Real Estate

300ablan031. Preliminary considerations

You and your attorney should discuss the risks and liabilities associated with real estate ownership, the income tax consequences of the sale and of the purchase. Purchases and sales can be designed to maximize tax benefits, but generally those that benefit the seller don’t always benefit the buyer and vice versa. There are, however, situations where structuring the real estate transaction can be of mutual tax benefit to the parties. A lot of what the attorney can do for the client depends upon when the attorney becomes involved in the case. If a contract has already been signed, of course the options are somewhat limited. An attorney can be asked only to be present at the closing to be sure that the closing is conducted properly and good title vests with the buyer, or on the other hand the seller is relieved of all responsibility by virtue of the closing. In other cases, clients involve their attorney simultaneously with their desire to purchase property. Shaping a real estate transaction involves knowledge of the law, knowledge of the zoning laws, knowledge of the local industry, knowledge of the parties involved and the options available. If a party wishes to sell their property on their own, at minimum, they should seek a consultation with an attorney. These consultations may be offered telephonically or online and are free of charge in many instances, such as at the Michael Ablan Law Firm.

2. Drafting or reviewing the offer to purchase

Various factors affect the drafting or reviewing of an offer to purchase. If the property is vacant land, then it is the attorney’s role to design provisions into the offer that allow the buyer to investigate and solve all issues relating to the buyers intended use. This may involve:

  • getting licenses and building and zoning permits
  • septic and well studies
  • environmental studies
  • market studies
  • whether or not financing will be required
  • whether or not venture capital is going to be raised
  • whether not consent of the neighbors is required
  • water sampling
  • ingress and egress
  • whether easements are needed or not
  • whether or not there are easements adversely affecting the property
  • whether a like kind exchange is required by the parties for tax purposes
  • options to purchase and right of first refusal’s
  • other factors that make the sale suitable to either the buyer or the seller

The above considerations should also be taken into account when purchasing residential or commercial property with improvements on the property. And in addition:

  • due diligence in commercial transaction
  • business books and records examination
  • radon testing
  • whether or not a business is being purchased with the property
  • what liabilities come with the purchase
  • what debts will be paid from the purchase proceeds
  • when does ownership have to occur
  • how the property should be titled
  • land contract finance
  • proper plumbing and electrical considerations
  • heating ventilation and air conditioning considerations
  • insect infestation consideration
  • rental agreements
  • lien filings under the Uniform Commercial Code
  • other factors relating to the buildings and usage

3. Assisting with the financial aspects of the transaction

If necessary, the attorney should explain to the client how to obtain financing, what the typical finance arrangements are in the community, what is the difference between long-term, fixed amortization loan and the short-term note or variable interest rate note finance. The attorney should also explain the meaning and operation of points, loan fees, and prepayment penalties. If the attorney is familiar with the banking officers, the attorney may meet with the banking officers to assist in getting the loan.

4. Closing

The attorney will assist you in preparing for closing and in closing. The terms and conditions that are contained in the offer to purchase contract must be met or waived by the parties at closing. If there are conditions or terms outstanding which have not been met, the closing can be continued, or upon agreement of the parties funds can be held in escrow to assure performance. The attorney will review the closing documents in advance of the closing and advise you on all accounting. The attorney will help you calculate pro-rations of real estate taxes and other prepaid maintenance or operational expenses. Your attorney will review the deed to be sure that title is properly transferred and compare the transaction to the title insurance commitment to be sure that the title is properly insured. The attorney will also review your loan documents to be sure they are in accord with your expectations.

5. Real estate litigation

Real estate litigation involves a body of law that has been developed over centuries. Each state has slightly different laws concerning its real estate and these laws are for the most part exclusive to that state. We are licensed in Minnesota and Wisconsin and have litigated every type of case listed below. It is our goal, however, to attempt to resolve disputes before they turn into lawsuits. With nearly 4 decades of experience as a real estate lawyer, Michael Ablan can get to the heart of the issue, determine your rights and/or responsibilities and provide you with several options or strategies under which you can proceed. This can be done rapidly, because of our existing knowledge base. Most of our cases settle, but occasionally a lawsuit is required. We are experienced in protecting your rights whether or not you are a buyer, a seller, lessor, lessee, or a developer.

Real estate litigation comes in various forms. We have experience in handling each of these areas.

  • boundary disputes
  • zoning invariance disputes
  • easement disputes
  • title disputes
  • landlord-tenant disputes
  • rescission of transaction due to incompetency, mistake, undue influence, fraud, or
  • misrepresentation
  • against real estate brokers for breach of their duties
  • against escrow agents for breach of their fiduciary duties
  • foreclosure
  • lender liability
  • construction
  • enforcement of offers to purchase
  • rescission of an offer to purchase
  • quiet title action
  • adverse possession
  • plats and developments
  • eminent domain

Click here to download a brochure on Buying & Selling Residential Real Estate from the State Bar of Wisconsin

If you are involved in a dispute concerning real estate and if you are looking for an experienced real estate lawyer to maximize the options that you have available to you, we, the Michael Ablan Law Firm, LLC., can help you. We have been serving real estate clients, banks, government loan agencies and real estate firms since 1974. With an experienced and aggressive yet honest, trustworthy and friendly legal team consisting of a lawyer with 35 years of experience, specialized paralegals, and a tax accountant, the Michael Ablan Law Firm, LLC. in La Crosse, WI can help you. We also have offices in LaCrescent, Minnesota and Hayward, Wisconsin. Contact us for a free consultation. Our expert legal services are available to you anywhere in the State of Wisconsin, including but not limited to the counties of La Crosse, Trempealeau, Monroe, Pierce, Crawford, Vernon, Grant, Sawyer, Jackson or any other county in Wisconsin or in the state of Minnesota, including all counties surrounding La Crescent, MN, such as Houston and Winona and any other county.