Sebastian Real Estate Lawyers

Strong representation when you’re buying or selling a home

Sebastian Real EstateSome of the beautiful attractions of Sebastian are its wonderful homes. Single-family homes. Condos. Coops. Townhouses. Mobile Homes. Apartments. Everyone wants a nice place to live. People with children want to move into bigger homes. Seniors often want to downsize. Many out-of-staters either move or buy second homes in Florida.

At Lulich & Attorneys,  we represent buyers, sellers, developers, landlords, and tenants. Our Sebastian property lawyers have the experience and resources to guide you through every phase of the real estate process from the agreement of sale – through the inspections and title insurance – to the closing of the property and the transfer of title. We understand what obstacles may affect your real estate goals and work to ensure you receive clear title if you’re the buyer and a sizable check if you’re the seller. We understand the foreclosure and eviction laws including what protections must be provided for the occupants.

We represent buyers and sellers of site-built homes prefabricated homes, modular homes, and panel homes. We represent buyers of single-family homes, condominiums, cooperatives, duplexes, triplexes, townhouses, mobile homes, apartment complexes, cottages, cabins, in-law suites, and other home types.

How an experienced Sebastian real estate lawyer helps home buyers

Homebuyers in the 21st century often look for the homes they want to buy through the use of brokers and online research. Many people look to buy new homes in communities where they already know people. Most homes cost tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some cost millions. A home is the most expensive purchase most people make. You simply can’t afford to take a chance. You need experienced Sebastian real estate lawyers on your side.

Our Sebastian real estate attorneys help with the following phases of a home sales transaction:

  • Making an offer on a home. You need to do your homework before buying a home. There are many issues to consider starting with the value of the home. Many homeowners have no or little idea how much the home they want to buy is worth. We understand the real estate market. We work with brokers and appraisers who understand how Sebastian homes are valued. Our legal team will review the questions you need to ask about the home’s condition and whether there are any outstanding legal concerns. We’ll help ensure that you’re paying a fair price for your new residence.
  • Reviewing the agreement of sale. Any agreement to sell a home must be in writing. We’ll review the contents of the agreement of sale contract. You do have the right to negotiate changes. You do have the right to ask the seller:
    • To disclose any known defects
    • To identify any claims against the home or adverse interests
    • To conduct an inspection by a qualified competent home inspector before you sign the agreement of sale
    • To conduct an additional inspection before the settlement of the property to help discover any new defects between the purchase date and the settlement date
    • To ask that any known defects be addressed – normally through repairs or through placing aside money from the seller’s share to pay for the repairs
    • To review the mortgage contingency terms so that you can get your deposit back if the mortgage request is denied
  • The mortgage approval process for Sebastian home buyers. We’ll review the mortgage approval process with you. These days, homebuyers can normally seek a tentative pre-approval from their bank or a mortgage company – based on their family income, expenses, debts due, credit history, and how much of a down payment can be made. Once you sign the agreement of sale, you should be able to have your bank or mortgage company verify the amount and terms of any home loan and mortgage. The agreement of sale should reflect how much time is needed to seek the mortgage approval.
  • Inspecting your Sebastian home. Homebuyers should either have a certified professional inspect the home before they sign an agreement of sale or condition the agreement of sale on the right to conduct a timely inspection – and the right to withdraw the offer if the inspect finds defects. We work with home inspection professionals in the Sebastian area. The inspectors will examine the overall structure of the home, the plumbing, the electricity, the heating and air condition, termites or any other insects, the inside and outside of the home, the grounds including the parking lots, grass areas, and the sidewalks, and all other parts of the home.
  • Coordinating your home purchase with the sale of your prior home. Homebuyers who have a prior home need to make sure they’re not paying two sets of bills – one for the new home and one for their old home. Many homeowners use the sales proceeds from the first home to buy their new home. Our experienced Sebastian real estate lawyers help you coordinate the sale of your existing home with the purchase of your new residence.
  • Title insurance. Buyers need to purchase title insurance. Title insurance helps ensure that creditors of the sellers and other claimants can’t make claims against your home. Title insurance also clarifies the rights of utilities to enter your home to make repairs and for other purposes.
  • The mortgage closing. Our Sebastian lawyers work with your mortgage company and the title company to ensure the funds you need to buy the home will be available on the closing date and that all the legal paperwork is accurate and ready to be signed.
  • The settlement of your Sebastian real property. We begin our preparation for the settlement by advising you of your right and need to conduct one final home inspection so outstanding repair issues can be addressed. We’ll explain each of the documents you need to sign at the home settlement.
  • The formal settlement sheet. The title company will require that the buyers and sellers sign the settlement sheet. This document identifies all the money that each side is entitled to and all the expenses they must pay. The settlement sheet begins with the sales price but also includes the broker’s commission, any school and property that are dues, the bills for title insurance and homeowner’s insurance, the utility adjustments, the mortgage closing costs, and all other expenses. Once the settlement sheet is signed, the buyer obtains the keys to the new home. The seller receives a check. Skilled Sebastian real estate lawyers review the settlement sheet with the clients because once the settlement sheet is signed, there’s generally no do-over.
  • The filing of the court documents. Your property lawyer will work with the title company to ensure the deed and mortgage are properly filed with the Indian River County courthouse.

Our Sebastian real estate lawyers represent homebuyers who live in Florida. We also represent buyers from New York, Pennsylvania, and all other parts of the country who want a new home in a warm climate. We also explain when and how you can buy with cryptocurrency. We review many other home buyer issues too such as the purchase of a home warranty. We also help with digital closings which are becoming more popular.

How an experienced Sebastian real estate lawyer helps people selling their homes

Selling a home is the most critical decision most people make. Sellers need the sales price to purchase a new home, move into an apartment, and have a source of income for their retirement. When you sell your home, you want to get the highest amount possible. You also don’t want any delays or any lawsuits.  The timeframe involved in listing your property and receiving the settlement check should ideally take months, not years. An experienced Sebastian real estate lawyer helps maximize the net sales proceeds and helps minimize the filing of legal actions for home defects and other claims.

At Lulich & Attorneys,  our Sebastian real estate sales lawyers guide you through each phase of the sales process. Your interests are different than the buyer’s interest though many issues do overlap. We’ll help you understand and address the following home sales issues:

  • The method of sale. Homeowners generally sell their homes by hiring a real estate broker or by selling their home themselves (called – For Sale by Owner). The broker helps the seller decide how much to list the property for based on what other similar homes, condos, townhouses, and duplexes are selling for. The broker arranges for prospective buyers to visit the home. The broker helps negotiate the sales price with your consent. Brokers who successfully arrange for a buyer are entitled to a commission (a percentage) of the sales price. You can also sell the home yourself by listing the property online, advertising with for-sale signs, and doing a lot of other work to encourage buyers to visit your home. Sellers, whether they are using a broker or selling the home themselves should work with an experienced Sebastian real estate lawyer.
  • Helping the seller understand the true value of the home. The listing price is just the starting point for determining what the seller receives. The seller needs to pay all the necessary sales costs which our home sales lawyer will explain and detail for you. These costs include:
    • Any balance due on your mortgage
    • Any debts you owe
    • The broker’s commission
    • Any costs such as repair costs that the seller agrees to pay
    • Other related costs.
  • Some of the factors that affect the sales price. There are good times for selling homes that sellers should know. The reason for the sale can affect the sales price. Are your moving because you want a bigger home? Are you moving because of a new job? Did the homeowner pass away? Generally, buyers with families want to make sure they can move into your home before the start of the school year.

Sellers need to decide if they’re selling the property “as is” or if the sellers is agreeing to be responsible for the condition of the home. Buyers normally make quick impressions when they buy their home. They’re imagining what their home will look like when they move in.

  • The negotiation process. Before you list your property, you need to think through what your bottom line is. The list process is normally more than what the ultimate price will be.
  • The sales agreement. Our skilled Sebastian real estate lawyers review the sales agreement to protect the seller’s rights and interests. The agreement of sale should provide for a specific time that the buyer can obtain a mortgage – and that the deposit will be forfeited if the mortgage is denied after that time frame. A Florida real estate lawyer will review the times for inspection and many other sales contingencies.
  • Preparing for the closing. Normally, the title company will review any claims against the home. If any creditors, anyone with an adverse interest, or any other parties have a financial or legal claim – those claims must be resolved before the title company can give clear title. We work with the title company to determine what bills are due – as of the date of the settlement.

Attending the settlement closing. Our lawyers review the settlement sheet to verify that you’re getting the full amount you deserve. We also explain any legal documents that you may be asked to sign.

Title insurance of Sebastian real estate

At Lulich & Attorneys,  we understand why homebuyers need title insurance and why sellers need to comply with the terms of the title insurance policy. Title insurance is a way that buyers protect themselves from claims against the home – after the new buyer moves into their home. Title insurance is used to protect against:

  • Clerical errors on prior deeds
  • Signatures that are forged
  • People who mispresent their status such as their marriage status or whether they are a minor
  • Faulty legal descriptions
  • Wills that weren’t properly probated and other estate problems
  • False claims to ownership
  • Deeds signed by someone who lacked mental capacity when signing the deed
  • Deeds that didn’t have a proper power of attorney
  • Claims by third parties
  • Many other types of problems involving prior deed transactions and the current sale

With title insurance, the title company runs a thorough checklist against the possible claims or problems with your deed. Once they agree to issue the policy, the homebuyer should be protected (up to the policy limits) against any claims or defects against the home. A skilled lawyer reviews the title policy to ensure you have the correct coverage in the correct amount for your purchase.

Leases - Commercial and residential / contract review

Our seasoned real estate lawyers represent landlords and lessees – for both commercial and residential leases.

The main difference between commercial leases and residential leases is that the former are used by businesses to meet with clients and customers while the latter are used so the lessee has a residence – a place to live and sleep. Generally, Florida provides more protections for residential leases.

Both commercial and residential leases have commonalities and key differences.

How Sebastian commercial and residential leases are similar

Both types of lease generally:

  • Identify the location of the property to be leased
  • Set a monthly price or regular price for the ability to use the leased property
  • Provide for a lease time limit such as a year
  • Provide for procedures to renew and terminate the lease

How Sebastian commercial and residential leases are different:

  • Commercial leases have more room for negotiation – as to the price, length, space to be rented, and permissible uses of the property. Tenants of residential apartments generally either accept or reject the standard lease that is offered.
  • Residential leases have more protections. Florida has laws that make it harder for landlords to terminate residential leases because everyone needs a place to live. Residential apartments must be habitable.
  • The lease length. Residential leases often run year to year or even month to month. Commercial leases often run for several years or more.
  • The signor’s status. Normally, the residential tenant is just an individual or an individual and his/her spouse. Commercial lessees can be individuals and or business entities such as corporations.
  • Generally, residential tenants have direct access to their apartment. Commercial tenants need to review where clients and customers can enter and where they can park.

Both commercial and residential lessees should review their leases with legal counsel. Commercial tenants need to review many business factors with their lawyer too. The location of the business is critical. A business location is usually zoned for specific uses. The lease has many business considerations including taxes and insurance.

Commercial lessees need to review many other issues with their Sebastian real property lawyer including the ability to modify the location, the ability to move to a larger location, what advertising such as what signs can be used. Commercial lessees don’t want competitors nearby. Responsibility for common areas needs to be reviewed. Commercial leases need to review who has the responsibility for repairs.

Both residential and commercial tenants should have premises liability insurance. Commercial tenants often need other types of insurance to run their businesses.

Foreclosures and evictions

At Lulich & Attorneys,  we represent mortgage holders and homeowners. We represent both landlords and lessees. Our skilled lawyers understand both sides of foreclosure and eviction proceedings.

Foreclosures. Fighting a foreclosure on your own is extremely difficult. Skilled Sebastian foreclosure lawyers understand the procedures and remedies that apply to foreclosures. We understand when, where, and how to contest a foreclosure proceeding to help you keep your home. We fight mortgage companies who are trying to repossess your home by holding the mortgage holder to the specific requirements of the law. We work with homeowners to understand their financial options. We also represent mortgage companies and banks who need to start foreclosure proceedings.

Evictions. We represent landlords when tenants stop paying the rent. We represent tenants who are having difficulty making ends meet. Florida and Indian River County have specific rules for properly bringing an eviction action. Generally, courts do like to find an agreeable resolution if at all possible so people don’t become homeless. Courts recognize though that tenants who fail to pay the rent or destroy property can be evicted for just cause.

Real estate litigation

Florida does have a law that helps homeowners save their property from the claims of creditors. Our Sebastian real estate lawyers explain when you qualify for the homestead exemption and how you can use the exemption to save your home.

Some of the key requirements are: to qualify for benefits, you must assert the homestead exemption before the creditors seek a judgment against your residence. Only natural people, not business entities, can claim the exemption. The homestead exemption can’t be used for investments – just permanent residences. The exemption only applies to a preset acreage depending on where the property is located.

Some creditors such as mortgage holders, tax authorities, and people with a mechanics lien can file claims against your property even if you otherwise qualify for the Florida homestead exemption. You may be entitled to use the homestead exemption even if you intend to sell your home.

Speak with a respected Sebastian real estate attorney today

You can reach us in Sebastian at (772) 589-5500 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment.

Lulich & Attorneys Sebastian Office

  • Phone: 772-492-4611
  • Fax: 772-589-8800
  • Address: 1069 Main Street, Sebastian, FL 32958
  • Hours: M-F 8:30PM – 5:00PM