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Home Closing Process: An Interview with Catherine M. "Kate" Harper of Timoney Knox in Fort Washington, PA, serving the suburban Philadelphia counties with real estate and land use advice.

By Catherine Harper

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Timoney Knox is a suburban Philadelphia regional law firm with a long history serving the community. Our Firm is more than eighty years old and is well known and well- respected. Every year several of our lawyers are named to "Superlawyer" or "Top Attorneys" lists. We are a general practice firm with lawyers who specialize in the services needed most by individuals, families and businesses, and that certainly includes buying and selling homes as well as more complex land development services such as zoning. We can even help you find a land preservation or open space option if that's your choice. Our website is, or follow us on Facebook.

Please explain is needed for the home closing process:

Many people want to know "Do I need a lawyer at Settlement"? The best explanation I can give you is one I heard a long time ago?"We are like lifeguards at the beach. Most days you won't need us, but when you do need us, you need us very badly." Actually, most people would be well-advised to consult a lawyer before signing an Agreement of Sale. It's amazing how many people don't even read the contract that controls the deal involving their most valuable possession,their home or business. Consulting a lawyer before the agreement is signed ensures that you understand your rights and responsibilities and, and this is very important, the timing of those things. Even "standard" form agreements have deadlines that, if missed, could cost you in time, options and money. A good lawyer can review the contract, perhaps suggest changes, or at least point out what you need to do during the real estate process and go with you to settlement or closing.

How does your company help this process along ?

Because our attorneys have been through the process of buying and selling land so many times, we can help both buyers and sellers "get the deal done." We can also assist with the subdivision and land development approval process or going to the zoning hearing board. At the Planning Commission, you can be sure it won't be our "first time at the rodeo."

How long can this process take?

Most residential real estate deals can be completed in 30-90 days, depending on the Buyer's need for financing and the results of home inspections, septic tests and termite inspections. More complex deals are often contingent on getting township, county or borough approvals and can take more than a year. Based on our experience, we can give more specific advice on timing based on the specific facts on the project.

What are some issues that can arise during this process and how can they be resolved?

It's not unusual for a home inspection or septic test to reveal a need for repairs or improvements to a property. A good lawyer can help you negotiate an acceptable resolution, whether it's having the seller perform repairs, give a credit at the settlement, or allowing the buyer to "walk away" if a resolution cannot be reached.

What is the best way for people to reach you and or your company?

Reach out to me. My direct dial is 215-540-2622, or shoot me an email at I'd love to talk to you.

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