Our real estate experience is diverse and multifaceted. We have experience representing buyers, representing sellers, negotiating for sale by owner agreements, rental and lease agreements, and evictions. Hiring an attorney to represent you in a real estate transaction can save you money in the long run. It can avoid commissions, keep more profits from the sale of your home to go into your bank account, and save you expensive attorney’s fees down the line. Our office has built a practice that includes these services as well as many others. We can tailor a real estate representation plan just for you that can include your commercial, residential, and other needs.
Reviewing Purchase Agreements. One service that we provide frequently is reviewing purchase agreements and other documents related to the sale of real property. A home or other property is a huge investment. Retaining an attorney to review the documents which secure your interest in the property is a minimal expense, but can save you a lot of money in the long run. Our law firm offers quick turn around and low costs on real estate document review. You can go into the closing with the peace of mind that comes from knowing your agreement is exactly as you believe it to be, and there are no hidden costs associated with your purchase. While a purchase agreement is often boilerplate, at other times it can contain unusual clauses which could adversely affect your rights.
Rental and Lease Agreements.Whether you are engaged in corporate leasing/renting, or are negotiating with respect to a residential property, it is important to have an experienced attorney assist you. Corporate leases can be long term agreements (up to several years), so it is important to make sure the document reflects your agreement since circumstances can change dramatically in that time.
If you are engaged in a residential lease negotiation, it is important to make sure you are compliant with local and state regulations and law. Some municipalities require a rental inspection or license before you can let your property. All residential leases in Michigan are subject to habitability requirements, and must include mandatory disclosures and representations. Some municipalities treat housing violations as misdemeanors, so this could affect not only your pocketbook, but also your liberty. Finally, landlord tenant law in Michigan is codified in an immense body of law which is full of traps for the unwary and inexperienced. While many people try becoming a landlord on their own without legal help, many end up in dire legal straits relying on a faulty lease agreement, or without the ability to evict tenants. Worse, they can end up being sued for housing violations. Our office can draft a lease which meets your goals. If you are engaged in renting multiple properties we can draft a template for use across your business. Or, we can review your existing documentation looking to tighten any weaknesses in the lease.
Evictions. In the past, a landlord used to be entitled to what was known as “self-help” in evicting a tenant. This meant that a landlord could use different means to make living in, or use of the property unpleasant in order to convince the tenant to leave. Now, Michigan courts only permit judicial eviction, which means that a landlord seeking redress will need to file a Notice to Quit and prove nonpayment of rent, health hazard caused by the tenant, or termination of the tenancy (with 30 day’s notice). The notice to quit allows for either seven days, or 30 days to cure, quit, or be sued depending on the type of infraction. Then, a writ must be obtained for entry into the property. Our office has successfully represented landlords in commercial and residential evictions. We handle holdover tenants, non-payment of rent, health and hazard evictions, and have a long track record of getting good results for our clients. The sooner you can reclaim your property the sooner it can be re-let with a smaller likelihood of property damage. The sooner this legal impediment can be handled, the faster you are on your way to making a profit.
For Sale by Owner Representation.In these tight economic times, many people are trying to find a way to save some extra money. One way to do this, is to sell your house by owner or, in other words, without using the services of a realtor. A real estate agent typically charges a 6% commission of the purchase price of the house. This commission can be quite steep depending on how expensive your house is, and comes out of closing costs, or the proceeds. If only one realtor is involved they may make the full 6%, whereas if two are involved as for example, with a seller’s agent and a buyer’s agent, each would take 3%. On a $100,000 home for example, this amount rises to $6,000.00. This is how realtors are paid. However, if you do not need a realtor because you have already found a buyer for your home, or do not anticipate difficulty finding one, this is one cost you can skip.
An attorney can draft the conveyance documents and ensure that your interests are protected in this transaction. Attorney’s fees for document review, or even more in depth matters are unlikely to reach 6% of any real estate transaction. You can walk away with the difference, and the confidence that there are no outstanding legal issues in this large investment. Further, while real estate agents are highly qualified to find and sell houses, they do not have a legal background. By hiring an attorney and selling the property yourself, you are even more protected than if you hire a real estate agent. This is a great option for those individuals who already have a buyer in mind for their home, or who think it will be very easy to find a buyer for their home.
Rent with Option to Buy. Renting with the option to buy can appeal to people in different circumstances. The nature of the agreement is quite flexible, and can encompass many different types of arrangements. Buyers who have poor credit may appreciate this arrangement. They can build up their credit by being tenants for a time, and when they are able to obtain financing, they can exercise their option to buy. This also works well for those individuals who may not have the money required for a down payment. Finally, if a neighborhood is right on the verge, a rent to own tenant can lock in a lower purchase price while waiting to see if the neighborhood makes predicted improvements.
Renting with the option to purchase can also be tempting for sellers. For those sellers who would like to make a little more rental income before selling the property, or those who are uninterested in land contracting this can be a good option. Rent to own agreements often also include a longer than standard lease term which translates into lower overhead costs by keeping the same tenant in the property for a longer period of time.
A good rent to buy agreement can service many different purposes. However, there are many that are predatory, overpriced, and do not reflect the most advantageous aspects of such an agreement.
To retain Garmo &Kiste, PLC, for assistance in these matters call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message. We are experienced Michigan attorneys with offices in Troy, MI.