Frequently Asked Questions

Am I required to hire an attorney for my closing?

Yes, requires all buyers and sellers to have a licensed attorney conduct their closing. Connecticut is one of about 22 states with the legal requirement

How do I hire Pederson Real Estate Law?

You can directly contact Attorney Pederson to set up a free consultation by filling out our contact form or emailing her at

What can I expect from my initial consultation?

Based on your situation, Attorney Pederson will describe how we can assist you and provide a service fee quote.

What are your attorney fees?

Our fees vary depending on the type of transaction and the work involved. Feel free to email or call Attorney Pederson for a free quote.

What does a real estate attorney do?

An attorney's specific duties will vary by transaction, but broadly speaking, a real estate attorney will review and prepare legal and tax documents, complete and oversee necessary due diligence, and coordinate with the realtor and other parties to ensure deadlines in the contract are met.

Read more about how an attorney can help here.

What is the difference between a realtor and real estate attorney?

Generally speaking, realtors arrange and negotiate the transaction, including sale terms like price, credits, repairs, etc. Once both parties have agreed on the terms, an attorney will review the contract, review and prepare other legal and tax documents in accordance with state law, answer any questions, and ensure the client understands their legal rights and liabilities.

Attorneys are generally not involved in the pre-contract negotiations, while realtors cannot answer legal questions and are forbidden from offering legal advice.

How long will my closing take? 

On average, it takes 30-60 days from the time the contract is signed, but your exact timeframe can depend on many factors.

How much money do I need for my closing?

Generally, you should be prepared to pay 3-6% of the purchase price in closing costs, which is the average for homebuyers in Connecticut. For example, a $1 million home purchase would yield between $30,000 and $60,000.

You should consult your real estate team to get a more precise estimate.

Where Does the Closing Occur and Who Attends It?

The location of the closing can vary, but it typically occurs at the office of the buyer or seller's attorney. To make life easier for our clients, we at Pederson Real Estate Law offer to come to them for onsite closings.

Attendees of the closing can also vary, but can include the buyer and seller's attorneys and real estate agents, along with the mortgage broker.

Do I Have to Complete a Home Inspection?

While it’s not legally required to have a home inspection done, we strongly encourage clients complete one.

Who Does the Title Search for the Property?

The buyer's attorney orders and oversees the title search, which is done by a title searcher.

How Do I Get Title Insurance?

Typically, the buyer's closing attorney will issue it automatically. You can only obtain title insurance when you close.

What is a Mortgage Contigency Date?

A contract's mortgage contingency date is the buyer's deadline for securing a mortgage. If it's not secured, the buyer can walk away without legal repercussions and have their earnest money deposit returned.

In some cases, buyers will opt to waive their mortgage contingency to make their offer more attractive. This means they would not recoup their deposit if a mortgage isn't approved.

Read more about recouping earnest money deposits here.

How Long Does It Take to Close?

On average, it takes 45-60 days from the time the contract is signed, but your exact timeframe can depend on many factors.

When do I have to be out of the house by?

The day of the closing. On the day of the closing, you must release the keys to the buyer. The house must be empty and in broom-clean condition.

How Does My Current Mortgage Get Paid Off?

Your attorney will order the payoff from your lender. The money will be taken out of your sale proceeds to cover your remaining loan balance, and it will be wired or sent via overnight to your lender.

Do I have to pay conveyance taxes on my sale?

Yes, in Connecticut, sellers generally pay conveyance taxes to the local and state government. The total tax is typically 1-2% of the sale price.

Read more about Connecticut's conveyance tax structure here.

Will I get reimbursed for the portion of property taxes I already paid?

Yes, buyers usually reimburse the seller a prorated amount for property taxes they've already prepaid. For example, if a house is sold on April 1 and the seller prepaid for property taxes through June 30, they will get reimbursed for the time between the closing date and June 30.

What happens if the property's appraisal is less than the sale price?

You would have a couple options. Mortgage lenders calculate what's called a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, and the ratio must stay within a specific range. On an FHA loan, for example, your loan amount can’t exceed 96.5% of the appraised value.

Some options to fix this would include lowering your loan amount by increasing your down payment or renegotiating a lower sales price. You could also cancel the contract or rebut the appraisal.

If the contract is canceled, the buyer would be able to recoup their earnest money deposit if the contract includes an appraisal contingency. Read more here.

How long will the refinancing process take?

The timeframe will mostly depend on your lender and how quickly they can process your loan application. The process can also be delayed by various hiccups, but a qualified real estate attorney can anticipate and fix any issues, expediating the process.

How does my current mortgage get paid off?

Your attorney will order the payoff from your lender. The money will be taken out of your sale proceeds to cover your remaining loan balance, and it will be wired or sent via overnight to your lender.

What is a rescission period?

Consumers have the legal right to rescind an agreement up to three days after it is finalized. The rescission period runs three days after you sign your loan documents. This period includes Saturdays, but not Sundays nor federal holidays.