Real estate transactions are some of the biggest transactions most people will make. Whether it’s a first-time homebuyer or a business buying and/or selling commercial property, most transactions are completed without any real estate litigation issues.
Occasionally, real estate transactions aren’t as clear-cut as they might have been, and litigation could be the end result. Lawsuits are time-consuming and expensive and finding a real estate lawyer in Portland, Maine, maybe your next option.
Having A Real Estate Attorney
The sale of real estate is usually pretty straightforward. But in each phase of the purchase process exists the possibility of an issue that can cause problems with the sale, and in some cases, cancel the transaction completely.
Maine requires a real estate attorney to be involved in the process, even for a basic transaction. Having a real estate attorney for the buying or selling of real estate can make the process easier, and lessen any risks involved. An attorney is especially important if:
- The property has physical damage
- The property includes an illegal residence, such as a “mother-in-law” house
- The property is in an area that is subjected to severe weather (flooding, tornadoes, etc.)
- You’re not local to the region
- You need to walk away from a contract
Although the attorney’s fees will add a small amount to the costs of buying, it can save thousands of dollars if there a problem or dispute develops.
Types Of Issues
While you hope your transaction goes through smoothly, it’s not uncommon for real estate sales and purchases to have an issue or two involved that leads to a dispute. Some may just require an attorney’s intervention, but some could lead to the termination of the sale entirely.
- Title issues: defects, irregularities, fraud
- Liens: mortgages, attachments, and others, such as a mechanic’s or vendor’s lien
- Easements, boundaries, and encroachments
- Undisclosed defects in the property, including repairs not made
- Undisclosed mortgages
- Undisclosed judgments, such as child support, tax liens
- Adverse possession (i.e., “squatter’s rights”)
- Eminent domain
- Land use and zoning
- Waterfront rights
- Right of first refusals
- Quiet title actions to determine actual ownership and ensure that there are no conflicting claims
- Quitclaim deeds to transfer property ownership outside of a sale (such as an inheritance after probate)
- Wills, improper probate and “surprise relatives”
- Discovery of a new will after a previous will was probated, or one after an intestate probate
- Administrative and/or clerical errors
- Other errors missed by a standard title search
Title insurance and an owner’s policy can help guard against issues that can threaten the sale of a property, or cause the buyer to lose it altogether. A real estate attorney can help with resolving a dispute or terminating the contract.
If a seller offers a warranty deed to a buyer, it means that the seller has done nothing to harm the property title since their purchase.
While it sounds like the buyer is protected from issues with the title, it may not be the case. The seller promises that there are no title defects, or any other mortgages, easements, liens, or other encumbrances detailed in the deed from either his or her ownership or previous ownership. Additionally, the seller guarantees that the buyer’s possession won’t be interrupted by another interest in the property.
However, a warranty deed also offers a buyer a greater right to sue should there be a title issue. Working with a real estate lawyer can help settle or mitigate some of these issues before they become disputes.
Your Gorham, ME Real Estate Litigation Lawyer
Whether you’re considering buying a new home or commercial property, or are in the middle of one that’s become problematic, we’re ready to help.
For more than 25 years, Peter W. Evans has helped Mainers with their various real estate law issues, including buying, selling, and foreclosure. Mr. Evans gives each client and case personal attention to resolve nearly any kind of real estate litigation problem. Call (207) 747-5114 today or contact us online to make an appointment.