1. I’m buying a house for the first time and I have questions.

A: We are happy to answer any questions you have about the buying process. A good place to start if you are a first time buyer is the Attorney General website. The Attorney General has put together a first time homebuyers booklet that contains a wealth of information.


2. I signed a purchase agreement for my house, now what?

A: Selling

3. What is an Abstract?

A: An abstract is a record of a property that includes every pertinent document dating back to the mid-1850s when the US Government gave the property to its first private landowners. Abstracts contain hundreds of documents making their replacement difficult and expensive.

4. I have never had an abstract, what do I do?

A: Maybe nothing, you might own Torrens property. Property is either classified as Torrens or Abstract. While Abstract property requires a compendium of all pertinent documents ever recorded against a property, Torrens property starts over with every new owner. Also know as registered property, Torrens is a system whereby each new owner is issued a separate certificate showing that they own the real estate. If your property is Torrens you do not need an abstract to sell the property.

5. I lost my abstract, what can I do?

A: In many markets title insurance is taking the place of Abstracts. While this is not the case in Southeastern Minnesota, most purchase agreements now provide that Sellers may provide either an Abstract, or a search for an Owners Title Insurance Policy.

6. I am selling my house, should I make my last mortgage payment?

A: The answer depends on the date of closing and your particular loan. If your payment due date is close to the day of closing, do not make the payment. On the day of closing the payoff will be sent via FedEx to your bank. If the closing date is within the grace period provided by your bank, do not make the payment. Payoffs must be requested from your bank just prior to the day of closing. This process takes time and some institutions charge for each payoff request. So, to ensure an accurate payoff statement at the closing table, do not make unnecessary payments.

7. I have a legal question, to whom do I direct my question?

A: You may either call the office to set up an appointment, or for relatively simple question, possibly speak with an attorney on the telephone. You may also send us an email to docs@ohlylaw.com

8. How much does a legal consultation cost?

A: Consultations are free of charge.