Real Estate Law FAQs

What Florida Real Estate Transactions Do You Handle?

Founder of Wasinger Law Office, PLLC, attorney Matthew Wasinger answers real estate FAQs. Matthew handles Florida residential and commercial real estate transactions.

Transactions refer to the legal documentation, processes and steps that lead to a closing and signature that formalize and complete a sale between parties on a home, a business, or an investment property.

“To make sure that you’re getting all of your interests protected in terms of any sort of contract, a lawyer should review all documents,” Matthew said.

Commercial real estate or residential real estate sales are affected by the value, the projection and forecasting that may only be properly offered by a Florida real estate lawyer who knows the history and can forecast and offer legal advice to protect the investment.

In many cases, families, individuals and even businesses try to handle the legal process leading up to the sale or purchase of a house or commercial property. Everyone realizes after several weeks that the timeline can often be longer than originally expected, provide many legal hoops to leap through with usually frustrating twists and turns.

What Are Your Options?

Always ask parties involved what your options are? Think only about what you’re getting in the deal and consult with an attorney to protect you from the unknown things that arise in Florida real estate deals before signing any real estate contract.

What is a Real Estate Transaction?

Any Buying, Selling, Developing, Leasing, Investing, Renting real estate is a real estate transaction.

Residential or commercial real estate “transactions” refer to the legal documentation, processes and steps that lead to a closing and signature that formalize and complete a sale between parties on a home, a business, or an investment property.

When Should I Hire a Real Estate Attorney?

Before you decide you’ll sign any documents relating to real estate, whether that is investing, buying, selling, developing, leasing or renting real estate.

What Are the Most Common Purchase Agreement Problems in Florida?

Typically, it is someone not holding up their end of the deal. Each side has specific deadlines and responsibilities in a purchase agreement. Whether that be putting a deposit in on time, not getting lender approval timely, or failing to properly get a real estate inspection and timely negotiating for any problems that come up in the inspection. That’s why careful review of any real estate contract is absolutely critical to getting a deal done correctly.

Are You Protecting Your Interests?

If you’re planning to buy your first home, trade up your existing home to a larger home, or downsize your home now that your children are out of the house, or are in the process of selling your property, a real estate attorney can protect your interests from the beginning.

What Florida Real Estate Problems Are Common?

Avoid common Florida real estate problems brought by realtors, mortgage companies, title companies, even well meaning family or friends. A non-attorney should not be making your real estate decisions.

Before you decide and before you’ll sign any documents relating to Florida real estate, whether that is investing, buying, selling, developing, leasing or renting real estate, cover your family and your future by showing your contract to a Florida real estate lawyer.

What Could Go Wrong Before Your Closing?

An Orlando, Florida, family could be buying a first investment property in Miami. Great, but it’s a bad idea to wait until you have closing papers to ask an attorney to review contracts. There could easily be an issue that will delay the closing including title issues, lender approval issues, inspection issues or potential concealment of construction defects.

Ask early to establish your real estate attorney and keep them involved in the negotiations through the closing date.

Will You Lose Money on Your Investment?

A smart real estate attorney can catch and address last minute contractual errors, but wouldn’t it be better to catch the problem before it proceeds? Worse yet, would you want to lose money on your real estate investment? Meet with an attorney and allow a review before you put your signature on real estate documents.

Do You Know the Legal Responsibilities?

Do you know that Deeds are sometimes not properly recorded after a property sale or purchase of a property? Your legal responsibilities in buying or selling a property without an attorney are extensive.

For example, you may be College Park real estate investor purchasing commercial property in Fort Lauderdale for a second location for your business.

Would you know if the proper documents were filed and registered after the closing? Why would you want to risk making a mistake, missing a deadline, filing improperly and putting your business at risk?

Florida Law Requires Florida Real Estate Attorneys

Let’s say you’re in California, New York, or anywhere else in North America, Australia, Asia, Africa, Antarctica, Europe, Central America or South America, and you’re buying or selling a Florida commercial or residential property, you’ll need to hire a skilled Florida real estate transactions attorney to handle the closing for you because Florida law requires it.

Florida commercial and residential closings also occur in the county where the property is located.

In real estate deals, many steps must be taken, and procedures follow to ensure the closing will happen. Negotiating the real estate contracts in commercial deals can become very complicated. The actual real estate closing can almost become anti-climatic after its all done and closing day arrives.

What Should I Do About a Boundary Dispute?

Contact an attorney. Each dispute usually requires some Title Work and/or Surveys to determine the actual boundary what rights a person has. Most people have a boundary dispute when buying their property, so bringing them to an experienced attorney to review the contract is critical to being able to successfully resolve the dispute. Depending on the severity of the dispute and the issue, other professionals may be required to figure out the dispute.

How Do I Buy a Distressed Property?

The same way you buy a regular property, with a proper title search and research into the potential pitfalls and consequences of the distressed property.

How Does an Attorney Help in a Real Estate Closing?

There are a lot of documents and contracts signed with buying property. A real estate attorney can review the documents before you sign to ensure you are aware of all the terms, deadlines, and potential remedies that are included in the contract.

Additionally, you want an attorney to review the closing statements to ensure you are only paying for the items you agreed to, and that the right funds are going to the right places.

Do I Need an Attorney to Buy an Investment Property?

Not necessarily. But you always want to make sure that anytime you invest your money in real estate that the contracts and documents included are carefully reviewed so someone qualified can advise of any terms, pitfalls, consequences, and potential risks of the deals you want to do.

What Can I Do to Enforce a Real Estate Contract?

Depends on the terms of the contract you signed. Some usual options are lawsuits for specific performance, lawsuits for money damages, mediation to attempt to resolve the dispute, and/or canceling the contract and recovering any deposits if the dispute cannot be resolved in way that makes financial sense to the Client. Sometimes the deals you walk away from are the best deals you make.

How Common Are Escrow Disputes?

That happens all of the time. That’s why the purchase or sale contract is so important to be reviewed and negotiated ahead of time to ensure that you know all of the deadlines and terms that must be met to be on the winning side of the deal.

Do You as My Attorney Attend My Florida Real Estate Closing?

I can. It’s completely up to the customer. I can be there if you want us to or need us to.

Do You Handle International Real Estate Sales and Purchases?

Yes, I handle any sales and purchases of real estate.

What is a Land Acquisition Agreement?

It is a contract or agreement to purchase land.

Do You Handle Real Estate Litigation?

Yes, I handle all aspects of residential real estate. That goes from transactions to lawsuits.

What Are My Options if a Seller Misrepresents Real Estate in a Sale?

Most of the time the options are a lawsuit. That’s why the contract you sign is crucial to protect your interests before, during and after a sale. Your options can be limited in the contract and the ability to sue the person who misrepresented themselves for damages. Lawsuits are expensive.

How Common is Real Estate Fraud in Florida and What Are the Most Commonly Seen Issues?

Unfortunately, it is all too common in Florida. Whether that is someone who alleges to be able to rent out space and it being a scam, or someone falsely asserting they own property, or specifically hiding defects/damages to homes/property that should have been disclosed.

Can You Help Me Evaluate a Real Estate Purchase or Investment Risk?

Absolutely. My knowledge of not only real estate in general, but also the local and nationwide market helps to provide you with the pros and cons of each deal, including the purchase price, rental rates, rates of return, and whether the projected use of the property will even be feasible.

What Problems Can Be Identified in a Review of My Loan Documents?

Everything from terms laid out differently that initially agreed to, incorrect legal descriptions, special/extra terms you may not be aware of, as well as listed legal remedies of the lender/bank that everyone should know if the worst happens.

What Are Some Common Title Disputes?

Title Disputes are usually some form of legal descriptions being inaccurate or with a building/home being put on property that isn’t correct. Another common dispute is multiple liens/interests in a property that need to be cleared up before a sale or purchase can be made. All of which require an experienced attorney that can carefully review and fix any potential title problem.

Do you have any questions?

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