You Don't Have to Use a Real Estate Attorney in PA
You don't need an attorney in Pennsylvania to buy, sell, or lease a commercial or residential property. However, a real estate attorney can provide valuable legal advice to avoid complications.
A qualified real estate attorney can help represent you. And they can do so whether you're a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, developer, property manager, or even a municipality.
Trusted sources recognize our law firm as a Best Law Firm for real estate litigation in metropolitan Philadelphia. Not surprisingly, real estate is a core practice area. So we've helped clients with real property transactions in Philadelphia and the greater Philadelphia area. We've also actively supported clients in Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, and Delaware counties.
What is Real Estate Law?
Whether buying a home or commercial space, it's a substantial commitment. So it's essential to know precisely what you're getting into, including boundaries, title, and the condition of the premises. That's where real estate law plays a critical role. It protects buyers, sellers, land owners, contractors, real estate agents, and builders.
All legal documents must be well-written to avoid problems and delays. Otherwise, you could face litigations stemming from any disputes.
Common Real Estate Concerns
Real estate law can be complex, leading to numerous concerns. Sometimes those concerns lead to litigation requiring a real estate litigator. Some of the more common issues that arise include:
- Construction defects
- Survey or boundary disputes
- Title or title insurance disputes
- Landlord and tenant disputes
- Land use issues
- Errors in public records
- Undiscovered liens
- Illegal deeds
In addition to mitigating potential litigation issues, real estate law governs fiscal concerns relating to a property. Those include mortgages, liens, and foreclosures, for example. Even some wills and trust issues may fall under the umbrella of real estate and property law.
In the United States, every state has exclusive jurisdiction over the land within its borders. Consequently, each state can determine the form and effect of a transfer of real property in its jurisdiction. As a result, state law requirements vary significantly from state to state. So working with a real estate litigation attorney familiar with state laws is essential.
Your Rights as Buyer or Seller
If you're a seller, you have the right to have a real estate attorney review the listing and sales agreements. But, more importantly, you should be aware that you may be liable for the actions of your real estate agent.
If you want to buy a house or rent a property, you can have a lawyer check the sales agreement. They can also represent you during settlement. That's important, mainly if the seller has enlisted an attorney to represent them.
How a Real Estate Attorney Can Help
Having expert legal counsel during any transaction makes sense. For example, an attorney can help draft and review documents to give you greater peace of mind. Here are some ways a real estate lawyer can protect your interests.
Contracts: A real estate attorney will ensure the contract adheres to state laws. They can also look into potential issues with the contract. For example, concerns relating to eminent domain or code compliance and any language in the agreement that may be problematic.
Title Searches: A title search protects you from potential liens or judgments against the property. Equally important, it ensures the seller has the right to sell the property. A real estate lawyer can provide insight if the search presents potential concerns. Moreover, they can do so better than a title company.
Property Transfer: If the real estate transaction involves a corporation, trust, partnership, or joint venture, the contract will be more involved. A real estate attorney can make sure the contract adheres to state requirements.
Zoning and Land Use: Real estate law regulates zoning and land use. And that governs how you can use and develop a property. For example, it determines whether the property is used for residential, commercial, or industrial use.
In addition, land use regulations set development rules for a property, including environmental laws and permits required for construction.
Filing: You must file any real estate transaction at the county and state levels. So, a local Montgomery or Bucks County attorney will uncover any regulations impacting your transaction, like preservation issues. Plus, they'll help avoid income or estate taxes and building restrictions that could lead to fines or property loss.
Discrimination: Sometimes, buyers or sellers confront discrimination during the buying process. A real estate attorney can help address such an issue.
Pennsylvania Seller Disclosure Statement Requirements
To protect buyers, Pennsylvania state law requires sellers to provide them with information about a property's condition. For example, a Seller's Property Disclosure Statement form contains essential information about the property. The standard form covers such concerns as:
- Property contents, such as specific appliances, and whether or not they need repair or replacement
- Availability of working smoke detectors
- Defects in the electrical, plumbing, and other property systems
- Homeowners' association fees
- Deed restrictions
- Type of sewage system
In addition, for houses built before 1978, the seller must comply with federal Title X disclosures. Those disclosures relate to lead-based paint and hazards.
Reviewing these disclosures and documents with an experienced real estate lawyer is worthwhile.
Our Real Estate Lawyers work at the Community and State Levels
Our Bucks County and Montgomery County real estate lawyers have supported real estate legal changes at the community and state levels. Additionally, they've advised municipalities on zoning and land use issues.
Our legal services associated with real estate are comprehensive and cover an array of commercial and real estate transactions, including:
- Affordable Housing
- Code Compliance
- Due Diligence
- Financing & Deal Structuring
- Purchase and Sale Agreements
- Construction Litigation
- Easements & Licenses
- Eminent Domain & Condemnation
- Environmental and Due Diligence Compliance
- Zoning, Land Use Development & Subdivisions
- Real Estate Litigation
- Real Estate Tax
- Lease Agreements
- Title Issues
Experienced Real Estate Attorneys in Bucks and Montgomery Counties
Even though you're under no requirement to have an attorney on hand, it makes sense to have one. You can avoid potential issues with a real estate transaction, whether making a commercial property or home purchase. Our real estate attorneys are well-versed in local codes and state laws to guard your transaction.
Whether you're a buyer or a seller, call our Doylestown or Norristown law offices. Our lawyers will ensure your deal meets all the legal requirements.
Check out our real estate blogs for more insights into Pennsylvania's laws. Then, call our law firm if you're looking for a real estate attorney for help.