If our office has been asked to act as settlement
agent in the closing of the real estate you are selling, there are
some matters that we will require your assistance with in order
to expedite the transaction and prevent delays or extra costs to
you. They are listed below. Please also remember that you must bring
a valid drivers license or passport with you to closing for proper
identification. The closing cannot take place if you do not have
this identification with you. In order to ensure a smooth closing,
we would like to make you aware of the following information.
1. MORTGAGES: If your property is presently
mortgaged, the mortgage(s) will be paid off at the time of closing
using proceeds from the sale, if any. You will need to fill out
a form and return it to us right away so we may contact the mortgagee(s)
and make the necessary arrangements for payment. This is very
important and requires your immediate attention. After your mortgage(s)
has been paid in full, the banks will send us discharges which
we will record at the Registry of Deeds. In the event there is
a non-institutional mortgage (i.e. one given to a private individual,
trust or corporation as opposed to a bank or mortgage company),
we will require that the payoff amount be furnished to us before
the closing and a discharge be delivered at or before the closing.
UNFORTUNATELY, THERE CAN BE NO EXCEPTION IN THIS REGARD. If you
are uncertain about whether an outstanding loan is held by a private
lender, please contact our office or have your attorney do so.
The obligation to furnish a discharge at closing applies also
to outstanding attachments or other liens, if any.
2. DEED: The preparation of a new deed to convey
the premises to the buyer is your responsibility. You should have
your attorney send us a copy of the proposed deed as soon as possible
and before the closing date. While we cannot represent the lender
and you, we are sometimes asked to prepare a deed as part of our
3. SMOKE AND CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR CERTIFICATE:
We call to your attention the provisions of Massachusetts General
Laws, Chapter 148. You should contact your local fire department,
arrange for an inspection, obtain a Certificate of Compliance
and bring the original with you at the time set for closing and
fax a copy to us prior to closing.
4. ELECTRICITY, WATER, SEWER, and FUEL:
If your electricity is provided by a municipal light plant, you
must bring with you a final electric reading. Similarly,
your fuel oil readings (if your property is not a condominium).
5. EXPENSES: You will also be required to pay
for Massachusetts excise stamps, recording fees to discharge mortgages
and other liens and, where appropriate, to pay these items from
the proceeds of the sale.
6. POWER OF ATTORNEY: If there is a power of
attorney involved, please send our office a copy of the Power
of Attorney document prior to the closing. The use of the power
of attorney will have to be approved by our client and then the
form and content thereof must be reviewed by our office. In any
event, the deed transferring title from you to the buyer must
be signed by you in the original and notarized.
7. CONDOMINIUM UNITS: If the transaction involves
a condominium unit, you are required to provide a certificate
pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 183A, Section
6(d). This certificate is obtained from the organization of unit
owners and states the unpaid common expenses which have been assessed
to the unit owner. You will also be required to provide a Certificate
of Insurance naming, as insured, the buyer and the buyer’s
new lender as well as its successors and assigns as their interest
may appear. It is imperative that the foregoing language be on
the Certificate of Insurance. The trustees of the condominium
trust can assist you in this matter.
8. SALE PROCEEDS: If the closing takes place
in our office, we will make every attempt to record papers and
disburse funds on the same day. However, no matter where this
transaction closes, your funds will not be released to you until
the deed and mortgage have been recorded at the appropriate Registry
of Deeds. Your proceeds will be issued to you by a check drawn
on our trust account as is the standard procedure in Massachusetts.
9. TRUST OWNERSHIP: If this property is owned
by a trust, our office also requires a Trustee’s Certificate.
This certificate should state that the trust has not been terminated,
amended or revoked; that the trustee(s) are the same and they
have not resigned; and that so far as may be required by the beneficiaries,
they have assented to the transaction and that they are of legal
age and competent. In addition, the statement should be acknowledged
before a notary public and be in the form suitable for recording.
We can prepare such a certificate at a nominal charge if you request
us to do so.
10. FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN REAL PROPERTY TAX
ACT OF 1980 AS AMENDED: This Federal Law places special requirements
for tax reporting and withholding on the parties to a real estate
transaction under certain circumstances as set forth in the law.
You should seek the advice of your attorney or accountant concerning
the effect of this Act on this transaction. You will be required
to execute a copy of the enclosed certification under penalty
of perjury at the closing. If you do not plan on attending the
closing, please be sure that your attorney or agent delivers the
fully completed and executed copy of the affidavit along with
the deed. The closing attorney for the firm cannot and will not
provide information, advice or opinions regarding the Act’s
applicability to you or to this transaction.
11. FEDERAL TAX LAWS: Since January 1, 1986,
Federal Law requires the closing attorney to report the proceeds
of the transaction to the Internal Revenue Service. Therefore,
you will need to complete an INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE
1099S REPORTING FORM and return it to us. Please be sure
to include your Social Security or Federal Identification Number.
12. TITLE EXAMINATION: Please note that if,
as the result of searching the title or obtaining the plot plan
and municipal lien certificate, we discover that there are any
deficiencies or defects, they are your responsibility to correct
or to have your attorney do so on your behalf or determine your
rights, duties and obligations under your Purchase and Sale Agreement.
13. CLOSING: You should also be aware that most
lenders require 72 hours notice in advance of the day of closing
to prepare the loan papers and to obtain the funds. There is no
exception to this requirement and it is therefore incumbent upon
you to coordinate scheduling of the passing not only with our
office but with the buyers and brokers as well.
14. IF YOU ARE SELLING PROPERTY IN THE CITIES
OF BOSTON, LYNN, LAWRENCE or HAVERHILL (OTHER THAN A CONDOMINIUM
UNIT), FINAL WATER READINGS ARE REQUIRED. Due to experience with
the Water and Sewer Commissions in these communities, we have
been forced to require a final water reading for all closings
pertaining to property in theses cities. For property in the City
of Boston, a final water reading must be ordered by you from the
Water and Sewer Commission. It takes approximately two (2) weeks
to get the final reading. Please note that a water bill, even
a water bill received on the day of the closing, is not sufficient,
as the Boston Water and Sewer Commission is far behind on its
billings. For all other communities please contact the Water and
Sewer Commission of that city or town if you have any questions.
15. CORPORATIONS, LLPs and LLCs: If you hold
title to the property in a corporate name or in an LLC or LLP
you should immediately take steps to secure the following documents:
A) A Certificate of Legal Existence from the
Secretary of State and latest annual filing.
B) For corporations, a waiver of the corporate excise tax lien
imposed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Revenue
under M.G.L. Chapter 62C, Section 51 or statement on the deed
that the sale does not constitute a sale of substantially all
of the Corporation’s assets.
Our office specializes in real estate
conveyancing. We are prepared to represent you in the sale of your
real estate and to make the entire process easy and enjoyable for
Unless we are representing one of
the other parties in your sale our office can represent you for
a reasonable fee and give you the comfort you need to proceed confidently
toward the sale of your home or investment property as well as in
the purchase of any new real estate. Some of the services we provide
when representing sellers are:
Please call our office to discuss how we can represent
you and what our fees are for this service. We look forward to hearing