6 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Real Estate Lawyer

If you’re looking for a real estate lawyer, it is important that you don’t hire just anyone. When it comes to handling major transactions such as the purchase of a property, you need to ensure you have the right support behind you. 

When it comes to buying real estate, you need someone by your side that has your best interests at heart. 

But what should you consider when you’re looking for a real estate lawyer?

Here are six factors that you really need to think about when choosing your attorney. 

1. Do They Have Knowledge of Transactions in the Local Area?

Different housing markets move at different speeds, and what happens in the area may not happen in another. When it comes to hiring a real estate lawyer you need someone who has a clear understanding of what can affect transactions in the area that you’re buying. 

Local building codes will differ between towns and cities and you’ll want someone on your side that has a good handle on the issues that you may face with your property. 

In addition to finding a lawyer who knows the local housing market well, you’ll also need to think about getting a lawyer that has helped close similar properties to yours. If you’re buying an apartment, it may be helpful to have a lawyer that has worked on other property deals on the same block. 

2. How Much Does the Real Estate Lawyer Charge?

Before you decide on which real estate lawyer to go with, you’ll want to know exactly how much they will charge you for their services and what the closing fees will be. Comparing lawyer fees is essential when deciding on a real estate lawyer. 

The fees that you’ll need to pay will largely depend on the complexity and the size of the transaction.

The following factors will affect how much your fees will be: 

  • Whether you are buying or selling
  • Whether the sale is made in cash or whether you’ll need a mortgage
  • If you are borrowing money whether the lender is an institutional or a private lender
  • Whether you need to pay federal or state tax withholdings
  • If there are any expected issues 
  • Whether the sale includes anything out of the ordinary in the buying process

Find out as much as you can about the way that the fees work before you decide on your real estate lawyer. 

3. Will You Get Personalized Attention?

Every property buying transaction is different, and you don’t want to choose a real estate lawyer that uses a copy and paste approach to dealing with property purchases. 

A good real estate lawyer will prove you with personalized attention and will be able to provide you with answers to any questions that you may have as they come up.

Having a good connection with your lawyer is essential. Without this personalized attention, it can be difficult to build up the trust and respect that you’ll need to have in your real estate lawyer. 

4. Will You Get Support Throughout the Entire Transaction?

Handling real estate sales can be a long and complicated process. You need to know that you’re going to have a lawyer that will help you out throughout the entire process. 

Talk to your lawyer to find out exactly how they envisage the transaction going. Find out how often you’ll receive updates from them throughout the process. 

If you need to get in touch with your lawyer, how easy will this be? 

5. What is the Lawyer’s Track Record Like?

Talk to your lawyer to find out about their previous track record. How have they performed previously when closing? How much experience do they have in real estate?

Many lawyers will have multiple specialties. Find out how long they have been handling real estate work and what experience they bring to the table. 

6. How Will Your Lawyer Communicate? 

Find out how your real estate lawyer will communicate with you throughout the process and make sure that it matches your needs. 

If you’re busy, you may want to receive communication via email or text message. However, if you are likely to have questions to ask, hearing from the lawyer over the phone may suit your needs better. 

Finding the Right Real Estate Lawyer

If you are buying or selling a property and you need the help of an experienced real estate lawyer, we can help. 

Here at Neuberger, Griggs, Sweet, and Froehle we have a wealth of experience in helping with a range of real estate issues. 

Get in touch today to find out how we can help. 

How do I transfer property to my child?

Estate planning worksheet for writing a will

The question of how to transfer property to a child is far more difficult to answer than it was years ago. The transfer of any real estate property is a legal and financial matter. An individual or family should always consult an attorney and financial advisor when considering transferring a home, cabin, land, or any other property.

The exact means for the property transfer is different and should be determined based on the exact circumstances. Contact a  real estate attorney and financial advisor to decide on the best way to transfer property. Along with a consultation, use these other tips for a sound property transfer between a parent and child.

Avoid verbal agreements.

Parents and children should have many conversations when considering a property transfer. Some of the discussions should be between the parent and child who want to transfer the property. If there is agreement on the transfer, the property transfer should be documented as a legal property transfer to the child. This can be done through estate planning, such as via a will or trust, or with a deed. Verbal statements such as, “when I die, you get the house” likely will not withstand legal challenges and is not a guarantee that the child can take ownership of a property.

If there are other children or family members involved, it is recommended that other conversations occur. The transfer of a property, such as a family home or cabin, can affect other members of the family both emotionally and financially. Open communication with other family members can minimize any drama that could arise in the future.

Consider the options and timing.

There are many different ways to transfer property to a child. The transfer can occur as part of a trust, either as a revocable or irrevocable trust. A will is another estate-planning document that can clearly spell out the desire for a property transfer to a child. The transfer can also occur via a legal property deed transfer. In addition to the exact means of transfer, the timing of the property transfer also needs to be factored into the decision.

Property transfers, both immediate and via estate planning, comes with financial implications. For example, if the property transfer is made from a parent to a child with significant debts, the transfer can lead to issues because the property is now considered the child’s asset. The timing of the property transfer, either now or in the future, can affect the finances and costs of both parties.

Consult the professionals.

With so many aspects to consider, a property transfer should always occur with advice from the professionals. The property transfer should be documented legally by an experienced real estate attorney, both for the protection of the parent and the child.

The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney.

What is a warranty deed in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin property deeds, the documents used to legally transfer property between two parties, fall into a few different categories. Two of them are: Warranty Deed and Quit Claim Deeds. Both types of deeds include a legal description of the property (beyond just the address), grantor (current property owner), and grantee (new property owner). Most Wisconsin property deeds need a signature.

The Wisconsin property deed needs to be filed in the county where the property is located. The difference between the deeds are the guarantees included the Wisconsin property deeds. To determine the type of deed that suits the situation, contact a local real estate attorney that can offer advice and draft a legally-sound deed.

Warranty Deeds

A Warranty Deed offers the most guarantees of all the Wisconsin property deeds, meaning that the grantor is responsible for transferring clear title. The Warranty Deed offers guarantees or covenants to the grantee, such as:

  • The grantor guarantees that they are the lawful owner.
  • The grantor guarantees that the property is lien-free and is not subject to any claims by third parties.
  • The grantor guarantees that the title is clear.

Quit Claim Deeds

A Quit Claim Deed is a Wisconsin property deed with no guarantees. Because of the lack of protection for the grantee, Quit Claim Deeds are typically used in situations where there is some degree of trust. These situations could include the transfer of interest during a divorce, when property is transferred to a living trust, or during a transfer from an individual to a corporate entity. Under a quit claim deed, the grantor transfers their interest in the property to the grantee.

A warranty deed and quit claim are the two most commonly used Wisconsin property deeds. Other types of Wisconsin property deeds might be useful to the situation; contact anexperienced real estate attorney to get legal advice specific to the situation. In addition to advising on the right type of Wisconsin property deed, an experienced real estate attorney can guide the parties through the process and ensure that every document and step is legally sound.

The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney.

20 Reasons to Hire a Wisconsin Real Estate Lawyer

Real estate matters are a big deal with long-term implications, both financial and legal. The only party that can give legal advice in these significant matters are real estate lawyers. Because a real estate lawyer does not work on commission, real estate lawyers dispense unbiased advice because they have no interests in the matter.

With so many documents and steps in the real estate transaction, real estate lawyers can also be invaluable when navigating through a real estate matter. Real estate lawyers can break down documents and the process for clients, allowing them to make an informed decision. The lawyers can identify issues throughout the process and assist in resolving matters. Real estate lawyers can also advice clients of legal risks involved in the transaction, both short- and long-term. If the transaction results in legal conflict, a real estate lawyer can assist in the resolution.

With so many advantages of hiring a real estate lawyer, potential homeowners, business owners, farm managers, developers, landlords, and other parties can benefit from the services of a real estate lawyer. In Wisconsin, a real estate lawyer can assist with these matters. (This list is not all-inclusive. Contact a local real estate lawyer for a consultation pertaining to the specific matter.)

Real Estate Lawyer Services

  1. Purchasing rental properties
  2. Selling a home to a child or family member
  3. Buying a home from a parent
  4. Purchasing a home
  5. Title examinations
  6. Zoning issues
  7. Resolving Homeowner Association issues
  8. Construction contract review and issues
  9. Drafting land contracts
  10. Resolving conflicts with property titles
  11. Drafting development agreements
  12. Filing liens
  13. Resolution of boundary line disputes
  14. Purchasing land
  15. Drafting land rental agreements
  16. Reviewing offers to purchase a property
  17. Selling land
  18. Renting land to another party
  19. Drafting and negotiating brokerage agreements
  20. Dealing with restrictive covenants

The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney.

Real Estate Closing Procedures: What They Mean for the Home Buyer

Finding a new home is just the start of your legal journey to home ownership.  The next step is drafting an offer to purchase, which can be done by an attorney or real estate agent.  Because of recent changes to government regulations to the real estate closing procedures, the last step of the transaction, closing, has seen some significant changes for lending agencies and home buyers.  Here’s what you, the home buyer, needs to know as you navigate through your real estate closing.Loan Estimate form
Forms
Three forms have disappeared from the closing table: the HUD-1, Good Faith Estimate, and Truth in Lending Act Disclosure.  In their place, the buyer should expect to see two nicknamed ‘Know Before You Owe’ forms: Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure form.  The Loan Estimate form includes the loan type, terms of the loan, interest rate, estimated tax, insurance, and assessment figures, as well as other costs that affect the final cost to the property owner.  The Closing Disclosure has fields that detail closing costs, fees charged to the buyer and seller, and other figures that help all parties understand how much they need to bring to closing and loan-related costs.

Time period
One of the major real estate closing changes involves the time period the buyer receives documentation before closing.  Prior to October, closing documents were presented to the home buyer and seller usually on the day of closing. Under the new regulations, borrowers must receive documents three days prior to the closing date.  Once the buyer has completely reviewed and approved the documents, a borrower must indicate via email, phone call, or signature on a printed form that they have intend to proceed.

Closing Day
On closing day, the home buyer should bring all necessary documentation to the meeting such as (but not limited to) proof of homeowner’s insurance, Loan Estimate, and the Closing Disclosure form.  The home buyer also needs to bring any payments they want to pay for out of pocket such as closing costs, down payment, fees, etc.

If you have any questions about the closing process, or to draft an offer to purchase on your new home or rental property, contact an attorney. An attorney ensures compliance with the terms of the offer, reviews lending documents and title insurance, addresses title concerns, reviews closing documents, and overall makes sure the transaction proceeds as smoothly as possible.
The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney.