Law Office of Myrna M. Zakarian                                                         

Real Estate Services

Selling and Buying a Home

Selling and buying a home is one of the most important decisions made in a lifetime.  It is therefore important to have a real estate attorney involved at the earliest possible stage of the transaction and representing your interests, not only to provide peace of mind but also to save time, money and heartache that may result from a deal gone bad.

The Offer to Purchase Real Estate
The first step in selling or buying a home is the submittal and acceptance of an Offer To Purchase Real Estate.  In most cases, a buyer's real estate agent prepares the written Offer on a pre-printed form and then presents it to the seller for acceptance.  Most often, real estate attorneys are not involved in this first stage of the process because many sellers and buyers erroneously believe that the Offer To Purchase Real Estate is essentially a formality that creates very few obligations, and believe that the contract to buy and sell the real estate is the Purchase and Sale Agreement.  To the contrary, a signed Offer to Purchase Real Estate is a binding and enforceable contract under Massachusetts law to sell and buy the real estate even if the parties agree to execute a more comprehensive Purchase and Sale Agreement based on the terms specified in the Offer.  In light of the legal significance of a signed Offer, both sellers and buyers would be wise to consult an attorney prior to signing an Offer.

The Purchase and Sale Agreement
As mentioned, the Purchase and Sale Agreement (the “P&S”) is an agreement between the seller and buyer which sets forth in greater detail the agreed upon terms for the sale and purchase of real estate specified in the Offer.  The form of agreement most often used is provided by the Greater Boston Real Estate Board.  Prospective buyers may ask: “Why do I need an attorney to review and negotiate the P&S?”  Not only does the standard form of agreement favor the seller, but it is just that – a form.  An attorney representing the buyer will modify the standard language and add provisions offering the buyer protection on such important issues as the mortgage contingency, clean and marketable title, seller's repairs, and access to the property.

Prospective buyers also ask whether it is necessary to hire an attorney to review and negotiate the P&S when their lender’s attorney is already on board to handle the closing.  Dual representation of buyers and lenders is a conflict of interest that many Massachusetts conveyancers frequently engage in.  Often, the buyer is told that the representation ceases at the time a P&S is signed or that if a conflict arises, the attorney will terminate representation of the buyer and continue to represent the lender.  It is important to understand that a lender’s attorney represents the interests of the bank first and foremost, and therefore it is imperative that a buyer have separate legal representation.

From a seller's point of view, it is also important to obtain legal representation in the preparation and negotiation of the P&S in order to protect the seller's best interests.  For example, following a home inspection, a buyer may request that the seller make certain repairs to the home prior to closing.  A seller's attorney would not only offer advice to the seller on the requested home repairs, but also prepare a provision to be incorporated in the P&S setting forth in detail the exact nature of the agreed-upon repairs to avoid any misunderstandings at closing.

Services Offered
Ms. Zakarian represents both sellers and buyers of single family homes and condominiums.  She advises clients on various real estate issues including, but not limited to:

  • Reviewing the Offer to Purchase Real Estate.
  • Drafting, negotiating and reviewing the Purchase and Sale Agreement and Rider thereto.
  • Reviewing all documents pertinent to the transaction, such as the home inspection report.
  • Helping resolve issues that may arise with respect to the sale/purchase of the real estate.
  • For Buyers (i) providing advice regarding the mortgage application process and the contingency deadline,  and (ii) preparing a Declaration of Homestead.
  • For Sellers (i) facilitating mortgage payoff information to buyer's attorney, (ii) preparing a Limited Power of Attorney, if requested, and (iii) preparing a Quitclaim Deed.
  • Preparing the client for the closing by reviewing the Closing Disclosure and explaining its meaning and significance.

The objective in representing a seller or a buyer is to make the sale and purchase of a home as easy and simple as possible.  Call Ms. Zakarian for a consultation.  Flat fees are offered for most real estate services.

Real Estate Brokerage Services

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This website has been prepared for informational purposes only.  The information presented on this website does not constitute legal advice, which can only be rendered after a full consideration of the facts of your situation; nor establish an attorney-client relationship, which can only be done after you and Ms. Zakarian have met and agreed on the terms of that relationship.