Real Estate Lawyers

Real estate law involves documenting real estate transactions, analyzing land records and helping real estate investors manage portfolios of real estate assets. From a legal standpoint, land and real estate are unique. There’s a patchwork of history, laws, regulations, and constitutional implications to the ownership of real property. Real estate is one of the most complex areas of law and there’s simply no substitute for qualified real estate counsel if you are engaging in real estate transactions. You need to make sure that property transfers are complying with all regulations and laws so they are enforceable. Aside from that, it is critical that business structures are in place to both own and manage real estate in an appropriate way from the standpoint of legal liability. Another layer of complexity involves the specific State law implications of real estate as each state is different. In almost all cases, there’s even another layer of legal consideration at the local level where the real estate is located.  

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Real Estate Law

Real estate law is essentially the law of contracts and property at the same time, since real estate is unique, the law governing real estate is also unique. When we talk about real estate, we’re talking about land and anything attached to the land such as structures, fixtures, buildings or other items.

Real Estate Transfers and Deeds

The owners of real estate transfer the property to new owners when they sell or gift their interest. When real estate is transferred, a written document referred to as a deed is signed to effectuate the transfer. The title to the real estate itself is transferred upon the acceptance of a legally valid deed. What is required for a deed to be valid, however, depends on state law but usually it will require signatures, notarization and a legally sufficient property description at a minimum. Along with the validity of the deed, depending on what state and locality the real estate is located, there may be the recording requirements as well. As if this isn’t complicated enough, there are different types of deeds that deal with different aspects of property transfers. These different types of deeds have to do with what is being represented or warranted about the title itself. For example, if there are no warranties at all involved with the title, a quick claim deed is usually used. This ranges all the way up to a full warranty but the title is good made by the seller would be done by a general warranty deed.

Transfer Tax Exemptions in Ohio

Whenever real estate is transfered, there may be a tax imposed unless an exemption applies under state law.

Managing Real Estate

Given the amount of money usually involved in real estate, it always makes sense to have a real estate lawyer reviewing your business structure. With real estate, there may be multiple holding activities for the property themselves and separate management companies that assist with the day-to-day management of rentals. You need to make sure that all your contracts and business entities are in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations so that your structure is not subject to challenge. Consulting with a real estate lawyer to evaluate these components can save you tremendous amounts of money later down the line if it turns out that something was not done correctly.

Negotiation and Due Diligence

Whether you’re purchasing, developing or selling real estate, theres a variety of factors that you should analyze before you complete a transfer and sign a real estate contract. This is referred to as “due diligence” in the legal profession. It’s a process whereby a real estate lawyer will review property records, title chains, prior litigation and any other relevant detail of a target property prior to the transaction in an effort to optimize the information available to decision makers about the property. Once complete, the purchase or sale needs to be negotiated. It pays to have skilled negotiators in your corner both to make sure the valuation is fair and review the terms of any contracts.

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