Canner Law & Associates, P.C.

Residential Real Estate Law • Buyer Representation • Seller Representation • Condominium Law • Landlord/Tenant Law

The Difference Between Recorded and Registered Land

Friday, May 29, 2020

Many times, we are often asked to explain the difference between Recorded and Registered Land, the two types of Real Property recordings in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Recorded Land makes up approximately 80% of real property recordings in the Commonwealth. It is based on a “buyer beware” concept and the registry accepts documents based on whether the document meets minimum recording requirements and not based on it relating to a certain property (i.e. this means it does not guarantee that the property in question is free from all liens, encumbrances, etc. when a document, such as a Deed [...] read more

COVID-19 Closings

Thursday, May 21, 2020

We are continuing to deliver closing services during the current market conditions. Please be aware that we are very mindful of Covid-19 social distancing requirements and related issues. To best work within these requirements and allow for your health and safety when signing the lending documents, we have developed “curbside” closing. For closings conducted at our Needham office location, the building management has designated an area of our underground parking garage to use for “curbside” closings. When arriving at our 200 Highland Ave. office please take a right (if travelling from Route 128) into the lower level garage. [...] read more

Response to Market Conditions

Friday, March 13, 2020

In response to the current market challenges facing the real estate industry due to the Coronavirus, please note our response: Many Registry of Deeds are now open for recording only. We have electronic recording capabilities through Simplifile to electronically record in Massachusetts. Some county Land Courts do not accept electronic recordings. We will work to record those files via a courier. We have “gap” coverage for our title insurance which will insure during any period between the closing and the recording of a deed and mortgage. Our entire team is equipped with the ability to work remotely. We [...] read more

Registry Recording Fees to Increase at End of 2019

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Here is the link to the recording fee schedule increase: Registry of Deeds Recording Fees Effective December 31, 2019, the revised recording fees will be as follows: Mortgages will cost $205 to record. Deeds will cost $155 to record. Releases and discharges will cost $105 per instrument to record. Tax Certificates will cost $80 to record. [...] read more

Boston Globe Spring Real Estate Market Edition

Thursday, April 4, 2019

The Boston Sunday Globe's spring real estate edition hits newsstands, err, mobile apps this Sunday. This article discusses actions a Seller should take in a hot real estate market. The Globe ran several of my quotes in the piece. I noted that a skilled realtor is the key to navigating the transaction.   Globe Spring Real Estate Article [...] read more

2019 Real Estate Market Outlook

Friday, January 11, 2019

Considering the financial markets volatility, the 2019 financial year has started off on an improved note led by the decrease in interest rates and the rebounding stock market. This paints an optimistic picture of what could be in store for the real estate market in 2019. Although pundits are once again talking about a softening of the real estate market, there are noteworthy signs that point to a positive year when it comes to real estate, both with transactions and appreciation. According to Freddie Mac, the average 30-year fixed rate has dipped to 4.51 percent, bringing the rates [...] read more

Closing the Gap In the Real Estate Closing Process.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Watch the video to understand the Real Estate closing process and the new technologies implemented to create a simplified and smooth closing process for all parties involved! Click here to read the full article! [...] read more

Understanding Permits

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

When purchasing a house or condominium, it is a good idea to check with the municipality to determine if there are any open permits on the property. Most municipalities have an on-line database, which makes the research easier. If a permit is located, then it is reasonable to request that the Seller remedy the issue. Possible outcomes of a request include: -Seller to make any necessary repairs and the municipality signs off and closes out permits prior to closing; -Seller provides a Buyer credit; -Seller does not agree to remedy some of the prior owner permits. If the [...] read more

Improve Your Outlook

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

EMAIL MANAGEMENT TIPS! Email is both a blessing and a curse. A real estate professional can build a busy practice through the magic of email, but the constant flow of emails can be overwhelming. From realtors and lenders to buyers, sellers and (especially!) attorneys, emails are constantly flying back and forth, and they are all sent with the expectation of an immediate response. What is the best way to manage emails so that it serves our best interest? Here are few tips to help prevent your emails from becoming a game of whack-a-mole. 1. Set up a common [...] read more

How Boston's Canner Law Gained Their Competitive Advantage in the Real Estate Closing Industry

Thursday, August 30, 2018

We are pleased to work with our many vendors to deliver the most cutting edge services to our clients. Our real estate software allows us to deliver numerous enhanced services. Click here to watch our video! [...] read more

What Real Estate Agents Should Expect From a Real Estate Attorney

Thursday, August 9, 2018

All real estate attorneys possess the legal acumen needed to purchase and sell homes safely and efficiently. However, only the best attorneys make the purchase and sale process seamless not just for the homeowner, but also for the real estate agent, the mortgage firm, and everyone else involved in this complex process. Real estate agents can help ensure that they have the best person for them if they know what to expect from the real estate attorney, and what is needed to facilitate a smooth home buying experience for everyone involved. Ethics Real estate attorneys are not paid [...] read more

Trying to Buy a Home in Massachusetts? Prepare Yourself

Friday, June 29, 2018

Read Marc's latest piece as featured in Money Inc right here! [...] read more

Bidding War Advice from a Real Estate Attorney

Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Greater Boston real estate market is historically competitive right now, and many properties are selling for well above listing prices. In competitive markets, bidding wars are commonplace. How do you win them and, most importantly, how do you win without taking on an undue level of risk? The points below offer different ways to craft your offer, and what to consider before you commit beyond your means. Find a real estate agent that is communicative, punctual, and level-headed Your real estate agent should continually communicate with the listing agent, provide all documentation in a timely manner, and [...] read more

Dana was featured in The Metrowest Daily News!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Dana wrote a great primer on what to expect when buying a condo. Read her entire piece HERE [...] read more

Kyle was featured in The Metrowest Daily News!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Kyle's article 'Mastering the Buying/Selling Juggling Act' provides great insights on bridging the gaps between the wants and needs of the buyer and the seller.  Read it HERE [...] read more

Check out our latest article which ran in HousingWire

Monday, April 9, 2018

Today, homebuyers can tour homes, see the neighborhood, and research the history of a property all from the comfort of their couch. Technology has streamlined the front end of the purchase process, but the actual closing remains largely stuck in the past. Click here to read the article [...] read more

Five Items to Include in A Use and Occupancy Agreement

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

As everyone in the real estate field is aware, inventory is tight. As a result of the shortage, Sellers are nervous about listing because they may not be able to find a suitable home in a short period of time. The Use and Occupancy Agreement (U&O) is a great tool to give prospective home buyers comfort that they will have more time to find a new home. Here are the top five items to consider referencing in an Offer when proposing a “lease back” to allow a Seller to stay past the closing date: 59 days. If the [...] read more

CONDOMINIUM CONVERSIONS

Monday, March 19, 2018

When considering whether to convert a multi-family property to condominiums, you should weigh the pros and cons. While the cost of a condo conversion is substantial, the potential benefit of owning or selling multiple units on the open market may greatly outweigh that expense. Even if you have been using your property as an income-producing, rental property, you may be surprised at the potential financial advantage to selling two or more distinct condo units, rather than a single multifamily home. When you are converting a property, below is a list of fees which you can expect to pay [...] read more

What Value Does a Real Estate Lawyer Bring to a Transaction?

Thursday, February 22, 2018

A home purchase is the biggest expenditure in a consumer’s life. Peace of mind is on the line in a real estate transaction. A real estate attorney is, of course, another cost to add into the process of buying a home. But this trusted person can advocate for you, advise you, and alleviate your fears. More importantly, the attorney can take away some of your headache to allow you to enjoy the process of purchasing one of the most important investments of your life. But how exactly does one do this? An attorney adds value as follows: A [...] read more

Leveraging Technology to Ensure a Unified Real Estate Experience

Friday, January 5, 2018

One of our preferred vendors, Nate Baker, recently wrote in a Housing Wire article that closing attorneys “must explore taking the lead on implementing technology that drives the real estate industry forward.” https://www.housingwire.com/blogs/1-rewired/post/42177-the-year-of-the-title-company At Canner Law, one of our goals has been to implement technology to improve the closing experience by connecting all parties in the transaction with secure document exchange, messaging, information requests, and real-time automated updates on closing milestones. Towards this end, all of our referral partners and their clients can now: Order closings with one click Get real-time updates on the closing process Send messages [...] read more

Breaking Down the Tax Plan: 5 Points to Consider

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

With the passage of the tax bill and its immediate implementation, there has been a lot of confusion. To help clear up that haze, below is six quick summaries of points that directly affect housing. While these points are based on the facts of the tax plan itself, the interpretation of how this will help – or hurt – is entirely up to you. Capital gain exclusion is left unchanged. This was one of the larger debates of the tax plan, and many are happy to see it left unchanged. Why? Well, the capital gain is the difference [...] read more

Ordinance of Law Coverage for Master Insurance Policies

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Many lenders are now requiring that in older buildings, Condominium Association’s carry “Ordinance of Law” insurance coverage. Failure to obtain the coverage can delay or imperil a closing. Ordinance or Law coverage is extra coverage that pertains to the added cost of rebuilding, by enforcement of ordinances or laws regulating construction and repair of damaged buildings. Older structures that are damaged may need upgraded electrical, heating ventilating, HVAC and plumbing based on city codes. The lowest limit available is $25,000. There is typically an additional premium to add to the existing coverage. Since it is the Buyer’s lender [...] read more

Coordinating "Piggyback" Transactions

Monday, June 19, 2017

June is the peak of the homebuying season. Planning a purchase to coincide with the sale of your home or condominium unit as often occurs this time of year requires coordination and communication. To take some of the stress out of this process, it is helpful to understand the details. A “piggyback transaction” involves selling a property and using the proceeds from the sale to purchase a new property. Piggyback transactions, also known as “back to back” transactions, usually start with the closing for the sale taking place in the morning (typically before 10 AM), and the closing [...] read more

New Back Bay Office Opening!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Canner Law & Associates, P.C. is pleased to announce the opening of our new Back Bay office space, located at 359-361 Newbury St., 5th Floor, Boston, MA. We will better able to service our Boston clientele and provide a convenient closing location. If you are in the area, please stop by for a cup of coffee to check out the space and talk real estate! [...] read more

Changes To The Regulatory Make-Up of the Housing Industry?

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Among the many battles raging in Washington, D.C. this spring is a fight shaping up over the future of the housing industry. At the heart of the battle is the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (“CFPB”). http://www.consumerfinance.gov/ Created by the Dodd-Frank Act ( http://www.cftc.gov/LawRegulation/DoddFrankAct/index.htm ), the Bureau has broad authority over the US economy. It has emerged as a lightening rod in regulatory reform as the director of the CFPB cannot be fired by the President. In real estate, the future of the CFPB is significant because the agency has oversight of TRID and has unfettered authority to levy [...] read more

New Settlement Agent Software Allows for More Efficient Delivery of Real Estate Services

Friday, September 16, 2016

We recently upgraded our real estate settlement agent software to Qualia. Qualia is a San Francisco based company that features cloud-based, real time collaboration, which reduces data entry and redundancy, as well as improves efficiency. Most important, the Qualia software integrates with our vendors, including title insurance companies, Simplifile, FedEx, and Ellie Mae ( http://www.elliemae.com/about/news-reports/press-releases/ellie-mae-announces-integration-with-qualia ). Qualia’s features allow us to improve our delivery capabilities, which is key in a busy real estate market. [...] read more

Canner Law & Associates, P.C. Named A 2016 Best Real Estate Law Firm in Boston

Friday, September 9, 2016

Expertise reviewed 268 real estate law firms in Boston, and picked the Top 19. The criteria for selection included: reputation, credibility, experience, availability, professionalism and engagement. We are honored to be recognized. Thank you to my entire team, our terrific vendors, title insurance partners, and of course, the talented and dedicated realtors and mortgage originators we work with who helped Canner Law make the list of top real estate law firms in Boston! https://www.expertise.com/ma/boston/real-estate-attorneys [...] read more

CFPB Launches New TRID Website Page for Settlement Agents

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau just created a new resource TRID webpage for settlement agents. http://www.consumerfinance.gov/policy-compliance/know-you-owe-mortgages/settlement-professionals-guide/ The page is intended to serve as a resource for settlement agents during the closing process. According to the website, Settlement Agents are “i ntegral to real estate transactions. They gather essential data, coordinate transfer of ownership, and orchestrate many of the events leading to the consummation of a loan.” The new page has two sections. The first is a review of settlement agent responsibilities, including specific tasks and complying with privacy safeguards. The second part focuses on how information will be [...] read more

Property Tax FAQs

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Here is a summary of property tax FAQ’s: I bought (or sold) the property several months ago, and the taxes are still in the name of the Seller. This is a frequent occurrence. Most municipalities update their tax rolls annually, usually for the first quarter of the following tax year (August 1 st ). Thus, the name of the Seller likely will remain on the tax rolls until then. The Seller is not required to make the tax payment, since they are no longer responsible for the tax payments. Further, the Seller does not need to give the [...] read more

The Closing

Friday, April 1, 2016

You are finally at the finish line and about to close on your new home or condominium unit. Naturally, you wonder "[w]hat are the final amount of funds to bring to closing and is there anything else I need to close?" If you are financing the transaction, the lender is required to provide you with a "Closing Disclosure" ("CD") at least three days prior to closing. The CD will provide the final amount of funds needed to close. If you have a cash purchase , the closing attorney will provide the "Settlement Statement" which will similarly provide the final [...] read more

Mortgage Commitment FAQs

Monday, February 1, 2016

Understanding a Mortgage Commitment: FAQ's When financing a purchase transaction, the mortgage financing date is the single most important pre-closing event after the Purchase and Sale Agreement is signed. How Long is the Mortgage Financing Timeline? The mortgage financing date typically occurs three to four weeks after the P&S is signed. For a condominium purchase, four weeks is recommended. What is the Purpose of a Mortgage Commitment? When financing a loan, a lender undertakes a lengthy review of the borrower prior to approving financing. The borrower and the property must meet detailed Fannie Mae guidelines. Thus, a mortgage [...] read more

Electronic Recordings: A Benefit to the Consumer

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Electronic recordings (e-recordings) of deeds, mortgages and other title instruments is fully operational in Massachusetts. E-recording is more cost effective and faster than the traditional method of recording by sending a title examiner to the registry of deeds. It eliminates the need to hold closings at Cambridge, Boston or other traffic-impacted venues. E-recording is legal and binding, and accepted by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and virtually every major lender. It is a major benefit to all parties involved with a real estate closing, and Canner Law is well-versed in how to use the system to ensure a faster [...] read more

Canner Law & Associates, P.C. Has Been Designated A Stewart Trusted Service Provider And A Secure Settlement Registered Agent

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

On October 3, 2015 , the Consumer Finance Protection Board (“CFPB”) required all lenders to replace existing GFE, TILA and REPSA disclosure forms with two new integrated closing disclosures. The new disclosures are a combination of the existing Good Faith Estimate (GFE), Truth-in-Lending (TIL) disclosure and the HUD-1 Settlement Statement. The requirement places detailed compliance requirements on the closing attorney/ Settlement agent. We are proud to note that Canner Law & Associates, P.C. has been designated a “Stewart Trusted Provider ” and a " Secure Settlement " registered agent. In order to qualify as a Stewart Trusted Provider, [...] read more

Permits: A Little Due Diligence Goes a Long Way

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

When buying a house or condominium in Massachusetts, a home inspector typically does not check the permits on a property. For a more thorough review, it is important for a buyer to verify with the city or town that there are no open permits. City or town halls will allow the buyer (or buyer’s agent) to review all permits on file.An examination of the property’s “jacket” will contain the record of all permits and detail work performed.Typical items that are contained in the building’s jacket include building/ structural work, home improvement projects, as well as mechanical and electrical [...] read more

A Lead Paint Primer for Realtors: FAQs

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Under Massachusetts and federal law, real estate agents must tell prospective purchasers that a new owner of a home built before 1978 in which a child under six will live must have it either deleaded or brought under interim control within 90 days of taking title. It is important that realtors and sellers tell the prospective purchaser any information they know about lead in the home as the penalties for non-compliance are stiff. Sellers and real estate agents that do not meet the requirements can face a civil penalty of up to $1,000 under state law and a [...] read more

Legal Services For Selling Your Home

Monday, March 24, 2014

Thinking of selling your home? We offer a full complement of legal and closing services for sellers in real estate transactions. We will first assist you in the early stages of the Offer to Purchase and Purchase and Sale Agreement. We will work to resolve and clear problems that may be found in the title examination, and prepare the deed from you to your buyer. As the closing approaches, we will work hand in hand with you to coordinate and represent you during the closing, and we will be there with you to answer questions you might have [...] read more

The Bare-Bones of Cash Purchases

Friday, October 18, 2013

All-cash purchases of real estate have been on the rise across the country over the last decade and accounted for 33% of home sales in just the last year. A cash buyer is one who plans to buy a property without obtaining a mortgage. Cash transactions typically follow the same trajectory as financed deals, including seeking the help of a realtor and using a closing attorney. The time frame does tend to be shorter. What else is different? In purchases involving mortgages, usually the lender selects a closing attorney. Since there is no lender involved in a cash [...] read more

Using a Closing Attorney in Massachusetts

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

When it comes to the purchase or sale of residential real estate, title problems, disputes about condition of the property and potential litigation are always a disconcerting possibility. Engaging a real estate closing attorney is not only essential to minimizing risk of future litigation for residential transactions, but is also required in Massachusetts! So, you might wonder, what does a closing attorney do? The Brass Tacks: The real estate closing attorney compiles the necessary documents so that the property can legally be transferred to a new owner free and clear. How do they do this? Review - the [...] read more

How the HUD Settlement Statement Works at Closing

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

This video goes through the actual closing process, including how to make sure your loan closely matches what you encounter at the settlement table. [...] read more

The Trilogy: Explaining the Deed, Promissory Note and Mortgage at a Massachusetts Closing

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Prospective real estate buyers tend to think of the “mortgage” as the contract they are signing with the bank. This is misleading. The promissory note is the actual contract to loan and borrow money between lender and borrower. The mortgage is the lender’s instrument, or more accurately, its security interest, to enforce that loan contract. This is an important distinction because, if for example, a couple purchases property or refinances, and the loan is taken out solely in the wife’s name, then lining up the correct parties on the signing documents becomes important. But before discussing how to [...] read more

2012 Massachusetts Real Estate Market Survey

Sunday, July 3, 2011

January in the real estate industry is typically the time for the new year market outlook. For this coming year many of us have seen the template on the macro-economic data which most impacts the real estate industry: 8.5% unemployment in the latest report, 30 year mortgage rates at record lows at or below 4.0%, and 15 year mortgage rates at or below 3.25%. Rather than run a standard metrics-based market forecast this year, I decided to survey a cross-section of Massachusetts real estate realtors and mortgage professionals to hear from them on the upcoming spring and the [...] read more

Condominiums

Condominium Conversions- Streamlining the Process by Deregistering from Land Court

Monday, September 2, 2019

We recently handled a “condominium conversion,” converting a client’s two-family home in Jamaica Plain into a two-unit condominium. When the client first contacted us, we checked the Registry website and discovered that the title was in the Land Court. The Land Court has many benefits, but for a condominium conversion, the review and approval process can drag on for months. For a Buyer obtaining financing and/or a Seller who is reliant on the proceeds of the sale to fund another transaction, the unwieldy length of the process can be daunting. Moreover, in an industry that is oriented towards [...] read more