Life throws all kinds of situations our way that we might not be prepared to handle. Are you contemplating creating a living will? In the middle of buying or selling a home? Many people think with a little research on the internet or advice from a friend, they can tackle it themselves. However, we strongly advise against this! Real estate law is complicated and commonly misunderstood. There comes a point when you should really consider bringing a professional Real Estate Attorney (REA) in to guide you!
Most people think they only need an attorney when closing a contract on a home. However you can prevent MANY easy mistakes by trusting a real estate attorney to be on your team. Not having a reputable lawyer to protect your finances when entering any legal contract can be very risky. An attorney like Ben Weaver is a very valuable asset to have on your side in a wide range of situations. Not sure what the difference is between a real estate attorney and real estate agent? Learn more here.
23 Legal’s real estate attorney Ben Weaver shares a few common real estate situations that an experienced lawyer can assist you with…
Purchasing a Plot of Land
There are times when a home buyer wants a fresh start! Is your dream to build a new home from the ground up to meet your family’s particular needs. This is when buying land and building off that land comes into play. Buying a home in general can be a complex ordeal, but purchasing a piece of land in Illinois brings the situation to whole new level of legal details.
“But before you get serious about laying a foundation, be aware that a land purchase may yield more surprises than buying a home – from easements and zoning restrictions to environmental conditions that could easily turn your dream build into a headache the size of a McMansion.” U.S. News
Bonus fact: Did you know most plot sales are completed with cash? “Know that land purchases are often done in cash, because lenders are less inclined to provide funds for undeveloped land. Take a look at the amount of cash you have or can secure before purchase, and determine your budget that way.” These types of real estate deals can be cash in the six figures! With loans off the table the responsibilities of figuring out property, sales, and any other taxes are left on you. There are so many tangible assets on the line, having a REA involved from start to finish is a smart choice!
Quick tip: When searching for a plot of land to buy, finding the neighborhood to live in is also important. Here’s some great tips for choosing the perfect neighborhood!
Reviewing Home Build Contracts
Hiring an REA is helpful to oversee all legal documents involved with your custom home build! When people imagine building their very own home from the ground up, they tend to envision the view, beautiful rooms and the lovely landscaping. The reality of building a custom home is: Zoning codes, construction permits, gas, water regulations, and even street layout. This is just the tip of the paperwork iceberg, they must be correct even before the construction on the site can begin!
The common use for a REA with any home build is drafting and reviewing the contract with a property owner and builder. This particular contract is extremely important. This document can protect the homeowner from some of the following common disputes that can arise with construction contracts:
- Scope of work
- Timing of the work
- Changes to scope of work
If you’re in the middle of a construction dispute, an REA can help with negotiations, this is called a dispute resolution.
“Most often your contractor will provide you with a contract that’s ready for signing. If not, you may draft one or hire an attorney to draft one (never go forward without a contract!). The contract in its original form may have very few terms with very few details, or it may be so detailed and filled with complicated terms that it is hard to understand. Neither of those situations are acceptable. To fully protect your rights, the contract terms should be complete, specific, and easy to understand.” Nolo
Creating your dream property with a Real Estate Attorney on your side to walk you through all the important documents is the best foundation to completing your ideal home.
Buying Commercial Property
Some people invest in the stock market, while others invest in real estate. Buying land and properties of all sizes has been a smart investment for centuries. But, doing it wisely is what determines if it’s a wise or foolish investment. When it comes to flipping commercial properties, a great deal of research and planning come into play.
“Successful commercial investors rely on a team of professionals to assist them – from setting a clear strategy, commencing detailed research, sourcing the correct property at the correct price and conditions right through to settlement and property management. Your team needs to complement your shortfalls in knowledge, so be prepared to pay for the right help as the right team will typically make or break your long-term investment success.” Money Mag
The majority of successful real estate investors lean on the knowledgeable suggestions of a trusted adviser. A good real estate attorney can be the huge difference between making a great deal of money and completely failing on a commercial investment.
Flipping a Home for Profit
Did you take on a home that had lots of potential, and all it needed was extra love and care? Now that this project that you’ve poured your heart, soul, and money into is done, you’re ready to help the perfect family enjoy the fruits of your labor! Attorney Ben Weaver is happy to guide you through all of the legal contracts of selling your first project! All that hard work deserves great compensation! Don’t make mistakes by negotiating on your own.
What kind of seller are you? Find out on our previous blog!
“It’s important to seek out valuable real estate legal advice prior to closing. In general, it is always a good idea to have a lawyer look over your paperwork. While there are many knowledgeable and helpful real estate agents, it must be remembered that the agent only gets paid if you close the transaction. Advising against things during the process may create a conflict of interest for them, because it is to their advantage to convince you to close a transaction. The lawyer has different motivation. A lawyer’s purpose is to give you the best advice possible, whether that advice leads you to or from the transaction.” Rehab Financial
Selling Inherited Property
Did you know that when you inherit a property you also inherit all the issues connected to the home? That’s right. When a person inherits a property, they can be dealing with the grief of a loss, finding themselves unprepared for the confusing legal documentations coming their way. Depending on your individual circumstances you basically have three choices on what you can do with the home: move into it, rent it out, or sell it. One key question when it comes to home inheritance is “does the property have value?” An attorney can help you to determine the property’s value, as well as determining if the home has any outstanding debts or could be detrimental to your finances.
“Besides what’s left on the mortgage, are there any other outstanding bills you need to account for? Were property taxes paid every year or did they slowly pile up and now you have to use the proceeds from selling the home to pay them off?” Redfin
A real estate attorney can advise you with handling all of these situations. There are ways to turn this tragic time into something meaningful and beneficial to all those involved. Attorneys like Ben Weaver can even guide you through understanding the deceased’s will connected to your inherited property and go over anything else to distribute amongst the family. Now that you’ve inherited this property, it may be an appropriate time to start creating your estate plan.