Real estate. Many work hard to own it. A few acquire it unexpectedly. But no one mistakes its true value. When you own a piece of this very planet, you want to fully protect it.

Although a real estate attorney’s job isn’t simple by any means, their goal always stays the same. That is protecting their client’s legal interests and rights while they are buying, selling or leasing real estate. They know the rules surrounding exchanges involving residential and commercial property.

Maybe you are purchasing your dream home, selling your land, or renting an apartment. If you’re fortunate – and everything goes smoothly, and everyone is honest – you’ll do just fine without an attorney. But if you encounter any of the following during your real estate transaction, you’ll have good reason to consult an attorney.

1.) Breach of Contract

You may know it as a purchase agreement, but it is also more accurately known as a sales contract. It’s a detailed, legally enforceable contract between two parties: the buyer, and the seller. 

If you’ve accepted an offer on your house, and the seller fails to meet any of the provisions of the purchase agreement, you may have a case for breach of contract. And if you’re simply buying or selling a piece of property, it is still advisable to request an attorney to review all the contract documents. They will detect issues that might endanger you financially in the near or distant future.

2.) Breach of Duty

By definition, your real estate agent acts on your behalf. But in reality, this isn’t always the case. Your real estate agent can fail or fall short of fulfilling their professional duty to act in your best interest.

Your real estate agent has fiduciary duties to you. Those are the highest duties known to the law, and require the agent to provide all of the following during their interactions with you:

  • Loyalty
  • Confidentiality
  • Disclosure 
  • Obedience
  • Reasonable care and diligence   
  • Accounting

If your real estate agent has taken advantage of you for personal gain, misrepresented any part of the property they helped you purchase, failed to account for the money from a sale, or shared your personal information, legal action may be your best recourse.

3.) Encroachment

You can think of encroachment as a type of property exchange. The only problem with it is that it is nonconsensual. If your neighbor is using any part of your property without your permission, getting them to stop may require legal action.

Real estate attorneys also help people who have some legal rights to property they do not own. You may currently have an easement that grants you partial access to a neighboring parcel of land. You need it to enjoy full use of your own property. If your neighbor interferes with your access, you are entitled to resolve the matter in court.

4.) Large Exchange of Money

Most people who buy or sell a single-family home do so without an attorney. The majority of smaller real estate exchanges go smoothly, which is why buyers and sellers usually only seek legal counsel when something goes wrong.

Sales and purchases of larger pieces of property are a different story. A lot of money is at stake during exchanges involving apartment complexes, commercial properties, and other larger buildings. Commercial purchase agreements are also more complicated than their residential counterparts. That’s because both parties typically come to the table with intricate financial and ownership rights, and can only keep them intact by proceeding with caution.

5.) Short Sale

A short sale occurs when a homeowner is at risk of imminent foreclosure. They offer the property for a price that is lower than the amount they still owe on their mortgage. The proceeds go directly to the lender, which then has the option of forgiving the remaining balance.

Many states require the lender to drop the matter once the short sale is complete. Others, including Utah, allow a lender to pursue a summary judgment, which legally obligates the former homeowner to pay the remaining balance. In short, both parties involved with a short sale may need legal representation.

Unlike some real estate agents, the attorneys of Hillyard, Anderson & Olsen consider fiduciary duties to be sacred. If you have any interest in a piece of real estate or parcel of land in the greater Logan, Utah area, we are standing by to protect it to the fullest extent of the law. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our real estate attorneys.