FOR SALE BY OWNER (FSBO): Many people chose to sell their property themselves to save on the sometimes exorbitant commission fees charged by Realtors. If you are selling a house FSBO, contact Tosa Law Office and we can help take all the worry out of the deal at a fraction of a cost of a realtor while providing sound legal advice. I have seen too many deals fall apart and not close due to lack of understanding by a Realtor or an FSBO seller. A Realtor is paid for marketing, hire a lawyer for the legal aspects.
Residential Real Estate
BUYING A HOME– Often purchasing a house is the single biggest purchase any individual makes, and it is important to be certain everything goes well not just from an investment standpoint, but you also have to live there. Some of the things to be most conscious of when putting in an offer on a house, is what constitutes a material defect with the house that allows you to cancel your offer and still retain your earnest money. For example, the standard form offer provided in the Wisconsin statutes allows the seller to remedy problems such as termites. Once termites have gotten into the very structure of a house, I am not sure it can ever be remedied. If you did not have a provision stating that the buyer had the option to cancel in case of termites, you would still be obligated to purchase that home.
SELLING A HOME– Conversely, selling a home is usually the largest sale a person makes in their lifetime, and can be the most stressful time in their life. Everyone has heard closing day horror stories, and while all of them cannot be prevented, the potential for foul-ups on closing day can be minimized. Just as the above section on buying a home recommends against being able to remedy any problems, the seller wants to ensure that they are allowed to remedy any problems before the offer is allowed to be canceled. There is obviously two opposing dichotomies here, but hiring a qualified Real Estate Attorney helps ensure you are on the positive end of that balance.
REALTORS– Realtors often possess many of the skills and assets needed to market and sell your home. Hopefully, many of them will be referring you, their clients, to me to help draft your real estate documents. What you need to beware of are the Realtors who insist that you do not need a Lawyer, and that the paper work is easy. While this may be true for a lot of cases where a problem never arises, for those deals that do have a problem it can result in financial and personal tragedy. Throughout this website preventative counsel is discussed, and this is another case where it holds true that a small investment in advance can save thousands of dollars and eliminate many of the future headaches associated with buying and selling a home. Allowing your Realtor to draft all of your legal documents is akin to allowing a nurse to perform your surgery. They have seen it done plenty of times, probably it will work out fine, but if something goes wrong you end up asking yourself why you used someone without the proper training for one of the most important events in your life.
Many of the concerns associated with Residential Real Estate are the same concerns when buying or selling a condominium. However, owning a condominium subjects you to all sorts of rules, regulations, covenants, conditions, that can often be confusing and require some untangling and explanation. There are times when these restrictions are so constraining as to eliminate much of the resale value of the property. Just as it is important to practice preventative counsel when purchasing a house, it is also important when purchasing a condominium.
When purchasing a piece of vacant land, you need to be certain you are allowed to do what you plan to do with the property. The most important consideration concerning vacant land is its environmental status. If you are purchasing a completely undeveloped parcel of land, you are responsible to determine whether the property contains underground storage tanks, abandoned wells, dump sites, or cisterns and septic tanks. The buyer must be aware of subdivision restrictions and subsoil and percolation as well as the potential for prepayment penalties if land is refinanced soon after being acquired. Often times there are different tax consequences for the sale of vacant land versus the sale of residential property.
Commercial Real Estate
It is important to be sure that the title is in good order, as well as be aware of how any easements, restrictions, or covenants will affect the ownership and use of the real estate. In important consideration for commercial property is whether the property’s zoning supports your intended use. Finally it is important to ensure that there is adequate insurance coverage for property as well as the business.