Do I Get the Keys Now?

When do I get the keys to my new house?

This is a frequently asked question at the closing table. The Standard Offer to Purchase and Contract in North Carolina states possession does not transfer to the new owners until the deed is recorded at the Register of Deeds office in the county where the property is located.

If the sellers deliver the keys to our law office, we have a duty to hold them until such time as the deed is recorded.

What happens if the keys are not delivered to the closing attorney’s office?

What Agents Should Ask Clients Selling Property out of an Estate

Questions to Ask your Clients When Selling Estate Properties

One of the most frequent questions I receive as a real estate attorney is how a seller should be listed on a contract when the property is being sold from an estate. When property is being sold from an estate and not from an individual, it can present a challenge for the attorney and agents, mainly due to the extra pieces and process involved.

5 Things to Check before Purchasing a Property

In the Real Estate realm, the phrase “caveat emptor” gets used a lot. Usually, it is the response to a situation where the buyer has discovered an issue with the property they have purchased. For those who don’t daily navigate the waters that are real estate transactions, Caveat Emptor is a Latin phrase meaning “let the buyer beware”. It is an important concept in contract law, especially as it relates to real estate transactions because most of the burden is placed on the buyer to ensure that they understand the property they are purchasing.

Can My Property Qualify For Deferred Taxes?

Present Use Valuation in NC

In North Carolina, property is taxed based on its market value. This valuation is determined by the tax assessor’s office in the county in which the property is located. However, in some cases, depending on how an owner uses their property, the property may be eligible for a Present-Use Valuation or Land Use Program which defers a portion of the taxes and lowers the owner’s property tax bill. 

The e-Closing Train is Coming!

Get on or Get Left Behind

Recently, I attended an e-Closing conference organized by the North Carolina Secretary of State’s office. I had the distinct honor of being placed on a panel of four for the attorney lead breakout session.  There were many Real Estate collaborators in attendance: attorneys, title companies, lenders, representatives from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Federal Home Loan Banks, MERS, document solution providers, e-recording providers, realtors and NC Registers of Deeds.

Eminent Domain & Private Property Rights

It's Your Property, Or Is It?

The Balance between the Government’s Power of Eminent Domain and Your Fifth Amendment Protections

Background: Eminent domain is the power to take property for public use. Not only is this a power of the federal, state and local governments, but it is also a power that may be delegated by the state to municipalities or even private persons or corporations (such as electric or utility companies).

How Judgment Liens Impact Sellers and Buyers

As you read through the Real Estate Articles on our site, you will discover a few articles that address the importance of obtaining a title search and subsequently purchasing title insurance prior to closing a real property transaction.  This is the case whether the property is being purchased with cash or financed through a financial institution.  Having a title search performed is a necessary part of the closing process, and it should not be regarded otherwise.

To Survey or Not To Survey

One of the most important parts of a real estate transaction is determining the correct legal description of the property. Can you imagine purchasing a piece of property because you love the spacious backyard only to discover a few years later that you actually only own half of the yard? That is exactly what happened to one of my new clients a few months ago. After a title search was completed, it was determined that only half of the back yard had been conveyed when he purchased the property because of an error in the legal description.

Avoid Wire Fraud in Real Estate Transactions

Spot the Scam – How to Avoid Wire Fraud and Compromised Communications in  Real Estate Transactions

In recent years, internet fraud is one of the top growing concerns in residential and commercial real estate transactions. Today’s modern thieves, also known as “hackers”, are constantly inventing new ways to defraud both real estate professionals and their clients out of their hard-earned money. 

The ABCs of Title Insurance

Realtors & Agents: Here's the "anatomy" of Title Insurance

As a real estate agent, you know firsthand that buying or a selling a home can be overwhelming.  Clients can be confused or frustrated with the amount of paperwork involved in the transaction.  In addition, fees associated with closing can compound the problem.  Title insurance is one of the most-often misunderstood items, yet its value is priceless.  As an advisor to your clients, you are in a unique position to help them understand title insurance and the hazards of not having it.

Terminating a Real Estate Contract Properly

As a real estate agent, one of the worst things you can hear is that your client wants to terminate their contract. Although it is distressing, it is just part of the job. Because it is never fun having to notify another party that they either will not be selling their home or able to purchase a home, you may be tempted to just get the process over with as quickly as possible. But Stop! Terminating a contract is not as easy as just sending a quick email, text message, or making a quick phone call.

What Is A Title Search and Why Is It Important?

One of the few times I told my father he did something wrong involved him buying a couple of lots from an old gentleman allegedly at the same price the man had purchased the lots several years before. The lots are in a subdivision in the mountains in a very desirable location overlooking a major river. I asked him what attorney he had used, whether he had a title search done, and if he had purchased title insurance. When he told me that he hadn't purchased title insurance, the warning bells and alarms started going off in my head.