Real Estate Lawyers Reveal Before Closing

Real Estate Lawyers Reveal Before Closing

Real estate disputes may arise for a number of reasons. Often, they can be caused by title defects that are revealed before the closing.

An experienced real estate lawyer can help buyers to understand their rights and obligations during the process of purchasing a home. They can also review contracts and ensure that buyers are meeting requirements and deadlines.

1. Deed Restrictions

Deed restrictions run the gamut from perfectly acceptable to overly restrictive, and they can make or break a deal. For this reason, would-be buyers should become familiar with the types, pros and cons of deed restrictions.

These limitations are imposed on homeowners by developers or communities, and they usually attempt to maintain uniformity and property values within neighborhoods. They may also prohibit commercial activities or ensure that any new construction adheres to a specific architectural theme.

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Generally, these covenants are enforceable by law. But there are some exceptions, including covenants that discriminate against race or religion. If you discover that a property has a deed restriction that’s against your personal beliefs, you can file a lawsuit to have it voided or altered. However, you should seek legal advice before doing so.

2. Boundary Disputes

Boundary disputes can be a serious legal problem that affects real estate property. These disputes can involve the actual placement of the boundary line between two properties or an issue regarding whether or not a property has been encroached upon. In order to resolve a boundary dispute, it is important to have support from an attorney. Obtaining a survey, an appraisal and title work can provide documentation of the boundaries and the history of the area.

Uncertain ownership records, errors in documents and adverse possession claims can all contribute to boundary disputes. A legal consultation with a real estate lawyer can help property owners protect their rights and avoid expensive litigation. Open and respectful communication with neighbors may also be an effective way to prevent boundary issues.

3. Filing Errors

Title issues often stem from errors in public records, such as missing or outdated information on property deeds. A real estate lawyer can help review and resolve these issues before closing. They can offer insights into the nature of the error and suggest steps toward resolution.

Errors in recorded transactions can pose a serious threat to legal ownership of a home or commercial property. This is because they can affect a new owner’s rights, such as those related to boundary disputes or rights of way. A thorough and meticulous review of public records via a chain of title search will uncover these mistakes, which may be resolved by drafting and recording a new deed or other legal document. Errors in the chain of title documents are also known as title defects or title encumbrances.

4. Liens

Liens are legal claims against property that guarantee repayment of a debt. They often result in delayed property sales and can halt the sale until a lienholder receives monetary compensation from the proceeds of the sale.

Creditors often illegally enforce property liens without following proper procedure. For example, in the mortgage crisis many banks and creditors filed hundreds of petitions to collect on properties without a hearing.

A lien should not remain on a property unless it has a corresponding paid document such as a satisfaction, release, reconveyance, or deed of release. Follow up with a title company to ensure these documents are filed promptly so that the sale can proceed. This helps avoid costly liens that eat away at potential returns on an investment.

5. Restrictive Covenants

Restrictive covenants are a set of standards that limit how homeowners can alter their property and change the appearance of their home. They may also dictate certain types of property maintenance. These are common in HOA communities. They can include restrictions like how often you have to mow your lawn, repaint your house or fix the fence.

Restrictive covenant agreements are typically recorded on a property deed. They can prevent a property owner from undertaking work that would disrupt a community or harm a desired level of uniformity and maintenance.

Covenants that “touch and concern” the land are almost always enforceable by successors in title. It is possible to terminate restrictive covenants through a court process, but it is costly and time consuming. Covenants can also become unenforceable through laches, the legal doctrine that prevents a party from asserting its rights through unreasonable delay or inaction.

7. Defective Title

Defective title is a term used to describe property or assets that cannot be legally transferred due to claims by others. For instance, a person that finances a car through an auto lender can not sell the vehicle until the loan is paid off.

Whether you are buying or selling real estate, title defects can pose serious problems and delay the closing process. An experienced real estate lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options for resolving these issues. They can also recommend solutions like conducting a title search or pursuing a quiet title lawsuit. They may even recommend paying delinquent taxes or settling any liens on the property to clear up the title. However, it will all depend on the individual circumstances and nature of the defect.


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