Canner Law & Associates, P.C.

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

Closing the Gap In the Real Estate Closing Process.

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!

updated: 1 year ago

Understanding Permits

Understanding Permits

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 open permits issue is not resolved to a Buyer’s satisfaction, then a negotiation can ensue. Factors to consider in the negotiation are whether there are other offers, likelihood of another Buyer raising the same issue, feasibility of the municipality signing off on remaining open permits (in Boston, for example, the city often cannot close out older permits), and the cost of the work (if) needed to close out the permit(s). A skilled real estate attorney can provide additional guidance.

updated: 1 year ago

Improve Your Outlook

Improve Your Outlook
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 email address for your office or team. Make sure the email address is included in the P&S or contact sheet. If you have team members that can address an issue while you are out of the office, it can cut down on time. Find out even more when your read #4.
2. Be proactive; anticipate the emails. Experience tells us that in certain steps of the process, more questions or concerns may arise than in others. Staying proactive keeps clients and all professionals informed.
3.Include all parties on your side of the transaction on the same email. If you "silo" the communication, it will lead to redundant emails. Keeping all parties informed and updated will also cut down on time. Conversely, avoid "crossing" emails, meaning if your client is the Buyer, do not include anyone from the Seller's side of the transaction on the same email (unless appropriate).
4. Do not reinvent the wheel with every email. Since most emails are repetitive, why rewrite each one from scratch every time? Create templates and save them in your CRM. Once you begin to do that, then it’s simply ‘rinse, wash and repeat’!
5. Delegate, delegate, delegate! Have an admin or associate "shadow" your correspondence. Your admin can track your emails, send quick replies letting the senders know that you will follow up with them and prioritize the important ones when you are ready for them.
6. We have somehow become slaves to our smart phones. Whether we are sitting in the car, grabbing a coffee at Starbucks or eating lunch, we feel obligated to stop mid-bite and answer every email in our in-box. If you wait to return to the office, you can probably type much faster on your keyboard and you will have more resources right in front of you.
7. Forecast the storm! Observe some simple email metrics. What are the busiest times of day for email flow? Is it morning, mid-day, possibly end of day when clients have a break from their own work? When possible, organize your day to take advantage of these peak hours. A word of advice: if you practice the habits in tip #2, you should see a significant decrease in the amount of emails coming in.
Managing your email gives you more time to manage your clients effectively and better yet, grow your business!

updated: 1 year ago

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

Canner Law

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!

updated: 1 year ago

What Real Estate Agents Should Expect From a Real Estate Attorney

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.

  1. Ethics

Real estate attorneys are not paid through commission; they are paid solely for their expertise. Therefore, it is imperative that they conduct themselves in the utmost professional and ethical manner at all times. Attorneys should always follow the laws and regulations in their field, without bribery or deception. If you think something is suspicious, ask. And if you suspect that an attorney has a hazy ethical code, look up reviews, ask for references, and ask fellow agents – you’ll often be able to use colleagues in the industry to confirm or deny any lingering suspicions.

  1. Hassle-free

Buying and selling homes can be chaotic enough without a real estate attorney that does not do their job efficiently. The attorney should be readily available and offer tools that make the process easier, like communication platforms, options for sharing protected documents, and more. One example of a tool that actually consolidates all of those services is Qualia, a technology platform that allows agents, attorneys, and brokers to simplify the home purchasing/ selling process. It not only limits the number of platforms through which the involved parties need to communicate and share documents, but also adds a layer of transparency so that all parties involved can see the process move along in real time. You want your attorney to have something like this, so that your and your client’s process is easier, and more enjoyable.

  1. Reputation

Real estate agents should demand that their real estate attorneys have a good reputation in the industry. Real estate attorneys are an integral part of the real estate process and need to be able establish client and industry relationships that make all parties involved feel confident and comfortable with each step of the process. You should look for an attorney that has a solid track record of clearing titles, negotiating contracts, and working through challenging situations. Social media, review sites, and personal references all allow agents to explore an attorney’s past, and ensure that they are the right fit for you.

  1. Connections

Though an attorney’s reputation is important, it’s almost, if not more important that an attorney has strong relationships with individuals in the local real estate industry. If they are well known among the local realtors and community, that tells you that they have done their job for long enough, and well enough, that they are recognized and remembered throughout the industry. Their connections within the community are also helpful in allowing you to complete the real estate transaction properly and quickly.

Though not comprehensive, these characteristics provide a good roadmap for what to look for when determining the best legal partner for you and, most importantly, for your client.

Check out this great video!

updated: 1 year ago

Trying to Buy a Home in Massachusetts? Prepare Yourself

Trying to Buy a Home in Massachusetts Prepare Yourself
Read Marc's latest piece as featured in Money Inc right here!

updated: 1 year ago

Bidding War Advice from a Real Estate Attorney

Bidding War Advice from a Real Estate Attorney

Written by Darren Rubin, Esq.

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 offer you advice that’s in your best interest, in every way. It’s not just the offer you put in that is important – it’s the agent’s relationships with other professionals in the market, his or her familiarity with the specific region in which you’re buying, and his or her ability to communicate effectively and frequently, which will best position you for success.

  • Determine the risks that you’re willing to take
    • According to a study quoted in the Wall Street Journal, all-cash offers are most impactful when it comes to winning the bid, boosting the buyer’s odds of winning by nearly double. However, all-cash offers are neither common nor typically feasible, so – what are the next best options?

Well, the second and third most effective ways to win a bid are: “waiving a financing contingency—effectively agreeing to forfeit the deposit if a buyer can’t get a mortgage,” and, interestingly-enough, penning a cover letter. The fascinating piece of this is: waiving a financing contingency increases the buyer’s odds by 57.9%, and, at the same time, puts the buyer at a good deal of risk, while penning a simple, heartfelt letter boosts it by 52.5%, and entails zero risk. Mortgage contingency waivers are now highly common. Before electing this scenario, however, you should be confident in your financial situation. Generally, if you’re planning to finance more than 80% of the purchase price, you should not waive this contingency – it’s simply too risky.

Beyond these three tactics, other methods that have been successful include: escalation clauses (in which the buyer’s bid will automatically increase if another offer comes in higher than their original), waived inspection contingency (buyer can’t cancel or renegotiate based on results of inspection), and pre-inspection (inspection scheduled before offer is made). Each tactic carries risk, and each risk should come with a certain threshold for the buyer. For example, will you be willing to waive an inspection contingency if you notice 200-year-old fireplaces? Is this your first time buying, and are you concerned about the terms of a potential mortgage? If so, waiving a financial contingency may not be in your best interest. The answers to all of these questions simply depend on where you are financially, and how much risk you are willing and able to take on.

  • Take a minute to listen to your gut.
    • Yes, the hardwood floors are beautiful; yes, it’s a great neighborhood. But what is any given home truly WORTH to you, specifically? Will you be okay if the roof needs repairs? What about if the financing doesn’t quite align with the bid you made? Is this home worth those additional potential costs?

Before taking a risk with the inspection or financing, consider: what is winning this home worth, and at what point does winning just become winning? In other words, are you truly, absolutely sure of the home and what you’re willing to do for it?

Try to give yourself time, and know that you can always consult a real estate attorney with any questions you have about bidding wars and risky offers.

updated: 1 year ago

Dana was featured in The Metrowest Daily News!

Dana was featured in The Metrowest Daily News
Dana wrote a great primer on what to expect when buying a condo. Read her entire piece HERE

updated: 2 months ago

Check out our latest article which ran in HousingWire

Check out our latest article which ran in HousingWire
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

updated: 1 year ago

Five Items to Include in A Use and Occupancy Agreement

Five Items to Include in A Use and Occupancy Agreement

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:

  1. 59 days. If the Buyer is financing, limit the U&O term to 59 days. At closing, the borrower will have to sign an Occupancy form where they will represent that they intend to move into the property within 60 days of the closing.

  1. Per Diem. If the Seller stays past the closing date, the Buyer can reasonably ask for per diem carrying costs, which typically include the daily mortgage interest, taxes, insurance and condominium fee (if applicable).

  1. A Holdback. The Closing Attorney/ Settlement Agent should holdback funds at closing to enforce the U&O. A typical holdback is in the range of $5,000. The holdback can be released when the Seller terminates.

  1. Insurance. The Buyer will need a new insurance policy in place when purchasing. The Buyer should request a rent rider to cover the occupancy period. The Seller needs to check with their insurance agent to see if they can obtain a short-term rent policy or extend their current coverage.

  1. Utilities. Utilities should remain in the name of Seller until the termination of the U&O. Taxes should be part of the carrying costs. A final water reading should be done at closing and immediately before the Seller vacates.

There are other provisions that a skilled real estate lawyer can add to a U&O such as an indemnification, a penalty clause if the Seller stays past the termination date, and a no tenancy clause. All parties should consult with a real estate lawyer before finalizing the U&O.

updated: 1 year ago

CONDOMINIUM CONVERSIONS

CONDOMINIUM CONVERSIONS

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 for the process:

-legal fees Consult with your attorney – legal fee depends on how many Units will be created; this fee includes the creation of the condominium documents, including the Master Deed of the Condominium, the Declaration of Trust and By-laws of the Condominium, and the proposed Condo Budget.

-architect/surveyor $1,500+ to create floor plans and site plans which will be recorded at the appropriate Registry of Deeds.

-recording fees approximately $400

You will want to speak to your attorney about the costs which may be specific to your property (how many units exist, whether the title is registered, and in which city or town the property is located). After determining the total cost to you of converting to condominiums, you should speak to a real estate agent regarding the potential sales points for each option. Only then can you make a fully-informed decision as to your best course moving forward.

updated: 1 year ago

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

What Value Does a Real Estate Lawyer Bring to a Transaction

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 Buyer typically engages multiple professionals and entities

Including a real estate agent, a home inspector, a licensed mortgage professional, and, further downstream, an appraisal, home insurance, title exam, and a surveyor. The countless calls with realtors and loan officers, and the discussions with your insurance agency all require a great deal of time, energy and patience. A real estate lawyer can help consolidate these different entities involved in real estate transactions, and ensure that you stay on top of all moving pieces. The attorney will also be present for the closing and can speak to any issues that come up last-minute. The attorney is a knowledgeable resource to add to your arsenal, and will help shepherd you through any concerns, vague contracts, or complicated scenarios.

In many states an attorney is required to close the transaction.

Consider: are you well-versed in reading and approving contracts? Specifically, real estate contracts?

If it’s not something you do on a regular basis, the legalese, provisions, and countless amendments may quickly become confusing and, in some cases, intentionally misleading. A real estate attorney will read everything over for you and will ensure that any vague clauses are clarified, and any clear rules are understood by you (before you make this or that mistake).

Think about doing your taxes. Can you do it yourself with a web application? Yes. Is there a strong possibility that you’ll make a mistake or miss a potential refund something simply because this is not your bread and butter? Definitely. In buying a home, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and make sure the person that’s reading YOUR contract knows what they’re doing!

If you want to make amendments or complete a contingency purchase (like a purchase and sale, or P&S, agreement), your transactions will be more complicated.

Contingency purchases and amendments are incredibly common, and also quite tricky to manage. If you’re not familiar with drafting or reviewing amendments or P&S agreements, it may be worth having someone on your side that can ensure you’re agreeing to exactly what you intended to agree to.

For example, perhaps you want to ensure that your sale goes through before you move into your new home, or perhaps you want to add an amendment that states that the current owner must repair the roof at cost before your move in date. Though it seems simple enough, these amendments can quickly get complicated with jargon, provisions and unforeseen delays. Having an attorney that can advocate for you and respond to questions on your behalf will help relieve stress, and ensure a more seamless process.

Marc Canner

You can read the original article here at Money Inc article

updated: 1 year ago

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