The firm's real estate practice focuses primarily on transactional matters and includes the following:
California home buyers and sellers: While your house or condominium purchase or sale is likely the largest dollar value transaction of your life, most of your fellow buyers and sellers will enter into their transactions without the advice of an attorney. As an escrow state, California real estate closings are typically handled by escrow companies, rather than by attorneys, who perform these functions in "attorney states" (mostly on the East Coast). But this doesn't mean you shouldn't be represented by a real estate attorney, especially if you are letting the real estate agent represent both the buyer and the seller, in which case there is a conflict of interest, with the agent serving two masters with competing interests (in many states, this practice is illegal) and it is advisable to have a professional looking out for your interests.
- Review, drafting, and negotiation of commercial and residential lease agreements
- Residential real estate purchase and sale transactions (see below for more information)
- Homeowner's legal services, including contract review and mechanic's lien avoidance/defense
- Preparation of, and advice and counsel concerning, deeds, and transfers of real property into or out of revocable living trusts and LLCs (also available to out of state attorneys whose clients have California real estate holdings)
- Probate and estate planning involving California real estate
- Business entities and contracts for rehabbers, investors, landlords
- Contractor legal services, including contract review, drafting, and mechanic's liens
The standard California Association of Realtors (CAR) Residential Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions state, "THE MANNER OF TAKING TITLE MAY HAVE SIGNIFICANT LEGAL AND TAX CONSEQUENCES. CONSULT AN APPROPRIATE PROFESSIONAL." (Section 13.D. And in fact, without advice, most buyers do end up taking title in a sub-optimal fashion.) And the CAR Buyer's Inspection Advisory encourage the hiring of appropriate professionals to advise in areas outside of agents' expertise. Yet most sign these legal agreements without reading, understanding, or negotiating them. Which is how a recent potential client who hadn't used an attorney during the purchase or short sale of his property ended up with a short sale deficiency balance and the former mortgage lender trying to collect the difference between the mortgage balance and the short sale price. Potential instead of actual client because often there isn't much that can be done after the fact.
Under some circumstances, you can receive these legal services from the firm at no additional cost, a truly no-lose proposition. Inquire for details.
For homeowners, review and negotiation of home improvement contracts is also offered.
Real estate investors: Protect your investments and structure your deals with appropriate business entities and contracts. Flat rates may apply; inquire for details. Most residential leases reviewed by this office contain illegal, unenforceable, undesirable provisions, or are missing important terms and updates to keep pace with changes in technology and the law, so if you've been using a lease you found on the Internet or that's been passed down for a generation or two, an update is in order.
Contractors: Most contractor contracts reviewed by this office do not comply with the Contractors State License Law, risking disciplinary action or even making the contract void, so whether you are just starting up, or have been in business for decades, it is wise to have a new home improvement contract drafted or reviewed and revised. Mechanic's lien services also available.
Nevada: Nevada is also an escrow state and all of the above information and service applies to, and are available to, Nevada clients.
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