Posted Jan 2017
Buying, selling or developing real estate may seem like a simple thing to do, but it is often complicated.
These are some of the ways how we can help:
Buying a property is more than just good looks and great views. Acquiring a piece of property can become a nightmare if you are not aware of the intricacies of that particular piece of real estate. Doing a Due Diligence is a must when planning to buy real estate. On the one hand, you want to make sure that there are no liens or encumbrances, and on the other hand, you want to make sure that the property has all the appropriate permits and that it is marketable. When buying real estate, we will be assisting you from the negotiations to the closing and further.
When you are putting your property on the market, you need to make sure that it is marketable. We will assist you making your property compliant. Your future buyers want to buy into a dream and not into a problem. From setting up the right price to correcting any legal abnormalities, we will help you put your property on the market and secure a safe transaction.
TITLE SEARCH and DUE DILIGENCE
The general purpose of the title search and the due diligence is to make sure that you, the buyer, are buying a property with no legal problems.
Before closing, Outlier Legal Services searches the public records for all matters affecting title. The search entails examining the records in the offices of the National Registry. These records include recorded documents, judgments, liens, taxes, easements, water rights, special taxes and other matters that could affect property ownership.
Through careful examination of these records, we determine who owns the property and what interests may already exist in that property.
This process, called a title search, provides early warnings of title flaws that must be dealt with before the property can be sold.
Preliminary Due Diligence
A great deal of the process of real estate inspection often begins before the offer to purchase real estate (or even a letter of intent outlining the terms of the proposed purchase) is signed, by visiting the site and having discussions with real estate brokers and sellers. This preliminary process should not be skipped or given abbreviated attention because it can be invaluable to establishing the informal connections necessary to obtain the information that will ultimately be sought. It can also point to some questions or investigative paths which might otherwise seem unfruitful, but which uniquely shed light on this transaction.
In addition to the obvious (contingency period length and access to information), during negotiation and drafting of the real estate sales contract, as it relates to the due diligence investigation, it is important to recognize the sticking points as to representations/warranties and provision of seller’s property-related information. Negative reaction on these issues by the seller often implies very telling red-flags related to property condition.
Review of Seller Documents
Once the real estate sales contract is signed, the race begins to garner the maximum amount of information, keeping cost efficiency in mind, but focusing on maximizing efficiency of time, as the investigatory period is invariably shorter than the purchaser would prefer. Assuming adequate document retention by the seller, a thorough review of their documents can save a great deal of time, effort and money that would otherwise be spent by purchaser procuring the same information.
Be sure to ask the seller for all documents and things the seller received (or should have asked for) during his due diligence process when he purchased the property (especially if acquired relatively recently). Such a list might include:
We at Outlier Legal Services review each of these documents or items independently to identify the potential problem areas which require deeper investigation.
After receipt and review of the seller delivery documents, it is time to go beyond these documents into our own investigation of the condition of the real estate using what we have gleaned to this point to navigate the appropriate course of that investigation.
Our goal in the due diligence process is to make sure that the property you think you are getting is actually the property being conveyed. Remember, each transaction has its own unique set of obstacles and considerations, so give each purchase the unique respect it deserves. Armed with this information and guidance, you are well on your way to ensuring the purchase of a sound investment.
Escrow is an arrangement between two parties – in this case, the buyer and seller – where a neutral third party receives and disburses money, documents, and any instructions for the buyer and seller that are needed to complete the transaction, which is the home purchase. Escrow assures that the buyer can release the funds for the purchase at the time that the deed is changed to reflect new ownership.
Escrow begins when the buyer and seller sign a contract regarding real estate. This contract, along with any additional instructions, acts as details needed by the neutral third party, known as an escrow officer or agent. This person is selected just as you would select any other real estate professional. You can get referrals from trusted sources to understand the services they provide, the cost, and convenience of using a particular person.
Your escrow agent starts escrow by assigning an account number to your escrow. The money that will change hands is held in an escrow account. It typically holds the funds needed to complete the home purchase. This money will be applied to the purchase price, but can be returned to the buyer if the deal is not completed.
An escrow agent performs the following tasks:
Once the escrow agent completes the tasks that they were instructed to perform, including recording the deed in the buyer’s name, paying the seller for the transaction, and disbursing all other funds, escrow is then considered closed. Note that money may still be held in escrow after your home closes to pay contractors for any unfinished tasks.
While there are many unique terms used in the real estate business, they do not need to be overwhelming. Understanding what is escrow and how it affects your transaction will take the uncertainty and confusion out of the home buying process, and will help you become more relaxed during an exciting but possibly stressful time.
At Outlier Legal Services we provide escrow services for people looking to purchase a home a in Costa Rica. Inquire about these services.
SURVEYS AND INSPECTIONS
It is important to do a survey and inspection as part of the due diligence for the purchase of your property. While the inspection will confirm whether there are any significant damages to the structure of the house, the survey will confirm whether your property line is located in the right place. We subcontract surveyors and engineers who will determine whether the property you are looking at is the right one for you.
FOR LANDLORDS and TENANTS