Video Summary

When do you use quit claim deeds? Primarily to clear up any interest someone may have in real estate by them signing the quit claim deed, they say that, “Look, if I have any interest in this property, I’m releasing it, I’m not stating that I do or do not have any interest in the property. But if I do, well I’m releasing it to whoever you’re transferring the property.” They’re used quite a bit to clean up any discrepancy and legal descriptions that are in the, what we call the chain of title, in that someone conveyed their property and there was a misspelling or there was a sentence missed out of the legal description, and it’s clear that they meant to convey the property.

However, as a result of a typographical error or some other problem with the deed, it did not clear up the title. And so the quit claim deed used clear that mistakes up that are made in transferring property, usually from a prior owner. Sometimes the quit claim deeds are used by relatives in the estate situation where has left of four or five children and they say, “Oh, well I want my sister to have this.” Well, they’ll sign a quit claim deed transferring whatever interest they have in the property to a particularly family member whom they would like to own the property.

Another time that quit claim deeds are used is whenever there’s a divorce proceeding, and the judgment should provide for the conveyance of a spouse’s interest in the property. However, if it does not, and directs them to execute a deed, well they would usually use a quit claim deed since they’re not warranting title. So quit claim deed says that, “I’m conveying whatever interest I may have in this property to you.” There’s no warranties that the person who signs the deed, that they have any interest in the property, but as to clear up questions about prior conveyances or court orders. If you have any questions about quit claim deeds and their use, well give me a call at (727) 847-2288.

Video Summary

Can I fire my title company after I have a sales contract with them? Well, are there any reasons to fire your title company? Well, yes there are. If they’re not performing or they tell you that you can’t solve particular problems, so that you do have the ability to do that. The title company is usually controlled by the contract, or whenever you sell your property it says the buyer can select the title agent, or it says the seller can select. In the Tampa Bay/Pasco County/Pinellas Hillsborough area, almost all contracts provide that the seller will select and pay for the title insurance. That gives you the ability to do that.

Many realtors also have a title company which the broker has some interest or they partner with someone, so many times they just simply take care of it for the seller and don’t confer with the seller as to what title company they wish to use, and the title company proceeds with it. You do have a choice as to whom you would like to select. Furthermore, if you’re not pleased with or you’re having problems with them, there’s no problem with discharging them. Usually in the title industry, they don’t try and charge for the work that they have done. Then you can select whatever title company you would like.

If you’re listing your home, you may wish to choose your real estate attorney or someone else to write the title insurance and be your title agent so you have someone available and if so, you simply need to let the realtor know whenever you sign the listing agreement who you’d like to close the transaction. Or, once you signed your contract, you need to tell them that you would like, in the Pasco County area say, “Well, I’d like to have Roland Waller take care of my title insurance, and that I understand that he’s an attorney, sits at the table and closes the deal, and doesn’t charge an additional attorney fee.” That’s something that you can do. You can select, you can discharge your title agent and rehire another one.

The reasons why you would fire or discharge your title agent is because they’re not performing or they are insisting that there’s a title problem, that they want you to pay a lien that you don’t believe that you should or you can pay, so you may need to confer with a different title agent or an attorney title agent such as myself to see if I can solve the problems. If so, then I can serve as the title agent, although if there are title problems, there may be an additional charge for attorney fees to resolve any title issues and you can move the title order.

Whenever you’re refinancing, many times the lender will say, “Well, could I see your title policy that you had whenever you purchased the property?” The reason for that is, is that you can give them the owner’s policy when you purchase the property. You can get what they call a reissue credit or a discount on your title insurance. You can tell whatever lender you select whom you would like to do your title work. If you tell your lender, “Well, I’d like to have Roland Waller be my title agent,” and give them my information, well then, I would be pleased to handle the refinance for you, so you can select that and the lender should use whoever you select, since you will be paying for it. If I’ve closed a deal previously, I can see about finding your prior policy and give you a reissue credit as far as refinancing’s concerned.

If you’re getting ready to sell your house, well, tell you realtor that you’d like to have my office handle the title insurance, and we’ll be glad to quote you the fees, which I think are competitive with any title company, and you get the bonus of having me either at the closing table, or certainly reviewing the matter ahead of time. If you’re with a lender, you can also ask them use my office as far as refinancing the property. If you are refinancing, well, I look forward to hearing from you. My phone number is 727-847-2288.

Video Summary

What advice would you give when selling a home? Well, if you’re thinking about selling your home, I suggest first that you start thinking about where you’re going to go, so that you don’t sell your home, and it may sell quickly in this market, and have no place to go. So, you need to do some planning and think about where you’re going to be going.

The next thing I suggest you do, is that you contact three realtors, and ask each of them to come out and view your home, and provide you with a comparative market analysis. Tell each one of them that you’re presently interviewing realtors as far as deciding on whom to list it with and for how much, and see if they would be interested in coming out and providing you with a CMA, giving you some idea which will provide the marketing … what price they believe they can sell the house at. And also any suggestions they might have as far as what you can do to improve the sale, or the eye appeal, as far as that’s concerned, as far as the home’s concerned.

So once you have interviewed all three of them, you need to have some comfort as to which one you feel the most comfortable with. And the one that necessarily says that they would list it for the highest amount, you want to try and look at that to see if all three CMA’s are realistic, or how broad of a range they are, to come up with some kind of median price. You need to ask them that you would like to have the property sold, say, in two month period, in a 60 day period that you would have a contract.

So you also need to be prepared, particularly if you do have a realtor, to fill out an information sheet about the home, and list any matters that you’ve had done to the house. Particularly if it’s a repaired sinkhole home, be sure you have the engineers report if it’s available. And disclose whatever there may have been any problems, and that that’s an obligation you have as far as a seller.

Once you decide upon the realtor, you need to try and keep your listing agreement down to six months. Also, ask them about if you get unhappy with their services, whether or not you would have a right to terminate the contract, and what you would have to pay them. And take out the provision, or the listing agreement, where they have the discretion of either allowing you in our out of the contract, and don’t sign it for too long of a … six months is usually the time period for a listing agreement. So if things aren’t working out, well then you’re in a position to switch to a different realtor.

Also, you need to look at what their percentage is, whether it’s … usually it runs about 6%, and ask how much they’re going to provide for the selling realtor, since they’re the listing realtor. Whether it’s gonna be a even split, a three and three, or whether they give the [inaudible 00:03:48] percentage, and just how they go about that. You also need to ask each one of them whether or not they’re gonna charge you a transaction fee, as far as your realtor’s concerned.

So that’s, also how they’re gonna go about marketing, whether they’re gonna put it in multiple listing, what kind of advertisements they’re gonna do. So these are all questions that you might wanna write down so you have each realtor be ready to address these, or when you ask them to come out whether they’d be agreeable to giving you answers to these questions. And then, once you review all of that, and your comfort level, well then select your realtor so that you could then go about putting your house on the market, and hopefully having it sold within about a 60 day period. Also having decided, you know where you’re gonna be going, whether or not you’re moving out of state, or whether you already have a place, or just what you need to do.

Whenever you do receive a contract for the sale of the property, tell your realtor that you’d like to have my office handle the title insurance. We charge pretty much the same amount as what any other title company would do, and we would be at the closing table for you. One of the things, and if you would like for me to review the contract, well I would do that. If you wanna engage my services to look at the contract and comment on it prior to your signing it, the attorney fees on that run about $250 to $500.

One of the things that you will see in most contracts, which I don’t know that there’s much you can do about it is, usually there’s a very small deposit. So, the buyer puts down a $1,000 deposit, or $2,000 or $3,000, even it’s a cash deal. So whenever the closing comes about, and let’s say the buyer just decides they don’t wanna to go through with the deal, the downside of this is that they can walk away and the most that you’re gonna be able to get is the amount of the deposit. So if it’s merely a $1,000, particularly if you have moved out or whatever you’ve done, then you’ve got a real problem, in that you have … the transaction’s gone through.

If possible, try and negotiate a little higher purchase price, or if you are concerned, let’s say it’s a 100% financing, or 97% financing, I suggest that you put in the contract that the buyer will request the lender to order an appraisal right away, to see if the property will appraise so that they can get their financing, and so it doesn’t fall through at the last minute, and they get their deposit back and you still own your home. But make arrangements to possibly remain in the property for a short period of time after closing, so that you haven’t moved out, and then the deal falls through at the last minute. Unfortunately it’s very difficult to know that you’ve got a deal until it actually closes and you put the money in the bank, so there’s just a few things that you can look at to do.

So, those are just a few things to think about whenever you’re getting ready to sell the house, and [inaudible 00:07:36] you’d like some advice, or like for me to represent you, I’ll be pleased to. If you sell the property on your own, I can prepare the contract and take care of the closing. I am a title agent, and I’ll write the title insurance and close the transaction. So if you have any questions about selling your home, give me a call, it’s 727-847-2288.

Video Summary

What types of things must I disclose whenever I’m selling my home? Well this emanates from a case that’s probably twenty-five-years-old called Johnson versus Davis. The Supreme Court came down on selling your home, or your residential property, that says that a seller must disclose to a buyer any matters that may materially affect the value of the property that are not readily observable. This provision has also been carried over into the present contract that has been approved by The Board of Realtors in the Florida Bar. It provides precisely what I have said.

What falls into that category? Well certainly if you have a leaky roof, you can’t very well not tell them about it. If you have a fire or a flood and then you’ve taken care of it, you need to disclose that the property has previously flooded. Things such as that. It gets into a more grey area whenever, let’s say, that someone has died in the home. Certainly if it’s coming out of an estate, well that’s fairly apparent. I don’t know that that’s a matter that may materially affect the value of a property.

Well take it one step further. What happens if someone was murdered in the home, or some crime was committed, or is was a grow house? Well those matters maybe something that could materially affect the value of a property. Another matter is what if you know that your neighbor had sinkhole? Now are you required to disclose that your neighbor had a sinkhole on his property although you haven’t experienced any sinkholes? There’s any number of grey areas that come into being or of what you need to disclose.

The realtors have a fairly comprehensive sheet that they go through for each component of your home, such as the plumbing, the electrical, all of the disclosure sheet, and so that should be a pretty good guide as far as completing that as to whenever you sell your home. Go through that disclosure to let them know how long it’s been since you’ve redone the roof, whether you’ve experienced leaks, things such as that.

The best thing to do however, if you’re going to buy a home, is to have your own inspection done. But that’s not the question you wanted to know. From a seller’s perspective, what you needed to disclose. I always recommend the sellers to air on the side of more disclosure rather than less so that you don’t have to worry about it coming back to haunt you later on. When in doubt, I’d go ahead and disclose the matter to the buyer. If they like your home, and it’s in good shape, and there’s no really other problems, it’s not going to keep them from buying the house. If they wind up buying the house and later on have seller’s remorse, or some other reason that they wanted to get out of the house, or bring a lawsuit against you, that you’ve made the disclosure and you’ve taken away that reason for them to try and come after you for failure to disclose.

The buyer’s remedies for a seller failure to disclose is if they can bring an action within one year it’s called “rescission,” which means that you turn around and you offer to convey the property back to the seller, and in turn you receive your money. This is a difficult remedy; sometimes you’ve paid off mortgages, that the seller doesn’t have the money, that you have a mortgage that you have to pay off, or you’ve made substantial improvements, so there’s any number of problems.

The other aspect of it, if that remedy is not feasible, is to sue for whatever the cost to repair is or to correct the problem. That is your other remedy. Of course, before you have a good lawsuit with that, you need to make sure that whoever you’re suing has the money to pay. That’s another aspect of looking at it. This obligation to disclose not only extends to a seller, but also to realtors that if they know of any information they must disclose it to the buyer or make the disclosure.

There is another problem as far as buyers are concerned if they wish to bring an action against the seller: they have show they the seller knew of the problem. Many times you see whenever you’re buying bank-owned property, there’s a big disclosure saying they’ve never occupied the property and therefore do not know if there are any problems with it. That’s a discussion as far was what needs to be disclosed, and certainly a grey area.

If you have any questions, well give me a call at 727-847-2288.

Thank you.