Real Estate Attorneys at O'Flaherty Law

Not All Real Estate Attorneys Are the Same

When you are looking for a real estate attorney to represent you, selecting a highly experienced attorney with an excellent support team who can handle your real estate needs is essential. The team at O’Flaherty Law can represent you in a broad range of real estate issues, from the sale of your home to a complex commercial lease for your business. The team at O’Flaherty Law can also represent you in real estate litigation, whether it is the breach of a real estate sale contract or you’ve been served with an eviction notice.

The potential issues presented by a real estate legal problem tend to be costly ones; you cannot afford to ignore a potential legal problem. Given that real estate is never cheap, you cannot afford to make a mistake or ignore a real estate problem; an easily avoided mistake could cost you thousands of dollars. It is best to have an attorney guide you through all real estate transactions. O’Flaherty Law is different because not only do we offer experienced and aggressive legal representation, but our client service is second to none.

O'Flaherty Law Real Estate Attorneys - What We Can Offer

Remote Consultation

Covid-19 shouldn’t put your legal needs on hold. You can receive a consultation and most legal services without leaving your home. Our attorneys are happy to speak to you by phone, video conference, or e-mail.

Living Trusts

Our trust attorneys have expert knowledge in each area of estate planning. Backed up by paralegals and legal assistants, we are a complete estate planning law firm and can help ensure every portion of your trust is valid.

Probate

Not having an experienced probate attorney at your side can result in the estate overspending or the probate process stalling. It is in your best interests to consult with counsel as soon as possible.

Estate Planning

Planning your estate is one of the most important legal steps you will ever take. The proper care and distribution of your property is an issue that you should not have to worry about. If you choose to do nothing, it could have a disastrous effect on the people you leave behind.

Foreclosure

A real estate foreclosure attorney from O’Flaherty Law understands the foreclosure process and can ensure every possible defense is utilized to increase the likelihood of you keeping your home.

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Our Real Estate Attorneys are Here to Guide You Through the Probate Process!

We want to give you a general idea of what to expect when you work with our team here at O’Flaherty. We will begin with an initial consultation where you meet with an O’Flaherty attorney and have a frank conversation about your needs and goals. Once an agreement is signed between you and O’Flaherty Law, our team will begin working towards helping you reach whatever your goal is in real estate. You can count on regular updates and straightforward discussions about fees upfront. We have an open-door communication policy with our clients here at O’Flaherty, and you can rest assured that your questions and concerns will be addressed promptly.

Attorney Consultation

The purpose of a consultation is to determine whether our firm is a good first for your legal needs. Although we often discuss expected results and costs, our attorneys do not give legal advice unless and until you choose to retain us. We take your legal matters very seriously, which is why with each consultation, we strive to ensure you feel confident about the future of your case.

  • Specialist Family Law Attorney
  • Sympathetic yet effective counsel
  • Putting the best interests of you and your children first!
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What to Expect  from  Your O’Flaherty Law Real Estate Lawyer

Your O’Flaherty Law Real Estate lawyer will be able to guide you through the process of buying or selling a home with a special eye out for potential legal issues. If you have already encountered a legal issue, your O’Flaherty Law attorney will be able to assist you with resolving it. Unfortunately, the purchase and sale of real estate tend to be highly complex; mistakes by one or both parties in the transaction can be common, costly, and time-consuming. If you are dealing with a landlord-tenant issue, the stakes can be very high if you face an eviction. Having an experienced and aggressive attorney to assist you can make all the difference. The bottom line is that with so much at stake, it is in your best interest to have a real estate attorney to assist you and, ideally, avoid serious problems before they occur.

Your Real Estate Attorney’s Role in Buying or Selling a Property

Your real estate attorney can assist you in reviewing counter-offers or making counter-offers. Your real estate attorney can draft custom agreements and advise on any potential contingencies that need to be addressed before signing any documents. If the buyer or seller breaches the real estate sale contract, your real estate attorney will be able to either settle or litigate the matter, depending on the breach and the parties' willingness. Your real estate attorney will also be able to perform the necessary legal work to remove any cloud on the title, which means working on getting any liens or encumbrances removed and making the title free and clear.

Common Documents in a Real Estate Transaction

Offer to Sell-this can include amendments and counter offers. An offer to sell is where the seller writes out an agreement with terms, conditions, and deadlines that a potential buyer can choose to accept or decline. An offer to sell is a complex document with several potential pitfalls that should be carefully reviewed prior to acceptance.

Affidavit of title or seller's affidavit-a signed and notarized document that explicitly details any problems with the title, including liens and encumbrances, as well as attesting to the fact that the seller is the owner and free to sell the property.

Deed - the type of deed used depends on the parties and the jurisdiction. Here are the top six most commonly used deeds.

Quitclaim Deed - offers the least legal protection. This type of deed is typically used when family members transfer property to each other. This deed guarantees virtually nothing. The buyer is left without many options if the property is not free of liens or encumbrances.

Warranty Deed - this is a more commonly used type of deed and comes in two types that offer different degrees of legal protection. The two types of warranty deed are the general warranty deed and the special warranty deed. The general warranty deed guarantees that the seller has full legal right to sell the property and is free of liens and encumbrances. The special warranty deed offers less protection than the general warranty deed. Still, it does guarantee that the seller has legal title and no encumbrances were placed on the real estate while the seller owned it.

Grant Deed - this type of deed only guarantees that the seller owns the property and does not offer protection against title defects.

Bargain and Sale Deed - a lot like a quitclaim deed. This only says that the seller owns the property and has the right to sell it. This deed offers no other protection. If there is a lien on the property, you will acquire the property with a lien on it.

Mortgage Deed - a deed between a borrower and a financial institution. When a party borrows money from a bank to buy a house, a mortgage deed is created, placing a lien on the property until the loan is paid off.

Deed of Trust - this type of deed transfers property from a trustor to a trustee for the benefit of a third party, the beneficiary.

Tax transfer declarations - a transfer tax is a tax levied on the transfer of property. Many jurisdictions require that a transfer tax be paid and an accompanying declaration of the tax being paid before they allow the new deed to be correctly recorded.

When Child Support Needs to be Modified Due to a Change in Circumstances

When the party who pays child support experiences a change in circumstances child support will need to be recalculated and a modification ordered. The reasons for modification are typically that the party paying the support has received an increase in income either from their employment or sometimes after receiving an inheritance. On the other side of the coin, if the party paying child support is fired or experiences a decrease in income, they will also need to request a child support modification from the court or be in danger of accumulating child support arrears, which can be very difficult to recover from financially and comes with many potential penalties. Child support payments must be made in the same amount until the modification order is entered.

Real Estate Attorney Qualifications

Many law firms can claim that they have qualified real estate lawyers, but it’s difficult for the layperson to know what that means. Here is a short list of what a qualified real estate attorney should be able to do. The attorney should have experience in residential and commercial real estate and understand the different types of leases and all documents related to the purchase and sale of residential and commercial real estate. The real estate attorney should be able to draft all documents required in a real estate transaction, including sales agreements, deeds, and offers to purchase. An experienced real estate attorney should be able to work with the real estate agent and title company to resolve any problems in the real estate transaction. Last and most importantly, the real estate attorney should be able to explain the process to the client in a straightforward manner, making sure that the client understands the steps of the transaction and what is taking place.

Landlord-Tenant Issues

Many law firms can claim that they have qualified real estate lawyers but it’s difficult for the layperson to even know what that means, here is a short list of what a qualified real estate attorney should be able to do. The attorney should have experience in residential and commercial real estate, understand the different types of leases and all documents related to the purchase and sale of both residential and commercial real estate. The real estate attorney should be able to draft all documents required in a real estate transaction; including sales agreements, deeds, and offers to purchase. An experienced real estate attorney should be able to work with the real estate agent and title company to resolve any problems in the real estate transaction. Last, and very importantly, the real estate attorney should be able to explain the process to the client in a straightforward manner, making sure that the client understands the steps of the transaction and what is taking place.

Landlord-Tenant Issues

If you are a landlord or a tenant having problems with your rental space or lease, you can ask O’Flaherty Law for help. Our experienced real estate team can assist landlords and tenants with many real estate issues. A few of the issues our firm sees most often are:

Wrongful eviction - if you believe that you are being wrongfully evicted, you are allowed to have your say in court. Having an experienced attorney to speak for you can significantly improve your chances, given your situation.

Judicial eviction - there is a possibility that your eviction can be stopped or delayed, depending on the reason for eviction. It could be helpful to at least consult with a real estate attorney to learn what options may be available to you.

Security deposits - if you are a landlord who wants to keep a security deposit, you need to adhere to a specific set of rules for keeping the deposit. Suppose you are a tenant whose landlord is threatening to retain the deposit. In that case, you have rights, and an experienced real estate attorney may be able to help negotiate for the return of some or all of the security deposit if your situation allows.

Building Code violations - if there are habitability issues with your rental unit, and the landlord refuses to fix the problem or pay to have the problem fixed, you have options. A consult with an attorney from O'Flaherty Law can be extremely helpful in resolving any building code violations quickly.

Drafting custom rental agreements-some rental units require custom agreements that the attorneys at O’Flaherty Law can draft for you. If you are not a commercial landlord or do not own a large group of rental units, you may need something other than a standard boilerplate rental agreement. Consulting with one of our attorneys at O’Flaherty Law can help clear up any issues or concerns about renting a unique or unusual property.

Frequently Asked Questions In Real Estate Legal Matters

While your O’Flaherty Law attorney and service team will be available to you every step of the way when you trust us with your real estate issue, we want to be sure that all of your questions are answered as quickly as possible. While we are happy to answer any questions you may have, we have prepared answers to the most commonly asked questions so you can be as informed as possible.

Do I need a real estate attorney?

A purchase, sale, or lease of real estate is a big decision, and a lot of money is on the line. It is always in your best interests to get personalized advice and guidance when making these decisions. A real estate deal that goes south or a lease with horrible terms can put you in a terrible situation, and an experienced real estate attorney can, and should, protect you from those situations.

When should I hire a real estate attorney?

The answer to this question is the earlier, the better. The reason why is your real estate attorney can help you avoid mistakes that cost you time and money. It is best to have someone provide you with guidance early in the process so that the entire matter is dealt with as clearly and quickly as possible. Many people believe that they can handle things themselves, and some can, but the legal system is complex and difficult for even a well-educated person to navigate alone. It is in your best interests to at least consult with an attorney prior to entering into a complex negotiation.

Will the real estate attorney handle the closing?

If you are the seller, then it is probably not necessary that you attend the closing. If you are the buyer, you will need to attend the closing. The closing could be at the real estate attorney’s office or a location that is convenient for everyone, but documents may need to be signed in front of a notary.

Can I change my real estate attorney?

Yes. You can hire and fire an attorney for your real estate matter anytime. You are not obligated to keep an attorney you are not happy with.

Can a bank release funds without probate?

No. If the funds are not held in a trust or some type of transfer on death account they cannot be released until probate is complete. It is important to understand that, if you are waiting for something left to you in a will so is everyone else who was named as a recipient of a gift by that will, it is nothing personal and it just takes time.

Will my real estate attorney file all the paperwork?

It depends on the paperwork. Some real estate transactions allow the buyer or seller to file the paperwork, which can sometimes be the most economical choice. You can discuss with your attorney an arrangement on what you prefer them to handle.

Do I need to be at the closing when buying or selling a home?

You might not have to be at the closing if you are the seller. If you are the buyer, you will probably need to be there to sign the final paperwork.

What is a pour over will in probate?

This is an estate planning technique used to avoid probate for some assets. If the decedent has a living trust and failed to place certain assets in that trust the “pour over” will directs that the assets be placed in the trust. After the will is validated, the “pour over” will becomes effective and the identified assets are placed in the trust.

Can I fight an eviction?

You can fight an eviction for several reasons, depending on the facts and circumstances. An attorney experienced in landlord-tenant law will be able to evaluate your situation and provide you with an explanation of your options in fighting the eviction. There is also typically a hearing where you are given a chance to address the court and explain why you shouldn’t be forced to move.

Can I get my security deposit back?

If you have paid all of your rent and done no damage to your rental unit, you should get your security deposit back. If there is unpaid rent or substantial damage to the unity caused by you, the landlord has the legal right to keep that deposit to cover those financial losses. The usual reasons for a landlord to keep a security deposit are unpaid rent, unpaid utilities, damage beyond normal wear and tear, and any money owed for non-standard rental provisions. In most jurisdictions, the landlord cannot simply keep the money. They must provide concrete reasons and accounting to justify keeping part or all of the security deposit.

What do I do if my landlord won’t fix problems?

It depends on the problem. If it is a problem that affects the habitability of your unit, the landlord is required to fix it. The best resource for a tenant having problems getting the landlord to fix water supply, plumbing or heating, and even cooling is to report the landlord to the local building inspector. The inspector will conduct an investigation, note code violations, and give the landlord a deadline in writing to fix it. Your landlord cannot evict you for reporting them for code violations. This is your safest option for dealing with the problem in the event the court is involved. Some tenants will withhold rent or pay to fix the problem and then deduct the amount from the rent, but this approach can backfire.

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