. since a real estate agent isn't part of this purchase option transaction: 1) is it prudent to use a real estate lawyer
to create a purchase contract
YES, AS TO ANYTHING THAT'S NOT IN THE LEASE-OPTION - THAT CAN BE NEGOTIATED. MOREOVER, EVEN IF SOMETHING IS STATED IN THE LEASE-OPTION IT'S STILL NEGOTIABLE POTENTIALLY. THE OWNER WOULD MOST LIKELY HAVE OUTRIGHT SOLD THE PROPERTY IF THEY COULD HAVE INSTEAD OF USING THE LEASE-OPTION. ALTHOUGH NOT ALWAYS THE CASE - THE OWNER PROBABLY WOULD HAVE SOLD THE PROPERTY BUT COULDN'T. AS SUCH, YOU PROBABLY HAVE SOME LEVERAGE IN YOUR NEGOTIATIONS BECAUSE OF THAT.
and 2) can the specifics of whether the seller or buyer pays a specific fee be part of this contract? The lender currently assumes that I as the buyer am responsible for all closing fees in their Good Faith Estimate.
YES, A SPECIFIC FEE CAN BE STATED IN THE SALES/PURCHASE CONTRACT. SOMETIMES THE BUYER NEGOTIATES THAT THE SELL PAY A SUM TOWARDS THEIR CLOSING COSTS (ie. $5k towards their closing costs).
THE SELLER WOULDN'T WANT TO GET INVOLVED IN YOUR LOAN - BUT THINGS YOU COULD NEGOTIATE:
that they pay a sum towards your closing costs
that they pay the transfer fees entirely
that they pay for the inspections
THOSE OTHER COSTS PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED ARE YOUR LOAN COSTS - THEY ARE ONLY NEGOTIABLE WITH THE LENDER.
Fees charged for obtaining a mortgage
Title insurance and settlement fees - those are things your lender will require
Property taxes - the lender will requuire you prepay so much of the property taxes
Insurance - the lender will require you to prepay the insurance
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