Residential Real Estate Law

Are You Buying A House?

Residential Detroit Real EstateDetroit Real Estate Law encourages anyone looking to purchase a house to ALWAYS consult with an attorney, prior to signing a purchase agreement. Life is about managing expectations and legally positioning yourself is an important element. The residential real estate market is bouncing bank and it’s crucial to obtain pre-approval for financing. By identifying a financial institution and providing them with necessary paperwork, you can fast track your purchase and minimize surprises.

Common Issues When Buying A House

  • Is the title clear and marketable? If not, there may be problem liens issues that cannot be resolved.
  • Is the property going to appraise for what you are buying for?  If not, the lender could decrease the amount of your loan or refuse the deal altogether. Do not order an appraisal yourself; the bank must follow guidelines and order appraisals.
  • Do you have a local agent that is familiar with the local market? Being aware of neighborhoods is ideal. Make sure your agent works within your target area of purchase.
  • Is an expert inspecting the property? Most inspections cost around $500, depending on the size of a home. This expense is worth the hassle of not knowing about material defects or latent defects.
  • Is time on your side? If you’re dealing with competition on a highly desirable property, time becomes scarce. Don’t move too quickly that you don’t end up protecting your money or yourself. In order to obtain the upper hand, make sure there are fewer contingencies in your agreement, and decrease time periods to a comfortable level.
  • Did you have a mortgage survey? Your mortgage survey should include an overview of property lines. If you’re ever planning on doing improvements or updating the property, it is important to obtain an ALTA staked survey. While costly, this will depict the property line, and depict any encroachments.
  • Did you receive your “marked up” title commitment? When leaving your closing, you should receive this information in your packet. This information says that you now own this property, free and clear. It also stated that this title company has confirmed the taxes and water bills are paid to date, and any liens and mortgages are insured to be removed.


Are You Selling A House?

Experienced Legal Advice When Selling Your HomeWhile there are fewer hassles with selling a home, there are still a few things to look out for in your process.

Common Issues When Selling A House

  • Is your property in “as is” condition? In order to ensure that you can move forward the day the property is closed on, make sure the buyer has done due diligence before hand.
  • Has your attorney reviewed the agreement? Your attorney should be involved in all paperwork proceedings. Make sure to cover everything including appliances, light fixtures, and curtains, or anything you may assume you’re taking with you.
  • Did you obtain a final water reading? You will need a copy of a final bill payment of your final water reading. This will stop a title company from withholding money.
  • Do you know your income tax implications? If you are single, you will not have to pay tax on the capital gain if your home was declared your primary residence for at least 2 of the previous 5 years, and you behave less than $250,000 in capital gains. If you are married, this threshold increases to $500,000.


Are You Building A House? 

With the construction boom back in business, people are more interested in building their dream home. Most Detroit Real Estate Law clients have never dealt with construction companies and know very little about what to expect. Most legal documents favor the developer. Here are a few things to look for when building your home:

  • Require a list of past clients from developers – You don’t want to see that they’ve ended up in court with previous clients.
  • Require a list of recommendations from developers – You’ll want to see that construction was predictable and with minimal hiccups.