Massachusetts Seller Disclosure Laws

 

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Disclosure
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Palm Beach-based real estate attorney Henrietta Feldman has nearly 17 years of legal experience. Before relocating to Florida, Henrietta Feldman obtained her licensed in Massachusetts, where she concentrated on real estate negotiations and transactions for almost a decade.

Ms. Feldman provided assistance to both buyers and sellers navigating the state’s complex legal requirements. Property sellers in Massachusetts have several disclosure obligations they must faithfully meet before closing any transaction.

Though the level of disclosure differs if the seller is a private individual or a professional real estate agent, generally the buyer must be notified in advance of any defects, the presence of lead paint, or if the property uses a private sewer disposal system. Buyers should also receive clear and truthful answers to any questions they pose about the property’s condition.

Sellers who provide false or misleading information and real estate agents who do not report bad conditions that were brought to their attention could be held liable by the buyer after the transaction is complete. To ensure protection for both parties, it is recommended that both buyers and sellers in the Massachusetts property market hire qualified real estate attorneys.

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Four Important Points to Real Estate Negotiations

 

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Real Estate
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A real estate lawyer with nearly two decades of experience, Henrietta Feldman serves as principal attorney at the Law Office of Henrietta Feldman in Palm Beach, Florida. Henrietta Feldman advises clients on all matters of commercial and residential real estate law, including negotiations. The following list covers some of the points a real estate attorney helps their clients understand and navigate regarding real estate negotiations.

1. Closing costs. The buyer in a real estate transaction must pay prepaid closing costs for their mortgage. The mortgage lender holds this money in escrow for use on items such as insurance and taxes. These amounts can vary from a flat dollar amount toward the closing cost, to an allowable percentage for a lender contribution.

2. Closing dates. Sellers who want to quickly remove their capital from a home may push for a speedy transaction, which may affect the buyer’s cash flow once the home is in their possession. Furthermore, the buyer skips the following month’s mortgage payment after they purchase the home.

3. Financing contingencies. The presence of a finance contingency clause in a home purchase and sale contract means the buyer’s offer is contingent on being able to obtain the appropriate financing. A buyer can avoid financing contingencies and shorten the closing time line by acquiring preapproval for their mortgage payments prior to making an offer.

4. Time pressure. Time pressure can have a significant effect on real estate negotiations, particularly for sellers who need to sell their home as soon as possible due to specific circumstances. For instance, sellers behind on their mortgage payments or who require the money to pay off debts may put the need to sell over price.

Buying Commercial Property for a Business – Benefits and Tips

 

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Commercial Property
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Henrietta Feldman is an accomplished real estate attorney in Palm Beach, Florida. There, Henrietta Feldman guides buyers and sellers of both residential and commercial properties, including those seeking to purchase real estate for their businesses.

Many business owners will eventually face the decision of whether to buy or to rent. Although renting does have its advantages, including flexibility of location, buying offers a business the freedom of adapting the property for its own use. Meanwhile, the business also enjoys the economic benefits of buying, which include freedom from fluctuating rent and the possibility of receiving tax advantages.

To gain the most benefit from a purchase, a business owner must think carefully about the location and size of the building he or she needs. Proximity to customers, employees, and vendors, as well as rail and highway access, are likely to be important to buyers, as is the certainty that local zoning laws allow for their type of business. Relatedly, if the business may wish to make changes to the property in the future, the owner may want to check in advance to verify that this will be possible.

The business owner should also consider whether the company will use the entire property or rent some portion of it, as the need to lease may bring up additional legal and logistical concerns. Experts recommend that business owners examining these considerations should seek the support of a broker and accountant as well as a real estate lawyer, who can advise the buyer through all stages of the transaction.

A Brief Overview of Purchase and Sale Agreements

 

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Purchase and Sale Agreements
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A graduate of Boston University Law School, Henrietta Feldman oversees a private legal practice in Palm Beach, Florida. Focused on real estate law, Henrietta Feldman assists individual and commercial clients with various matters, including purchase and sale agreements.

Also known simply as a purchase agreement, a purchase and sale agreement is a legal document that is drafted after the buyers and sellers in a real estate transaction mutually agree to a purchase offer. The agreement is one of the final steps in the home-buying process, and it outlines the terms and conditions of the purchase.

The information in a purchase agreement can vary, but it typically includes the final sale price, approximate closing date, commission details, and any contingencies stipulated by the potential buyer. Conditions and contingencies of sale may cover details related to financing, home inspections, and/or needed repairs.

In addition to terms and conditions of sale, the agreement will include details about the earnest money deposit, which is submitted by the buyer. The deposit is typically around $1,000, and it is usually nonrefundable if the buyer walks out on the purchase and sale agreement without legal cause.

Protect Yourself Legally When Purchasing or Selling a Home

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Purchasing or Selling a Home
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An experienced real estate attorney, Henrietta Feldman practices out of her law office in Palm Beach, Florida. As an attorney who assists with residential real estate, Henrietta Feldman helps clients who are buying or selling a home.

Although it’s not mandatory to hire an attorney when you are buying or selling a home, it’s a good idea to do so. Real estate attorneys can help for several reasons. The main reason for hiring an attorney is they are able to protect your rights. Although you may know your basic rights as a homebuyer or seller, it’s best to have an attorney who can look over contracts and notice any red flags. The red flags may include your being responsible for all closing costs, the home being sold as-is, or other issues that may be buried deep in the contract that you may not have thought to check.

Additionally, real estate attorneys are well-versed in property law, and they know each of the title searches that must be done to make sure the person who is selling the home you’re interested in can do so legally. With an attorney by your side through this process, it makes for a less overwhelming experience as she or he knows which legal documents need to be filled out and when they should be submitted.

How an Attorney Can Help During a Foreclosure

 

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Foreclosure
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Owner of a law office in Palm Beach, Florida, Henrietta Feldman is a real estate attorney. With clients in Florida and Massachusetts, Henrietta Feldman specializes in residential cases, including foreclosures.

Many people assume when they are facing a foreclosure that they are definitely going to lose their home. However, with the right help from a real estate attorney, it may be possible to avoid this eventuality. One of the ways an attorney can help with a foreclosure is if your loan officer or lending institution didn’t follow appropriate procedures at some point during the foreclosure process. A foreclosing party is required by law and by legal agreements to follow specific steps. An attorney can look into the circumstances and let the homeowner know if a mistake or mistakes were made.

When involving an attorney in a foreclosure case, the entire process will slow down for the homeowner. As soon as an attorney is involved, the legal department at the mortgage company will have to get in contact with the attorney. During this process, it may give the homeowner a chance to catch up on their finances.

Additionally, an attorney can try to negotiate a payment plan with the lender to allow smaller payments so the homeowner can catch up more easily. Although an attorney won’t always be able to help, they often have a better chance of getting a mortgage company to listen to them than the homeowner.

Reasons to Get a Home Appraisal

 

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Home Appraisal
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A graduate of Cornell University and Boston University School of Law, Henrietta Feldman has practiced real estate law since 1999. Working with both commercial and residential clients in Florida and Massachusetts, Henrietta Feldman reviews and documents transactions such as leases, purchases, inspections, and appraisals.

Determining the fair market value of a home is an essential step in the process of home buying and selling. A qualified, state-licensed appraiser evaluates the home’s age and condition, as well as its future marketability and selling prices of nearby homes, to accurately determine whether the home’s selling price is fair. A home appraisal may be necessary in order to refinance a home, or to determine if a loan’s remaining balance has fallen below 80 percent of a home’s value should the owners wish to discontinue their private mortgage insurance or PMI. Additionally, homeowners who are considering renovations might hire an appraiser to determine whether the contemplated improvements would add significant value to their home.