Albert Einstein once said, “Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them.” That philosophy is worth applying to all areas of life, including real estate. Anyone who has been involved with multiple residential or commercial property transactions probably believes that they’ve “seen it all,” but that hard-won experience proves invaluable in anticipating, preventing and solving problems.
Finding Problems vs. Solving Problems
Each real estate transaction is unique, but an experienced San Antonio real estate attorney will search for potential issues. There is typically a certain amount of pressure on all parties to the transaction which can result in someone wanting to ignore or downplay important problems. Situations that can create difficulties include:
- A buyer’s belief that they must make an offer to buy quickly, not taking the time to thoroughly examine the property and the deal
- Assuming that any issues aren’t sufficiently serious to need a pre-closing solution or believing there aren’t any issues
- Lack of expert assistance in finding potential problems, many of which could be prevented by consulting an experienced home inspection service and real estate attorney
- Pressure by selling agents to close the deal
Common Legal Issues When Buying or Selling Property
These issues are particular relevant to commercial property transactions, but home buyers or sellers also need to be aware of potential problem areas.
1. Property Evaluations
Calculating the correct value of a piece of property can be difficult. It’s necessary to consider the age, size, zoning, best use and condition of the property. Buyers of commercial properties are particularly concerned with evaluating past, current and future incomes. Real estate agents typically look for “comps” or recent sales of similar properties. However, exact matches for the property are almost never available. Even similar homes in a development will have different issues or upgrades. Hiring an experienced appraiser is helpful to both the buyer and seller.
2. Due Diligence
Buying real estate requires a considerable amount of investigation.
- Is the title clear, with any liens or easements identified? Even if property has been previously sold, previous title searches could have missed something the buyer needs to know.
- Is the property zoned correctly for the intended use?
- Is anyone encroaching on the property or using part of it in some way that would prevent full use by the buyer?
- Were any repairs or improvements to the property completed according to building codes and with the necessary permits?
- Potential LiabilitiesBuyers, especially of commercial properties, need to know that they are not assuming liability for any environmental hazards. If it should later be learned that dangerous chemicals had been dumped on the site many years earlier, for example, the current owner would be liable for a very expensive cleanup.
Buying or selling any property, whether for your home or business, involves a substantial investment. Mike Farah and the team have the real estate experience and objectivity you need throughout the process. Contact Farah Law Firm today.