Real Estate

It's Your Property, Or Is It? Eminent Domain & Private Property Rights

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.

Fully Executed Contracts in South Carolina

In South Carolina residential real estate transactions, one of the first documents to be executed is the contract for sale.  This document is typically called the Agreement/Contract: To Buy And Sell Real Estate and sets the transaction and closing process in motion.  All of the steps to be taken toward closing are detailed in this document.  For a number of reasons, this contract document and any addenda thereto should be fully executed to ensure a smooth closing process.

Put It in Writing

Dispute of Earnest Money Deposit

When a buyer makes an offer to purchase real property, often the buyer will pay to an Attorney or Real Estate Broker a certain amount of money “down” at the time of the offer. These funds are known as “earnest money” and show that the buyer is serious and acting in good faith in making the offer. If the file proceeds to closing, the earnest money is credited to the buyer and reduces the amount of money that the buyer must bring at the end of the transaction.

Seller Remorse: Walking Away May Cost You

There are times when at no fault of a Buyer, a Seller decides they cannot move forward with the sale of real estate they have contracted to sell. Life happens - sickness, a job falling through or merely remorseful thoughts about selling the property - and as a result, a Seller may choose not to proceed to closing. The ramifications of the Seller’s decision is greatly impacted by whether or not there is a binding contract between the parties and whether the contract has been reduced to writing and signed by all parties.