It’s no secret that real estate properties are among the most valuable assets. Did you know that the country’s real estate market size is expected to rise by 0.4 percent in 2021?

When done right, purchasing and selling property can be a lucrative investment. You need expert guidance when making such a life-altering financial decision.

Real estate transactions should follow various regulations and principles for them to succeed. Therefore, you should understand real estate law to improve your experience when buying or selling property.

But what exactly does the real estate law entail, and what role does it play in real estate transactions? Find out more in this detailed guide:

What Exactly is Real Estate Law?

Real estate law typically governs the acquisition and use of property. The law also oversees the buying, selling, and usage of land. Its common aspects include estate planning, taxes, zoning, purchase financing, titles, and deeds.

There are various stipulations under the real estate law on the right to own and use property. These stipulations directly or indirectly cover home sellers/buyers, landlords, renters, and homeowners.

Other law domains such as contract law, inheritance law, and family law relate to real estate law. Contract law, to be precise, requires parties to seal their transactions in writing. Special family law provisions such as spousal rights in homeownership also apply to real estate law.

Federal Real Estate Laws

Four major federal laws in the US govern all types of real estate transactions. They include the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Acts (of 2011) and the Truth in Lending Act (of 1974).

These laws mandate property sellers to be transparent about their interest rates. They also give buyers a right to discard loans and lay guidelines on solving disputes brought by mortgage rates.

Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (of 2010) covers the rights of borrowers. It allows you to sue your lender if their unfair acts subjected you to huge monetary losses. This law also protects you from fine print and hidden fees charged by lenders.

Under the Fair Housing Act of 1968, you shouldn’t be discriminated against when selling or buying property. This legal framework covers discrimination against consumers’ disability, familial status, and sex. It also prohibits discrimination against religion, nationality, gender, and race.

Does Real estate Law Qualify as State Law?

Every state in the US has its laws surrounding real estate practices, procedures, and licensing. These laws tend to change due to court decrees or legislative actions. You should keep tabs on them for you to understand your rights in any real estate transaction.

Find out about the agency regulations that govern client-agent relationships in your state. Learn more about agency disclosure, buyer agency agreements, listing agreements, and dual agency. You should also check the stipulations on transactional and facilitating brokerage.

US states have different licensing laws and procedures on real estate transactions. Learn more about the fees and minimum requirements before investing in real estate.

Your local state government may have laws on land-use restrictions. Find out the board/agency that grants zoning ordinance variations and the time limits for the same.

Every state has its real estate laws on ownership rights, theories, and forms. Check whether your state recognizes liens or title for ownership. You should also find out the requirements for married couples and other special categories of buyers.

Real estate law also covers property disclosure, rent control and rights, and ownership transfer. Each segment comprises regulations that are unique to your state.

Real Estate Law in Property Transactions

A typical real estate transaction involves a broker (representing the seller), a seller, a buyer, and an attorney. The seller and broker must seal their relationship in a contract known as a listing agreement. In this type of contract, the broker may earn a certain commission if they find a suitable buyer.

An exclusive arrangement gives the broker the right to compensation even if a buyer is found without their help. The broker/salesperson must have obtained a license from the relevant state licensing agency for the transaction to be legal.

Contract law governs agreements between buyers and sellers. The agreements must be sealed in writing, while the seller should give proof of the title.

The buyer may hire a real estate attorney or a title insurance company to investigate the title’s marketability. They may also seek coverage from the insurance company for the title against losses if the title is invalid.

Real estate transactions end with the seller handing out a deed to the new buyer. A deed provides ownership transfer notice or establishes property ownership.

Real Estate Law and Lawyers

Real estate attorneys help in documenting and reviewing contracts and transactions. You’ll also need them when examining titles, insurance policies, and sale contracts.

With an attorney’s help, you’ll negotiate a contract that protects your right. The legal counsel can also revise or adjust it to fit your unique needs.

Your real estate lawyer can arrange for title insurance for your property. This policy covers any problems that occur before or after you purchased an asset.

You can count on an experienced attorney to protect your interests in a real estate transaction. They may work with brokers, developers, or other lawyers to get you a legally sound deal.

Handling foreclosure proceedings can be difficult without expert legal help. You may need this help when facing a lender that wants to recover a defaulted loan by selling or obtaining ownership of your property.

Some real estate transactions involve unpleasant legal situations that require legal representation. A real estate lawyer will expertly advise you on zoning violations, property management, and property taxes. You may count on them to reach a settlement agreement.

Hire a Real Estate Attorney Today

With these basics of real estate law, you can decide how you’d like to benefit from legal help. To get the most out of a property transaction or negotiation, you need to know your rights. Use this information when carrying out any real estate transaction.

Do you need legal help navigating the complex real estate market? Our real estate lawyers are more than willing to listen and handle your situation. We’ll respond within one business day once you submit your query.

Bryan De Bruin

Bryan De Bruin is a Real Estate and Business Law attorney serving Greenville, SC and the surrounding upstate. Bryan is proud to guide clients through the legal process and makes sure that every client understands each phase of their case, so that they are prepared for what happens next.