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Residential Real Estate Transactions

Our attorneys at Remley Law, S.C. can help with all your residential real estate purchases or sales. In Wisconsin, conveyances of real estate are governed by Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 706.

Sellers

As a seller, do I need to work with a broker?

No, you are not required to work with a broker, you can sell your home yourself. However, a licensed real estate broker can provide a number of important services, including a reasonable estimate of what your property should sell for, organization of the important information a typical buyer will be interested in knowing, advertising, property showings, and soliciting an offer and negotiating the closing of the transaction. Additionally, a broker can also prepare an offer to purchase, counter-offer and closing statements. However, brokers will typically charge about 6% commission for improved residential property. Real estate agency contracts must comply with the requirements of Wisconsin Statutes section 240.10(1).

What is an attorneys role in a real estate transaction for a seller?

No matter what stage of the real estate transaction you are in, an attorney can help.

If you are just deciding to list your home for sale, an attorney can review and negotiate the terms and obligations of a listing contract with a broker (i.e., when commission is earned, amount of commission, terms of contract, terms of sale, broker obligations, etc.) as well as advice you on tax and other consequences of the sale of your real estate.

If you have an interested buyer and have received an offer to purchase, an attorney can review the offer to purchase presented to you (i.e., buyer’s contingencies, seller’s representations and warranties) and help you determine how to respond. If a counter-offer is necessary an attorney can assist with the proper preparation of the same. Additionally, an attorney can counsel you on the necessary real estate disclosures.

If you have a signed and accepted offer to purchase, an attorney can assist with contingency satisfaction, preparation and/or review closing documents, and representing you at closing.

See below for additional information on real estate transactions.

Buyers

What is an attorney’s role in a real estate transaction for a buyer?

No matter what stage of the real estate transaction you are in, an attorney can help.

If you are just starting to look for a new home, an attorney can advice you on home-ownership, review and negotiate a buyer agency contract, and advice on financial elements of the real estate transaction,

If you have found a home, an attorney can assist with the preparation and/or review of the offer to purchase and/or counter-offer(s) (i.e. buyer’s contingencies, seller’s representations and warranties).

If you have a signed and accepted offer to purchase, an attorney can assist with contingency satisfaction, determining how to hold title, preparation and/or review of closing documents, as well as representing you at closing.

Sellers And Buyers

What are the steps in a real estate transaction?

Each real estate transaction is unique; however, a “typical” real estate transaction starts with finding a home/buyer. Once a home/buyer is found the listing broker, buyer’s broker, or buyer’s attorney will generally draft an offer to purchase in accordance with the buyer’s desires. Back and forth counter-offer(s) may be exchanged until an agreed up deal is accepted by both parties. Contingencies contained in the offer to purchase will then need to be satisfied. Lastly, if all contingencies are satisfied or waived, the parties will be able to close on the property.

What are the appropriate terms of an offer to purchase?

An offer to purchase must describe the property intended to be purchased, set a purchase price, and set a closing date. Among other important terms of the transaction, the offer may also include a down payment, deadline for acceptance, appropriate buyers conditions and contingencies, sellers warranties and representations.

What are some contingencies to consider?

Contingencies are conditions that must be satisfied in order for a party to be obligated to conclude the transaction. Some typical contingencies included in an offer to purchase are:

– Financing contingency
– Appraisal contingency
– Survey contingency
– Closing of buyers existing property contingency
– Secondary offer contingency
– Home Inspection contingency
– Well water and septic systems test contingency
– Environmental condition contingency
– Rezoning contingency
– Building permit contingency
– Title review contingency

What are seller warranties and representations?

Warranties and representations are assurances made by the seller regarding the condition of the property. Some typical warranties and representations included in an offer to purchase are:

– Property condition at closing
– Property defects
– Well and septic system operation
– Inspection before closing
– Compliance with laws
– Compliance with subdivision regulations
– Compliance with codes
– Compliance with land-division ordinances

What disclosures are required?

Sellers are required to be honest about defects with a home that they are aware of. The seller is required to complete a disclosure form, pursuant to Wisconsin Statutes chapter 709, and lead based paint disclosure, if appropriate.

What is required for closing?

Since each transaction is unique, the necessary actions and/or documents necessary for closing will always be different. However, generally, before closing can occur, contingencies must be satisfied or waived, title insurance must be procured, a closing statement must be prepared, all legal papers must be prepared (i.e. deed, land contract, mortgage), real estate transfer tax return must be prepared, and miscellaneous documents may need to be prepared (i.e. municipal status letter, mortgage payout letter, escrow agreement, bill of sale, etc.).

What other things do I need to consider?

The full scope of everything that must be considered in a residential real estate transaction is beyond the scope of this overview, however, the real estate attorneys at Remley Law, S.C., would be happy to discuss your specific real estate transaction further with you.

Contact Us

Our lawyers can help with any real estate sale or purchase transaction. Call our Neenah office at 920-725-2601 or use our online form to make an appointment.