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San Antonio Real Estate Law Blog

The 10 steps involved in completing a real estate deal

Once you've decided on a property, or once someone has decided to buy your property, it's time to complete the deal. Generally, there are ten primary steps involved in completing a real estate deal once the purchase contract has been signed. These steps are as follows:

1. Open up an escrow account. You'll need a neutral place to deposit the funds that will be used to purchase the house. An escrow account will hold the funds, as a guarantee that they are present, and then distribute the funds to the seller once the terms of the deal have been agreed to. When the escrow is formed, the buyer will make an "earnest money" deposit to show the seller he or she is serious.

How can I get a home loan modification?

A loan modification can be a very effective way to avoid a foreclosure on your home, and you might be surprised by how willing your bank is to negotiate a modification with you. In fact, banks don't want to foreclose on your home -- they'd rather profit from the interest paid by your successful completion of your mortgage payments. As such, banks are often willing to work with borrowers in order to keep people in their homes, and keep them on track with their payments.

Here are a few tips to help you get the loan modification you need to prevent foreclosure:

What should I do before I sell my home?

If you're ready to sell your home, there are a few things you'll want to do to prepare for the sale. Not only will the following ten steps help you sell your home faster, but they'll help you get the most money for your home when negotiating the sales price.

Top ten tips for home sellers before they put their properties on the market:

  • Beautify the outside of your home to help visitors feel welcome: You'll want to paint your front door and make the entrance look beautiful. Update the landscaping and the yard and fix any visible defects.
  • Make the home sparkle: Clean the home inside and out so that when people visit, they feel comfortable no matter what their cleanliness standards happen to be. Hire a professional cleaner if necessary.
  • Remove all clutter: You don't want any kind of clutter in your home that could make it feel less welcoming.
  • Paint where it counts: You'll want to look over your entire house and fix any areas that need painting. Be sure to remember the accent areas like the trim around doors, walls and windows.
  • Fix the little things: Are there any broken faucets, fixtures, doors, cabinets or towel racks? Be sure that every little detail has been repaired.
  • Get the backyard in shape: There's nothing worse than touring a beautiful home, only to enter the backyard to find it ugly and in disrepair. Make an effort to beautify the backyard just as much as any other area.

Will 2018 Be A Good Year For The San Antonio Real Estate Market?

When looking at the overall real estate market in the United States in recent years, it is easy to be discouraged about both commercial and residential real estate.

Over a third of homes purchased in 2016 went to investors rather than those simply wanting a new home, and the actual home ownership rate fell to its lowest rate in half a century. As far as commercial real estate, a leading economist predicts a 3-7% drop in commercial real estate sales in 2018, which follows a strong increase over the last 7 years. He predicts rising interest rates could scare off some buyers, and those who use their retail space for purposes such as shopping malls could struggle as well.

The 4 potential outcomes of foreclosure

When you don't pay your home mortgage payments on time, your bank will eventually trigger the foreclosure process. This process allows the bank to try to recover as much of its money as possible by repossessing your home and then selling it in a foreclosure sale.

Once a bank initiates the foreclosure process, there are four primary ways that it may come to an end. Here they are:

Are you in the market for a good commercial lease?

If you're a business owner looking to rent a piece of property for your retail space, you're about to make a big commitment. Commercial property leases tend to extend for years into the future and once you sign the deal, it will be too late to make a change.

To help you prepare, here are a few important questions to ask before signing a commercial property lease:

  • Do I understand every piece of the lease? Your commercial property lease will contain a lot of different terms and clauses. It's important that you understand each and every part of your lease. Fortunately, most leases are written in everyday language, but if there's any part of your lease that you can't comprehend, be sure to ask for help.
  • Have I negotiated all of the terms that are important to me? The best business owners are excellent negotiators. If there are certain aspects of the lease that you can't afford -- or aspects of the lease that don't suit your needs and wishes -- you should take the time to negotiate the best deal possible. Or, look for another property that better suits your needs.
  • Have you considered a CAM Stop lease? Modern leases are usually "triple net," which means that you need to pay rent in addition to your share of CAM, in addition to property tax. In a CAM Stop lease, you'll only pay for the annual increase in CAM and property tax, using your first lease year as the base year. This can help you predict your costs into the future with better accuracy.

Can Foreclosure Really Be Prevented, Or Just Postponed?

The good news is that there are legal strategies that may be able to bring a foreclosure proceeding to a halt. However, you may wonder if the outcome will be permanent or if the lender will simply try to foreclose again the next chance it gets. 

Robo-signers lead to an unexpected foreclosure defense tactic

San Antonio residents who get hit with a foreclosure notice usually don't find it surprising. The financial circumstances that led to their inability to pay their mortgage -- sure, these might have taken them by surprise. However, they probably expected the foreclosure notice that came several months later.

Regardless of how you got into the foreclosure jam you're currently facing, it's time to get as strategic as possible and -- you guessed it -- fight back! You'll have a lot of foreclosure defense strategies at your disposal. The one we're going to talk about here involves the identification of "robo-signed" documents.

How long does it take to foreclose on a property in Texas?

No one wants to get involved in a legal proceeding, but when the legal proceeding involves losing your home, the process can be particularly unsettling. This is precisely what happens during a home foreclosure, so most Texas residents will do everything they can to avoid the foreclosure process.

But what if you can't avoid foreclosure? Or, what if it's not worth it to avoid this process and you simply need to grit your teeth and endure it? The first thing you'll probably want to know is how long a San Antonio foreclosure proceeding will last?

What's a foreclosure by power of sale?

Texas foreclosure proceedings don't go through the court in most cases. Instead, most foreclosure proceedings are "nonjudicial foreclosures." This that the lender can take advantage of a "power of sale" clause contained within the mortgage, which permits the foreclosure of the property with less court oversight. If no power of sale clause is present, a judicial foreclosure will be necessary.

Let's take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of foreclosure by power of sale:

  • It's considerably faster.
  • It involves less oversight by the court, but it may require a judicial review -- especially if the court needs to resolve an issue related to the title.
  • A foreclosure by power of sale cannot move forward if the mortgage is an absolute deed.
  • The mortgage holder might not be able to seek a deficiency judgment in some jurisdictions.