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Santa Rosa Real Estate Blog

3 things that must be included in disclosures

Selling a piece of real estate is a stressful endeavor. Even if you are a pro selling in a high-demand area, there are often complications that can demand extra attention. One of the most common sources of such complication is the disclosures. Disclosures are intended to reveal all relevant issues and potential problems relating to a piece of property—if they are incomplete, a seller can be held legally liable.

According to the California Department of Real Estate, in addition to disclosing relevant information, buyers and sellers should both visually inspect a property prior to entering a contract. Be on the lookout for the following three details during an inspection and in the disclosures of a property, too. 

3 common types of real estate broker malpractice

Part of your real estate transaction may have involved the professional assistance of a real estate broker or brokerage firm. A broker is different from an agent in that the former goes through additional, in-depth education, must take another exam to receive this higher license and generally has more experience.

Are you unsatisfied with the transaction because of something the broker did or did not do? Perhaps something went wrong, but you are not sure if the mistake warrants a lawsuit. Here are some of the most common forms of real estate broker malpractice to help you determine if you have a claim. Talking to an attorney is the best way to know what options are available for your situation.

Understanding rights of way and easements

You are considering a home purchase, but you notice there is an easement in the title deed. Additionally, you have heard about rights of way and easement issues while looking for your dream home. Can an easement change the way you feel about your home purchase? How might a right of way or easement affect Californians when they are living on properties that have them?

First, it may help to understand the different types of easements and rights of way that you might encounter in an average title. In legal terms, these give others the right to enter or use your property, usually for the purpose of accessing another property near yours. The following points explain further:

  • A right of way is an easement that allows someone the right to pass through your land, such as sharing your driveway to access a park beyond your property or taking a public path that cuts through your property at some point.
  • An easement might allow utility workers access to a portion of your land where equipment is located, such as a telephone pole or power box.
  • A negative easement is a clause that prohibits you from making changes that affect others. For example, you might not be able to add another story to your home if it would obstruct a scenic or historic view from nearby properties.

3 questions to ask a prospective real estate attorney

If you are considering buying or selling a property and you are facing a situation that is somewhat atypical or complicated, you may find it beneficial to hire a qualified, experienced real estate attorney to work on your behalf. Even seemingly simple real estate transactions sometimes turn into highly convoluted or hotly contested matters, and having someone who knows the ins and outs of the industry working on your behalf can mean the difference between finalizing a transaction and returning to the drawing board.

Hiring a lawyer is an investment, and it is therefore essential that you feel confident in the person that you are about to hire before you make things official. So, before you sign on with a particular real estate attorney, consider asking the following questions.

Top mistakes for commercial investors to avoid

Investing in California real estate can bring the payoffs you want - if you do it right. Learning about common mistakes to steer clear of when buying property can help you make investments wisely.

One trap investors fall into is believing they do not need an attorney's help to manage these often-complicated transactions. Even experienced and successful businesspeople can overlook or misunderstand important legal issues. Selecting the right real estate attorney can go a long way towards a successful purchase.

Some of the reasons your home might not be selling

Putting your house on the market can be exciting, but it is usually a stressful time as well. The housing market is especially competitive in California, and you will need to be sure your home is in top shape so you can get what you are asking for.

Whether this is the first home you are selling or the 10th, it can help to know the factors that push a property through closing quickly, as well as those that often cause a sale to stall. Contrary to what some might believe, it is not the fear that a home might be haunted or that someone died on the property. The following are some of the top reasons that homes on the market fall through the cracks:

  • The price of your home is too high for the current market. It might be a beautiful property in pristine condition, but housing prices are constantly fluctuating. You need to stay on top of pricing trends in your neighborhood.
  • The property needs repair. This cannot be stressed enough – you should take care of repair issues before putting your house on the market. Leaky pipes, drafty windows and cracks in the foundation are enough to send any buyer running.
  • Potential homeowners want to visualize themselves living in the house they are considering. Put your home in the best light by updating appliances and staging furnishings and accessories to look warm and inviting.
  • There is a health concern. If the home has an odor due to mildew, mold, smoke or pet urine, you will need to have a professional address the issue.
  • There are liens showing on the title or paid-off mortgage. Get in touch with the title company or mortgage company to correct these issues. In fact, it is always a good idea to consult with your home’s title company before listing.

3 key elements your real estate offer should include

When it comes to purchasing real estate in Santa Rosa, many people seem to think they just need to make the best offer price to buy a property. However, the purchasing process is much more complicated than that. Many things must take place before ownership of a property can legally change hands. 

If you are not careful, you could end up entering into a bad faith contract, losing money on a property that is unsellable, dealing with complications that prolong the length of time it takes for you to close the deal or becoming involved in a real estate contract dispute. Here are some key elements that your real estate purchase contract should have. 

What you should know about real estate disclosures

Because buying property in Santa Rosa is one of the biggest investments you will ever make, you should learn about what your responsibilities are as a buyer. Most real estate transactions require sellers to inform buyers about defects and issues that can impact the property’s value and your comfort. 

Keep in mind that it is to the seller’s advantage to portray the home in the best light. The seller may make repairs, paint the walls and perform a variety of tasks to make the home as attractive as possible to potential buyers. Besides improving the property’s appeal, the seller must also provide full disclosure about the property. Some property owners do not abide the law and may try to deceive buyers so they can sell their homes. To keep yourself from falling prey to their tactics, consider the following suggestions.

Get the most out of your attorney-client relationship

During your real estate litigation, it is important that you work with your attorney. In essence, you are in a partnership with a common goal to obtain favorable results in your case. As partners, you must both contribute to reach a favorable outcome.

What are the things that you should contribute to the process? Below are a few key contributions that you can make to aid your attorney in helping you, and to hopefully get the most out of your business relationship.

3 qualities to look for in a real estate attorney

Real estate can be confusing. While some deals may be possible with a realtor or broker, you need an attorney when you are going through a complicated or risky real estate transaction. If you are thinking of hiring a real estate attorney, you need to make sure you hire the right one. Just because someone is a real estate attorney does not necessarily mean you should choose that person to handle your case.

When looking for a lawyer, look for these characteristics to make sure he or she is qualified to help you with your transaction.