Legal Considerations in Real Estate Transactions

Legal Considerations in Real Estate Transactions

Real estate transactions involve various legal considerations that buyers, sellers, and their agents must bear in mind, including contracts, title searches, surveys, disclosures, and closing procedures

Contracts: A purchase agreement in real estate is a contract that binds the buyer and seller, outlining terms and conditions of the sale, including purchase price, closing date, and contingencies. It includes property details and becomes legally binding when signed by both parties, with legal action possible for any breaches. It's recommended to work with a real estate attorney to draft or review the agreement for protection and compliance.

Title Searches: To safeguard the buyer's investment and avoid legal issues, a professional must conduct a thorough title search by searching public records for potential issues such as liens, mortgages, easements, and encumbrances that can affect the property's title. This search guarantees that the buyer receives a clear title to the property, free from unknown claims or issues that could affect their ownership rights. If any problems are identified during the search, they can be resolved before the closing, which prevents legal disputes and complications.

Surveys: A professional surveyor maps a property's boundaries, dimensions, and features to identify potential issues or encroachments, making conducting a survey a vital step in a real estate transaction. It ensures that the buyer is aware of the property's exact location and dimensions, confirming that structures and improvements are within the property's boundaries, helps prevent future legal disputes, and can be necessary for mortgage approval.

Disclosures: The seller must disclose all known material defects that could affect the property's value or pose a safety hazard to the buyer, which are outlined in the seller's disclosure notice, such as past flooding, previous repairs, or other potential problems. Completing the seller's disclosure notice accurately and thoroughly is a crucial step in a real estate transaction as it allows the buyer to make an informed decision, negotiate repairs or a lower price, and protects the seller from potential legal liability.  Failing to disclose known defects can lead to legal action.

Closing Procedures:  In a real estate transaction, the transfer of property ownership from the seller to the buyer is accomplished through signing legal documents, preparing a settlement statement, purchasing title insurance, and recording the transfer of ownership.  After meeting to sign necessary documents and transferring funds for the purchase to the seller, the seller transfers ownership of the property to the buyer, and the transfer is recorded with the county clerk's office to make the sale legally binding.
If you're seeking professional advice on real estate transactions, contact Kristi Neal at C&K Properties by phone at 713-858-4595 or by email at [email protected].
Kristi Neal, Attorney at Law, Mediator, Real Estate Broker.
C&K Properties, 520 Post Oak Blvd. Suite 320, Houston, Texas 77027.
[email protected]

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