a fairly complicated procedure in which many tasks must be completed. By the time you attend the closing, your attorneys will have examined the title report and the deed and given you a basic idea of what will take place at the closing:

  • The seller will sign the deed and the closing affidavit
  • The buyer will sign the new note and mortgage
  • The old loan(s) will be paid 
  • The seller, real estate professionals, and attorneys will be paid

In most cases, the closing takes place about 60 to 90 days after the date of sale. Usually, all parties and their attorneys attend the closing. Exceptions are sometimes made, however, in which case parties with powers of attorney may represent absent parties or documents may be signed, notarized, and mailed.

Why a Residential Real Estate Closing Can Be Confusing 

In addition to the buyer paying the seller for the property, a number of payments may be made back and forth during a real estate closing. For example, adjustments are typically made because of recent changes to the home, such as utilities, property taxes, and homeowners’ association fees. Each party will receive a copy of the closing statement that will show precisely how much money each will have to pay at the closing. 

So Many Documents to Sign

Both buyers and sellers of residential real estate must be prepared to sign a bunch of documents at the closing. It will be reassuring to have your personal attorney with you for both instruction and moral support.

If you are the buyer, you will have to sign:

  • Deed that will transfer the property from the seller to you
  • Bill of sale that delineates the property being transferred
  • Affidavit of title that will confirm property ownership and any known title defects 
  • Transfer of tax declarations that will disclose the purchase price and calculation of taxes

As buyer, you will typically pay between two and five percent of the total home sale as closing costs which may include credit report fees, inspection fees, loan origination fees, survey fees, escrow deposits, attorney fees, and underwriting fees.

If you are the seller of the property, you will have to sign:

  • Certificate of title, indicating that you have the right to sell the property
  • Deed of sale 
  • Loan payoff (the amount of your mortgage or refinancing still owed)
  • Statement of closing costs to establish you were aware of these prior to closing
  • Statement of information to establish your identity for the title firm
  • Closing costs (far less than the buyer will pay) for title insurance premiums, transfer taxes, recording fees, pro-rated taxes, and homeowner association dues

The Role Our Real Estate Attorney Plays in a Residential Real Estate Transaction

We have an essential role to play in your residential real estate closing whether you are the seller or buyer. 

Well before the closing, our attorney will have:

  • Drafted and reviewed each document for to make sure it is complete and accurate
  • Made sure the title is clear of any liens or judgments through an effective title search
  • Supported your negotiations
  • Examined escrow documents carefully
  • Handled communications with your real estate broker
  • Advised you about any tax consequences of the sale or purchase
  • Helped you to obtain appropriate financing
  • Checked out any possible zoning violations or concerns
  • Made sure you understand which, if any, warranties are in effect

Whether we are representing you as the seller or buyer at a real estate closing, our presence is crucial to protecting your interests. Because there are so many papers being signed and checks being exchanged, it is imperative that you have an accomplished legal advocate at your side to doublecheck that everything is going according to protocol.

Contact Our Excellent Residential Real Estate Attorneys Today for a Smooth Closing

Like the landing of a flight, everyone involved wants a residential real estate closing to go as smoothly as possible, even if parts of the “flight” have been turbulent. At Merlino & Gonzalez, our real estate attorneys are well-practiced and highly capable. Contact us now so we can assist you with what may be one of the most important transactions of your life. You can depend on us to provide you with the personalized and responsive service you deserve.