Real estate law covers many issues. It may involve representing a buyer or seller when the real estate is transferred — such as when buying or selling a home. The purchase can require a deed and immediate transfer, or it can involve a land contract and ultimate transfer when the purchase price has been paid in full. Real estate laws also covers claims later asserted under the Seller’s Disclosure Statement if a purchaser believes he/she has been defrauded.
At the closing, most purchasers sign mortgage documents, and these documents should be reviewed by an attorney before they are signed. Purchasers will receive a “title commitment” before closing and/or a mortgage survey, which should be reviewed. If more than one person is purchasing real estate, there are issues of ownership. Sometimes owners will take title to the property as “tenants in common.” This means that if one owner dies, his/her estate will own his/her share. Other people take title as joint tenants with full rights of survivorship. If one of them dies, then the survivor inherits the entire property interest.
During the course of property ownership, there may be claims of encroachment or “adverse possession.” This often requires litigation. There also may be liens filed against the property by mortgagees, the IRS, ex-spouses, and/or taxing authorities. Again, litigation may be needed to “clear title.”
If the property is rented or leased, a tenant may need to be evicted. Further, there are very specific laws covering security deposits and evictions, so the lease itself should be carefully reviewed. Leases must comply with any local ordinances covering rental property.
Owners sometimes contest their property tax assessments. They have a right in early Spring of each year to appear before the Tax Board of Review and/or appeal to the Michigan Tax Tribunal to lower the assessment. An attorney can make a difference during these proceedings.
If a contractor, subcontractor, or supplier works on the property and is not paid, that contractor and others have the right to file a “construction lien.” Likewise, if a mortgagor defaults on a mortgage note, the lender can foreclose.
Real estate law is specialized law, and clients should consult an attorney with specialized knowledge. Faupel Musser Love, P.C. is familiar with real estate law, real estate litigation, real estate appraisals, foreclosure law, and property tax appeals. To benefit the most from legal advice, be sure to consult a real estate specialist before you sign any documents.
Faupel Musser Love in Ann Arbor, Michigan practices real estate law throughout Michigan. We are ready to discuss your legal issue, please call one of our skilled attorneys at (734) 677-0776 or contact Faupel Musser Love online or via e-mail.