When buying or selling a home or land, a realtor can provide you with invaluable advice on finding the right home or the best way to market your property. Also keep in mind though that the purchase or sale of real property is a legal transaction, which most likely involves your most significant financial asset. Only an attorney can advise you of your legal rights and obligations resulting from the terms of the sale. In most real estate transactions, the attorney fees for the buyer or the seller are only a small fraction of the amount paid for the property and much less than the usual realtor’s commission. Remember, the Purchase Agreement is the legal document determining your rights and obligations under the purchase, therefore you should consult an attorney before signing the agreement. Please keep in mind that forms from the Internet may have no application to Minnesota law.
Among the issues you could discuss with your attorney include:
Issues a Seller may discuss with an attorney:
How do I determine the value of my home or land?
Should the property remain on the market while the buyer may be arranging for financing or selling the other property?
What legal obligations does the Seller’s Disclosure form impose?
Are there any risks to selling property on a contract for deed?
Issues a Buyer may discuss with an attorney:
How do I know I am getting “good title?”
Do I really need a title opinion or title insurance?
Purchase Agreement and Terms of Sale:
Should I talk to an attorney regarding a Purchase Agreement drafted by a realtor or the buyer/seller?
Who drafts the Purchase Agreement?
Who needs to sign the Purchase Agreement and other documents?
Should we accept any language in the Purchase Agreement, or add language, about how much time is available to make claims for any defects in the property?
What are my legal rights and obligations when property is sold or purchased “AS IS,” and is the “AS IS” language proper?
Should an arbitration clause be used?
Purchase Agreement Addenda:
Should a contingency for sale of other property be used?
Should the transaction be contingent on a home inspection?
When is a financing contingency necessary?
What fees should be paid by the seller, and what fees should be paid by the buyer?
What problems arise if there is a well or septic system on the property?
What constitutes a “fixture?” What types of fixtures are typically included in the sale?
Deed and Title:
What is the full legal description of the land and property? What documents will provide me with an accurate legal description?
Does the tax statement necessarily have the full legal description?
What is the difference between a warranty deed, limited warranty deed and quit claim deed?
Does the type of deed affect my rights and obligations?
My siblings and I want to jointly purchase a lake cabin, how should title to the property be held?
What is the difference between holding title as “joint tenants with a right of survivorship” and “tenants in common?”
When should a parent hold a home titled in joint tenancy with children?
Do I need a survey?
Do I need an attorney to help me gift my land or house?