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Fort Lauderdale Real Estate Law Blog

Some tips on real estate investment

If you are considering investing in real estate for the first time, there are undoubtedly things you do not know about the process or the new property you are considering. In order to protect yourself and your finances from future unforeseen issues and expenses, here are a few tips to consider before you sign on the dotted line.

Emotions may run high when you are considering making your first real estate investment purchase. It would be wise to take a step back, however, to get a glimpse at the broader picture. Acting hastily could lead to costly oversights that could waste your time and cost you money. When involved in an auction or negotiating with sellers, know your numbers and make certain to not exceed your own set purchase price. Make certain your decisions are rational and not based on your gut feelings. Again, acting with your head, not your heart, will help in preventing a decision fueled by emotion and not your best interests.

Why the real estate market is still strong in Florida

Although the last real estate bust almost a decade ago was not kind to many Florida residents, the real estate market has recovered significantly since then. There have been mixed reactions and comments about the current state of real estate in Florida and throughout the United States. But statistics do not lie.

Throughout the United States, prices have risen by 6.7 percent over the previous year and 1.1 percent over the last month, according to the monthly report from Home Price Index. They also forecast an additional 5.2 percent raise between June of 2017 and June of 2018. The Fort Lauderdale, Florida, area is considered to be among the best places to purchase real estate.

Helping you protect your rights during a real estate dispute

Whether you are purchasing a house, selling your home or acquiring a commercial building, real estate transactions occur on a daily basis in Florida. These are major transactions carried out through selling or purchasing agreements. There are many steps in the process, and errors could enter it. Real estate transactions are contracts between a buyer and a seller, and if there is a breach in this contract a real estate dispute could arise.

At our law firm, we understand the dynamics and complexities that are involved in real estate transactions. We are dedicated to helping individuals in the Fort Lauderdale area who are dealing with disputes arising from a pending real estate transaction.

What needs to be disclosed during a real estate sale?

A seller has an obligation to disclose any potential problem with regards to residential real estate that could affect the value of the property. Furthermore, it is illegal to willfully conceal or hide defects or problems with the property from a buyer.

In many states, you are only responsible for disclosing problems that you are aware of. With that said, it still might be in your best interest to consider hiring someone to do an inspection of the property. Doing so will allow you to prove that you were unaware of a problem, should an issue arise down the line. If additional problems are brought to your attention, it does not mean that you need to address or fix the problems, you just need to make a potential buyer aware of them.

Things to keep in mind while selling your home

Selling a home is not easy. Unless you are a professional or have experience selling houses in the past, it can seem like an incredibly intimidating endeavor. Making certain that you have all the appropriate and necessary paperwork is essential to making certain that your transition is smooth, legal and free of potentially damaging errors. Such errors could cause not only delays in processing a transaction, but could potentially cost you a substantial amount of money.

There are several things that can be done to a home to lure a potential buyer. Aesthetics always play a significant role in selling a home. You want the home to look as nice as possible to a potential buyer. This could include making certain that the landscaping is properly maintained and the house itself is clean, inside and out.

What can go wrong in a closing?

The idea of buying a new home is among the highlights in the lives of millions of people throughout the United States, including those living in and near Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Broward County. But as the old proverb goes, "haste makes waste." If you are on the verge of a real estate closing, there are several things you should remind yourself and do in order to prevent future issues down the line.

According to the National Association of Realtors, as many as 32 percent of all transactions inevitably encounter a dely. As much as 46 percent are due to financial issues, appraisal-related delays caused about 21 percent, and 14 percent were due to home-inspection issues. It is not uncommon for credit scores to change between the time of loan approval and the closing, which could make the mortgage ineligible.

Identify potential risks when involved in a short sale

There is a common phrase we often hear throughout life: "If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is." While of course there are always exceptions to be made regarding any deal, it is still often the case. Take the "short sale," for example.

A "short sale" occurs when a lender is willing to sell a home as is, for less than the amount owed. This often occurs when the value of the house or property has recently dropped. If you are considering a short sale, there are still some rules that you should follow to avoid being on the wrong end of the deal.

What if a seller does not transfer clean title to me?

When many Fort Lauderdale residents think of a real estate dispute, they usually think of issues related to what are technically called "improvements" to real estate. For instance, a buyer might think about suing the seller of a home if it turns out the seller did not tell them about a leaky roof or a serious plumbing issue the seller knew about.

A commercial buyer might feel equally upset at a seller if it turns out that, because of building codes, zoning regulations or other laws, the buyer cannot use the building for their business.

South Florida remains a hotspot for real estate fraud

The Florida real estate market has historically had a problem with fraud and other shady real estate activity. The latest reports confirm this, suggesting that Fort Lauderdale residents need to use caution during a residential property real estate deal, and they should also remember the common wisdom that if "it seems too good to be true, it probably is."

A common scheme that is going through South Florida now involves rentals. Given the tight market in this part of the country, people often use real estate agents to help them find an apartment to rent. Because there are good reasons to do so, a prospective tenant will often give the agent some money to be held in trust, just so the landlord knows that the person is good for the rent. The downside of this is that the real estate agent has the opportunity to take the money and never find their client a rental home as promised.

We can help with tense and important negotiations

A previous post on this blog discussed how not all real estate disputes in Fort Lauderdale wind up in a courtroom. Many times, a lawsuit or potential lawsuit gets settled long before a trial either through informal talks or something more formal, like arbitration or mediation.