7 Myths About Down Payments for Real Estate Purchases

There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding the process for real estate purchases, and this makes matters even more confusing for those that are new to buying a home. Continue reading “7 Myths About Down Payments for Real Estate Purchases”

The Right to Inspect and Cancel 

So, you finally found a property that makes your heart skip a beat and you are already imagining family dinners and movie nights by the fireplace. Congratulations! However, do not move Continue reading “The Right to Inspect and Cancel ”

Tips for a Smooth Real Estate Closing

After a long battle with research, applications, real estate agents, negotiations, and etc., the purchase contract has been finalized and you’re finally ready to close the deal. You will want to make sure that all documents and disclosures are in order and that nothing has been left out. We often see that all the formalities have been taken care of, but there is one page that was not signed, which could effect the binding contract.

Depending on what the contract states, your Florida Closing Attorney or Title Company will conduct a title search in order to secure the title and insure that there are no liens or “clouds” on the property upon the transfer of the Property. Lenders will usually require this anyway if applying for a home loan or re-financing.

As far as closing costs go, if you are financing your home, your lender will provide a good faith estimate which identifies all costs involved. Some expenses related to the mortgage or property itself are either prepaid or paid at closing, which must be prorated between the buyer, seller, and lenders at the closing. These expenses can include real estate taxes, utility costs, and condo assessments that are prorated between the parties. Be sure to clarify between parties what these pro-rations will be at the closing. Many times we see fees charged to the wrong party, make sure to consult your Florida Closing Attorney.

The current document that’s used to list all itemized payments and credits of the buyer-seller transaction is the HUD-1 statement. However, beginning in October of this year a standardized Closing Disclosure document will be implemented which will usually be provided by the lender for the closing. Currently, the most important documents to review during a closing are the Good Faith Estimate, HUD-1, and TILA/RESPA disclosure (Truth In Lending Act/Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act). However, these will be replaced by the Loan Estimate, Closing Disclosure, and Closing Settlement documents. Stay tuned for more information on this!

Florida Real Estate

What should you bring and what you should ask for at closing?

Make sure you bring two forms of photo identification. The closing agents involved usually require a driver’s license or some other form of government identification. Make sure that all keys and automatic garage door openers are transferred to the purchasing party (this includes mailbox, utility shed, basement keys, garage door openers, etc.). Handing over the keys to the buyer at the end of a closing is known as “delivering possession of the property to the buyer.” Which means the Buyer gets their keys and Seller gets paid for his home.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the closing process, what is needed at a closing, or what information should be disclosed to you, please contact your Florida Real Estate Attorney today!

Foreign Sellers- What to know about FIRPTA guidelines

U.S. Realtor’s, rental agents, and closing agents are encountering an increasing number of situations that involve foreign persons selling their U.S. real estate.

The sale of a U.S. real property interest by a foreign person is subject to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (also known as FIRPTA) income tax withholding. This Act taxes non-U.S. investors on gains from U.S. real property investments.

*Please note that FIRPTA applies to what it defines as a U.S. real property interest, which includes not only interests in land, but interests in buildings, mines, wells, crops and timber as well.

What does this mean for foreign owners? When an individual foreign person sells U.S. real property, the transferee, usually settlement officers or closing agent’s, are required to withhold ten percent of the amount realized on the sale. There are special rules for foreign corporations, which will not be discussed in this Article. The amount realized is generally the amount paid for the property commonly known as the purchase price.

The ten percent must be withheld at closing and be remitted to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) no later than 20 days after the transfer.

What does this mean to real estate and closing agents? It is important for agents to inform foreign owners of the FIRPTA withholding requirement or the requirement to provide a tax identification number (TIN). If you do not inform or give enough notice to the foreign owners of the FIRPTA requirements you may be held liable.

There are some exceptions to the FIRPTA withholding, and the most common is that the transferee is not required to withhold tax in a situation in which the purchaser/buyer purchases real estate for use as his or her home and the purchase price is not more than $300,000.00.

Gulati Law deals with these types of issues on a regular basis with their foreign clients. We also assists with contract preparation and real estate closings, as her law firm is equipped to issue title insurance, owner’s policies and lenders policies. Raised by a family of real estate brokers, she has the experience and knowledge as well as being a licensed Real Estate Agent herself.

Jacksonville in The Top 20 Best Markets for Single-Family Rental Investments

According to the Jacksonville Business Journal, Jacksonville was placed in the top twenty “best markets” for single-family rental investments in RealtyTrac Inc.’s “20 Best Markets for Buying Single Family Rentals” list.

“RealtyTrac came up with the list by analyzing median sales prices and average rental rates for three-bedroom homes and using that data to calculate capitalization “cap” rates and average cash flows.”

That being said, other Florida cities made the list also, including:

  • Daytona
  • Lakeland
  • Ocala
  • Orlando
  • Palm Bay
  • Port St. Lucie
  • Tampa

Gulati Law can assist you with the purchase or sale of your property, as we have an affiliated Title Company that offers title insurance and many other services for real estate investors, purchasers, or jobbers. If you are a real estate investor, or a first time home buyer, contact us today, our Attorney is not only a  licensed Florida Real Estate Agent, but also a Florida Real Estate Attorney.


Source: Jacksonville Business Journal

Hiring A Real Estate Attorney Is An Important Decision

Hiring a Florida Real Estate Attorney for your purchase, sale or investment is one of the most important decisions to consider when first becoming involved in real estate. The right Attorney will keep you informed, on track and lessen your liability for any title defects.

At Gulati Law, our practice primarily focuses on Real Estate and Business Law, in which we offer our clients all forms of title services, including title insurance. Attorney Gulati is not only a Florida Real Estate Attorney but also a Florida Real Estate Sales Agent licensed with the Florida Board of Realtors.

Attorney Gulati is also a member of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, which creates, maintains and enhances a business environment that contributes significantly to the success and the prosperity of Central Florida. As a property manager, landlord and real estate sales agent, Ms. Gulati realizes the need for legal representation in handling real estate transactions.

For more real estate questions, please contact our office today, we will be happy to help.

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