One of the most common concerns at a real estate law firm comes from when folks fail to address problems before they attempt to sell or transfer properties. There are many issues you'll need to sort out, but these four are among the most important.
Producing a Clear Title
A title search is a powerful tool. Even if you're certain that there's nothing wrong with the title for a property, it's wise to conduct one and present the results to an attorney.
Many unusual problems may show up once a search is completed. Title fraud is an increasingly common issue, especially a form where people steal identities and then put up other peoples' properties as collateral for illegal loans. You might not discover someone did this until you've completed a title search. Additionally, unresolved liens, even ones from decades ago involving previous owners, can show up after a search.
It's important to resolve all of these kinds of issues before listing real estate for sale. Once you have verified there's a clear title, you'll be in a more comfortable position to sell.
Water, Gas, Timber, and Mineral Rights
Another question worth resolving in advance is determining what the status of the resource rights on the property are. Sometimes you'll be surprised, even if you sold the rights years ago. The company holding the rights might have gone under, and they're now vacated, for example. Being able to clearly state what the resource rights are for a property can give you some additional sweeteners to include during negotiation, so it's worth your time to research the situation.
Inspecting the Structures
It can be tempting to assume that "buyer beware" applies when selling a house or other type of building. Don't make that assumption because it's the first step toward having a sale invalidated.
When you sell a piece of real estate, it's prudent to have a licensed inspector visit the site and check out what issues it might have. The inspector will provide you with a report. If there are any problems you're not interested in fixing before you sell the place, you should fully disclose those concerns to all potential buyers.
The Wording of the Listing
Representations are a major part of the selling process. As a seller, you're duty-bound to tell the buyer everything about the property that might adversely impact them. For example, if there's a perpetual easement allowing a factory operator to use an access road at the edge of the property, that's something the buyer deserves to know.
If you are planning to buy or sell a property, contact a real estate law firm for help.