About timCotter

I am an experienced attorney, handling the purchase and sale of residential as well as commercial properties. As a Southwest Florida lawyer, I am well versed in all aspects of real estate transactions. I am confident you will appreciate our attention to detail and thoroughness, as well as our ability to assist you during all stages of this important transaction.

Time for Taxes

The most difficult time to complete closings is in the month of October, simply because the property tax bill has not yet been sent out.  The 2013 tax bills will officially be out the first of November, 2013, but not payable until March of 2014.  This is a difficult concept for most buyers and sellers to understand.

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Electronic Recording

Recently the Clerk started their E Recording program.  I dutifully set up my account and, just yesterday, finally had the opportunity to try it out.  The process is fairly simple:  Scan the documents you want to record, log into your account on the Clerk’s website, and upload the documents.  Now documents can be recorded immediately after a closing takes place.  The immediate recording can substanitally cut down on the “gap” – the time it takes from completeing the closing to recording the final documents.

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The Bad Review

After being in business for a long period of time, it is inevitable that you will eventually get a bad review.  This is exactly what happened two weeks ago.  So how does a bad someone get to the point of leaving a bad review?  Expectations – and obviously, despite our best efforts, this persons expectations were not meet.

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The Joy of Closing

Recently, I conducted  closing where the seller was a real estate attorney from Chicago.  The closing went very smoothly and we had a nice conversation about law and the number of different types of law that attorneys are involved in.  I asked how he decided to concentrate his practice on real estate and his response brought a smile to my face.  “It’s the happy part of practicing law”, he claimed.

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What’s the Difference?

Collier County, Florida is unique for several reasons.  Beautiful beaches, waterfront shops, upscale residences and high end shopping are just a few of the things which make Naples a great place to live and work.

Another thing that makes us unique is that we use our own form of sales contract.  The contract is approved by the Naples Area Board of Realtors.  In Collier County it is standard that the buyer pays for the title insurance while in Lee county, it is standard that the seller pays for the title insurance.  In Lee county, real estate contracts are usually written on a FAR/BAR contract, which has been approved by the Florida Association of Realtors and the Florida Bar.  Both contract are well written and work well for real estate transactions.

So what are the differences?  One small difference in Collier County is that the seller has to give the buyer a copy  of their prior title policy.  If they cannot find the prior policy, they agree to give the buyer a credit of $150.00.  This, of course if not the case in Lee county since the seller is paying for the title insurance.  The reason for the $150 has to do with abstracts of title which will be better to explain in a future blog.

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The Process Server

We recently competed a short sale closing where the property was in foreclosure.  The property is still in foreclosure and will be until the lender, one of the larger banks, and their assembly line lawyers dismiss the suit.  This, of course, can take several months.  If anyone has tried communicating with a lender, you will understand that something so simple is, in fact, next to impossible.  The large lenders communicate with the lawyers in the same inefficient manner.

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Seller Disclosure

I recently worked on a file with a disclosure issue.  The facts as I understand them are as follows:

The seller gave the buyer an executed Seller Disclosure prior to the buyer making an offer.  The buyer reviewed the disclosure, viewed the property and made their offer accordingly.  The disclosure stated that there was a pool heater included in the purchase.  However, no such heater existed.  Does the incorrect disclosure complicate the closing?  Absolutely.  But does it force the seller to provide a new pool heater to the buyer?  Not necessarily.

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Staying Current

One of my goals for 2013 was to get my website up and running.  Check.  Next goal, start blogging for search engine optimization.  Check.  Make sure you blog once a week so you are consistent.  Ok, so blogging is not my strong suit.  Let’s put this down in “Things I Need to Work on” colomun – maybe I will get better in 2014.

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Summer Thaw

The past few years it has been difficult for most indiviudals to get a mortgage.  For the most part, mortgage modifications didn’t work, banks were not reducing principal, and any “government programs” were nothing but a crule joke.  The inclement real estate weather appeared to be socked in for the long haul.  Your credit score didn’t matter – all that mattered to any lender was your income.  I am sure I don’t need to go into detail about what happened to most people’s income.

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Technology on Vacation

Its hard to get back to work after vacation, but thanks to technology there is no reason you cannot take the office with you on vacation.  I know, this defeats the whole purpose of going on vacation, but most small business owners cannot afford to just shut their doors for two weeks and hope when they return from their vacation everything will be as they left it.  The fact is, the mail is still delivered, bills are still due, the phone will still ring, and clients may want to use your services – all while you are supposed to be relaxing somewhere.

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