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Using Mediation and Arbitration to Resolve Disputes over Escrow Funds

Numerous circumstances can trigger a dispute over the disposition of escrow funds. A buyer might claim that they are entitled to recover their earnest money because the seller failed to make agreed-upon repairs in advance of closing, or the seller could believe they are entitled to funds deposited into an escrow account because the buyer Read More

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How LLCs Registered in the U.S., but Owned by Foreigners Are Treated Under FIRPTA

When someone not from the United States sells or otherwise disposes of property they own here, they usually must withhold 15 percent of the amount realized in the transaction and remit it to the IRS within 20 days of the closing. This is mandated by the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 Read More

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How Does the Financing Contingency Work in a Property Sale Contract?

Home sales are usually financed in part by lenders, such as banks and mortgage companies. For this reason, contracts for the purchase of homes require deposits at the time of signing, but are generally contingent on the buyer obtaining financing for the purchase. The Florida Realtors/Florida Bar Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase (the “FAR/BAR Read More

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What Happens During the Inspection Period of a Real Estate Transaction?

If you offer to buy a home or commercial property and the selling party accepts your offer, the next step is for you and the seller to negotiate and sign a sales agreement. Generally speaking, once it is signed, the sales agreement will immediately create a binding obligation for the seller, but not the buyer. Read More

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Title Insurance in a Florida Real Estate Transaction

If you plan to purchase a home or commercial property, it’s important for you to understand what title insurance is and why it plays such an essential role in making the purchase possible. The buyer will want to purchase the property free and clear of any defects in the title, such as a break in Read More

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New FAR/BAR Contract Has Changes for the Miami Area

Most Miami-Dade residential property transactions use the Florida Realtors/Florida Bar Contract for Sale and Purchase — the “FAR/BAR contract” for short. This is a fillable form that can be prepared by real estate brokers, attorneys, investors or actual parties to a deal. The FAR/BAR contract uses commonly understood language that is meant to make sales Read More

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When Is FinCEN Applicable to a Cash Real Estate Deal?

Purchasing real estate anonymously through a shell company has been a popular method of money laundering, especially in high-end housing markets. To combat the problem, the federal Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has imposed data collection and reporting requirements on title insurance companies involved in certain transactions in targeted geographic areas, including Miami-Dade, Broward and Read More

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What Is in the Closing Disclosure Form?

When you finance the purchase of a home through a mortgage loan, there are strict regulations governing how lenders do business and what they must explain to you. A lender is required to give you the closing disclosure at least three business days before you finalize the mortgage loan. This five-page form provides critical information Read More

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Will You Get Property Tax Relief Due to the COVID-19 National Emergency?

Governments and even some private businesses have worked to ease the burden on people who are struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For people who are concerned about losing their home after being laid off or seeing their business revenue plummet, programs have been established to offer rent and mortgage relief. While many will Read More

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How Will Coronavirus Affect Contractual Relationships and Obligations?

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted practically every aspect of American life. Whether closed by government order or by concerns about public safety, millions of businesses around the country have seen their operations come to a halt. Despite the overwhelming effect of COVID-19, it is not a certainty that an “Act of God” clause in a Read More

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