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Real Estate Services

Buying or owning real estate can be a complicated matter.  Issues and disputes can and will arise.  The Law Office of Michael J. Bell, PLLC, helps individuals and businesses when they are faced with such matters.  We have helped clients purchase real estate, obtain real estate financing, and help clients with a variety of real estate issues.

With years of experience with both residential and commercial real estate transactions, we will work to resolve your matter as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Real Estate Planning in WV, Big blue two story house, representing Real Estate Services

Frequently Asked Questions About Real Estate

What is a deed?

A deed is a legal instrument that transfers the interest in real property from one party to another. A deed is the usual way that property is transferred.

Do I need a deed if I was awarded my home in a divorce?

When you are awarded property in a divorce, what occurs is the other party is ordered to transfer their interest in the property to you. The order does not actually transfer the property. A deed is still required to be signed for the transfer to occur.

Do I need a deed if I inherited property?

A deed is not necessary when you inherit real property. When a person dies, their real property is transferred by survivorship, by will, or by intestacy. Receiving real property by survivorship means that you and the other party owned the real property as “joint tenants with rights of survivorship”. This means that when one party dies, the other party automatically owns the real property. A person can leave you property as a condition of their will. If a person does not have a will when they die, then their real property will transfer to their heirs by intestacy.

If I die, does my spouse get my house?

The most common way that spouses own real property together is as “joint tenants with rights of survivorship”. If you own property as “joint tenants with rights of survivorship” and your spouse passes away, you immediately become the sole owner of the property.

What is a title review?

A title review is a search of the public documents that relate to a piece of real property. It is done in the county where the property is located.  It will show who is the current owner of the property and if they own the entire property.  It also shows any liens and right of ways that affect the real property.  Having a title review conducted ensures that proper transfer can occur, and it will help prevent future issues related to the real property.

What can I do if I inherited property with other people and we cannot agree on what to do with the property?

If you own property with another person and you cannot agree on what to do with the property, you have options to resolve this matter. You can always offer to sell your interest or to buy the interest of the other owner. If that is not successful, and the property is large enough, you may be able to partition the property. A partition is when the owners of a piece of real property decide to divide the property among themselves. This can be done through an agreement between the parties or through litigation. If the property cannot be divided, then you can petition the court to sell the property and divide the proceeds.

Do all property disputes end up in court?

a. The best course of action is to try and resolve any legal dispute is to do so prior to going to court.  Most real estate disputes can be resolved outside of court.  If the parties are having a difficult time reaching an agreement, mediation might be beneficial.  If the parties cannot come to an agreement, either on their own or through mediation, then litigation would be the last resort to resolve the matter.

What are some situations that may result in real estate litigation?

Like any area of the law, there are numerous situations that could result in real estate litigation. Boundary disputes, disputes with co-owners, homeowners’ association disputes, property defects, breaches of contract and landlord-tenant disputes are just but a few situations that could result in real estate litigation.

Is the seller responsible for repairs if I buy a home “as-is”?

When you buy a home “as-is”, you are buying it as it sits. If there are repairs that need to be made, you are responsible for them.

What is a “short sale”?

If you are wanting to sell your property and you cannot sell it for enough to pay off your loan, you might be able to qualify for a “short sale”. A “short sale” is when a lender agrees to accept a payoff on your loan that is less than what you owe on the loan.

Can my business own real estate?

A business can own real estate by itself. If you are in the business of buying and selling (flipping) real estate, or if you own rental property, it is recommended that you create a business to own your properties. By creating a business to own these properties you can protect your personal home from risk that is associated with a business.

Do you need legal help or consultance? Contact us now.

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“Home is the nicest word there is.”

– Laura Ingalls Wilder