Real Estate Law

Whether you are buying or selling property, be it residential or commercial, it is always important to understand the full extent of the contracts you are signing. A real estate attorney should understand the details of contracts and how they effect the rights of both parties in real estate transactions.  Hiring a lawyer is not required, but could be the smartest move in any real property transaction. While having a lawyer can’t completely insulate you from everything, obtaining legal counsel will certainly mitigate your risk.

 

Services

 

Buying

When buying a home, Realtors representing the buyer are not lawyers, and have limited legal knowledge and ability. An experienced real estate lawyer should understand the law, wording and meaning of contracts like a Purchase Agreement.  Designating a lawyer to be your advocate in a real estate transaction is critical to make sure you are moving forward as safely as possible.  

Selling

When selling a home, there are legal requirements that every seller must follow. This is not the responsibility of the real estate agent, as much as it is on the seller. Hiring a knowledgeable real estate attorney to assist you with selling your home will help you avoid expensive pitfalls. 

New Construction

There are many builders who have different motivations, and many do not consider the buyer as much as their own revenue. To avoid signing away your rights on a property, it is important for any buyer of a new home to hire a knowledgable real estate attorney to advocate for you during the purchase and process of building a new home. 

Vacant Land

Vacant land can be more complicated than buying a house. What you can not see is as significant as what you can see; shared water wells, subsurface soil, on-site sewage concerns, deed restrictions, title issues and water quality conditions. Zoning may have the land designated for a different purpose and it may need to be adjusted for suitability for a commercial property. For instance, a parcel of vacant land may not be suitable for manufacturing or building residential homes.     

Mortgage Purchase and Refinance

Hiring a real estate attorney is critical to looking over your mortgage before you sign, making sure you understand the costs and risks involved, whether purchasing or refinancing.  

Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE)

As an accredited CDPE, Lee is trained in helping with the issues and problems behind helping distressed homeowner borrowers make graceful exists and mitigate future credit issues.

Short Sales

A attorney can help a buyer understand upsides and downfalls in purchasing a short sale. Lee Morof can help answer your questions and explain details that may not be easily presented by lenders.

Arbitration Representation

Lee Morof is experienced with both real estate law and case law. He can help navigate his clients through the difficult process of arbitration.

Land Contracts

Land contracts offer a way for a buyer to obtain property without a mortgage. This is usually done when a buyer has damaged credit and may be a credit risk. In land contracts, the seller retains the risk and the title.  If the land owner defaults on an existing mortgage, the buyer could lose use of the property. At the same time, some land contract buyers want only to harvest natural resources, like lumber, rare earth metals or oil. When these people have completed extracting what they need from the property, they default on purpose with little consequence. Hiring Lee Morof, who is both an experienced attorney and real estate broker, can guide you with land contact deals to minimize your risk.  

Commercial Property

Commercial property is vastly different from residential property. There could be environmental lender or other issues. Lee can help discuss options and remedies that are available, so you can make informed decisions.

Residential Property Tax Assessment Appeals Due to City Assessor Overvaluation

When a city assessor overvalues your property, you pay more in property taxes year after year. Let Lee evaluate your situation to see if he can save you money by reducing the assessed value if the property, if it has been assessed at an overvalued price.
 

For Sale By Owner (FSBO)

If you are trying to sell your own house from a cash buyer or someone that is trying to secure a mortgage, you may get caught in transaction disputes, not knowing your rights in full. Disputes may happen with the title insurance, inspectors and orappraisers who can prevent the deal from being successful. Real estate transactions start with legal contracts. Investors and some licensed agents will use your lack of legal representation and understanding of the laws to their advantage.

While For Sale By Owner may seem attractive and thrifty, going at it alone can result in significant money lost, and a failed transaction, due to the complicated nature of a real estate sales and the rights and remedies that can be missed in the documents involved. Without an experienced attorney to assist, you run the risk of failing to file the appropriate documents with proper authorities on time, if at all. The following is what can happen if certain documents aren't filed:

- If a deed is not properly transferred and recorded, it could cause a variety of legal and tax issues for the buyer and seller. 
- If proper permits are not obtained on wetlands, certain structures may have to be rebuilt, or owners may incur fines. 

At a minimum, always have an experienced real estate attorney review your closing documents BEFORE you close. Mistakes do happen, but the time to correct these errors is BEFORE you close. To correct mistakes after the fact is time consuming, expensive and some mistakes cannot be corrected.