Real Estate Law Attorney in Bradenton, Florida
Buying or selling real estate typically relies on brokers or agents to represent the parties involved—both seller and buyer. Generally, there will be an offer by a potential buyer, and if the offer is accepted, a down payment will be made by the buyer, who will then seek financing. When the financing is complete, the buyer and seller will sign a closing agreement, the borrowed money is added to the deposit, and the deal closes.
That’s a fairly simplified picture of what happens during a real estate transaction. There are, of course, many other steps in the process. The buyer will want to inspect the property, usually by hiring a professional, and there may be a request for repairs. There must also be a title search to determine if there are any undisclosed liens on the property, or other issues that might cloud or prevent transfer of the title. Depending on the nature of the purchase, the buyer may need to make sure the property is zoned correctly for the intended purpose. There may also be boundary issues with neighbors or any other number of concerns that arise.
While the agent-broker for both buyer and seller should assist with all of these issues, let’s face it: real estate agents are working on commission. The quicker they can get a transaction over with, the quicker they can earn their pay. That’s not to say they necessarily cheat, but they do tend to push everything forward as quickly as possible.
Reach out to an experienced real estate attorney instead. For your peace of mind as a buyer, or as a seller, it’s important to consult legal guidance. Your attorney can give legal advice, which agents and brokers cannot. Your attorney can also review the closing contract, conduct the title search, deal with boundary disputes, and advise you on many other matters.
If you are looking to sell or buy real estate in or around Bradenton, contact the Law Offices of David W. Wilcox. Attorney Wilcox is himself a licensed real estate broker and has been for more than 30 years. He has been providing sound legal advice and representing clients for even longer, for four decades. For all your real estate questions and concerns in Bradenton, or anywhere in Manatee County, Sarasota County, or the rest of Florida, reach out to him to set up a consultation.
Real Estate Transactions in Florida
In Florida, it is not technically required to involve an attorney in a real estate transaction, but it is in your best interest to do so. Whether or not you enlist the aid of an attorney, it’s important to understand a few things about property transactions in the state of Florida.
While Florida law requires brokers/agents to be honest, when it comes to defects or issues that may make the purchase less desirable in the eyes of the buyer, the broker/agent might tend to ignore or gloss over certain issues. Florida law does require the seller to disclose any “known” problems with the property being marketed, but “known” is the catchword. Both seller and broker can plead ignorance, so to speak.
As a buyer, you have to perform your own due diligence and have the property inspected by a professional of your choosing. Your broker/agent might recommend an inspector they know who will be quick and paint the rosiest picture possible, so beware. If defects or issues do arise from your inspection, an attorney can advise you of the proper steps to getting them repaired or making changes to the purchase agreement to protect you.
When it comes to boundary disputes, an attorney can prove essential. If, for instance, a neighbor to a residential property you’re eyeing has built a treehouse or other structure that violates what appears to be your property and its boundary, your neighbor may have earned ownership of that section of your land through what is known as “adverse possession.” If there are boundary issues, you will want to get an attorney involved.
Even the process of doing a title search probably is best left to an attorney. Here again, your agent/broker will no doubt recommend a title search company they use because they know them to be quick and efficient, but quick doesn’t always turn up all issues involving liens on the property, titles held by other individuals or entities that were never cleared up, or other encumbrances. An attorney will exhaust all resources in searching for problems with the title.
When it comes to any contract you’re asked to sign, whether it’s the purchase agreement or the closing contract, the documents being used will have been drafted most likely by the Florida Association of Realtors. In other words, not only will they be “boilerplate” documents—standardized forms on which someone fills in the blanks—but they will also have built-in protections for the agents and brokers involved.
You should rely on a knowledgeable real estate attorney at every stage of your real estate journey, including reviewing and suggesting modifications to any agreement or contract you will be asked to sign. This applies to both buyer and seller equally. If possible, you should have an attorney draft the contract so it is tailored to your specific circumstances and needs.
Why It’s Important to Hire an Experienced Attorney
The last thing you need weeks or months after closing a deal is to have issues arise that can lead to legal disputes. These disputes could involve undisclosed defects, property line disagreements, unrevealed issues with the title, and more. A real estate attorney, especially an experienced one, can be invaluable in protecting your rights as a buyer or seller. A real estate attorney who has ‘been there before’ can negotiate for you in an effective manner and can help you move forward, no matter your specific situation.
Real Estate Law Attorney in Bradenton, Florida
The Law Offices of David W. Wilcox stands ready to help you as a buyer or seller in a real estate transaction, whether residential or commercial. Attorney Wilcox is both a licensed real estate broker and a practicing attorney who understands all aspects of Florida real estate law. Reach out to him with all your questions and concerns about a potential real estate transaction.