Articles

Reasons to choose an attorney for your next real estate transaction

By Leslie Macomber

Attorneys owe clients an ethical duty to protect and defend a client’s legal interests. Ethical duties owed by attorneys to clients are memorialized in a set of rules in every State. Find these rules at your State bar’s website. Search for “Rules of Professional Conduct.” It should be available for download. Readers shouldn’t be surprised that attorneys are held to high standards of ethical conduct. The State’s Rules of Professional Conduct govern issues like Competence, Diligence, Communication, Confidentiality, Conflict…

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Considerations on Real Estate Agents and Property Managers in Idaho

By Art Macomber

Idaho statutes are clear regarding a real estate agent’s obligations when representing a buyer or a seller. These statutory agency requirements are spelled out in a pamphlet that is required to be given to residential purchasers only. As is the case in other jurisdictions, allowing a real estate agent to represent both buyer and seller can be problematic, and in many cases presents an insurmountable conflict of interest. Property Managers.  If you plan to utilize the services…

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Legal Due Diligence in Idaho

By Art Macomber

The Paperwork: The primary types of paperwork affecting the purchase of real property are documents found in the public record as listed in your preliminary title report, and any private equitable servitudes, conditions, restrictions, or rules and regulations governing the parcel’s use. Title Report I. Idaho residential purchase and sale agreements do not typically require disclosure of the preliminary title report prior to six (6) days before the close of escrow. However, a preliminary title report is critically…

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Considerations on Buying Outside a Municipality in Idaho

By Art Macomber

Within municipalities with zoning for residential platted subdivisions, easements are typically referenced, access by public or private road is required, zoning is well-defined, and water, sewer, and power are usually provided. Buyers typically do not have problems with real property purchases of this type. Outside of a municipality, the following is a guide for performing due diligence: Essential services. In Idaho, provision for roads, water, sewer, fire, police protection, and sometimes power may be provided by public or…

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Thoughts on Real Estate Agents and Property Managers in Washington

By Greg George

Real Estate Agents. Washington statutes delineate a real estate licensee’s obligations to a buyer or a seller. These statutory agency requirements are spelled out in a pamphlet in the form required under RCW 18.86.120. Property Managers.  In Washington, property management is classified under “real estate brokerage services.” As a result, property managers in Washington are required to have a broker’s license. Licensure. Make sure you verify the licenses of any real estate agents, brokers, or property…

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Considerations on Legal Due Diligence in Washington

By Greg George

The primary source of legal risk affecting the value of real property are documents found in the public record, primarily those listed as exceptions documents in a preliminary title report. In addition, private equitable servitudes, conditions, restrictions, or rules and regulations may govern the parcel’s use affecting the enjoyment and value of the land. The following is a partial list of the types of documents affecting the use and enjoyment of the parcel that you…

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Enforcing Purchase and Sale Agreements in Washington

By Greg George

Enforcing Purchase and Sale Agreements Although it doesn’t happen often, when a buyer or seller unilaterally withdraws from a purchase and sale contract, it represents a material hardship to the other party. Contractual relationships generally assume two willing parties. What happens when one decides to stop performing and withdraw? Earnest monies. Sellers are compensated for their time and effort when a purchase and sale agreement doesn’t work out by a forfeiting of the buyer’s earnest…

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Due Diligence Considerations When Purchasing Outside a Municipality in Washington

By Greg George

The typical buyer of residential real estate located in a municipality does not run into legal due diligence challenges. Residential parcels within a municipality created by a platted subdivision typically require less due diligence because: 1) easements are referenced; 2) road access is required; 3) zoning is well-defined; and 4) water, sewer, and power are provided. Outside of a municipality the story is quite different. Many circumstances of a parcel can impede its use, title, insurability,…

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Considerations on Seller Disclosures in Washington

By Greg George

Washington requires relatively extensive seller disclosures for both residential and commercial properties. The specific disclosure form required depends on whether the property is commercial, “improved residential,” or “unimproved residential.” The Revised Code of Washington defines “improved residential real property” as real property with one to four residential dwelling units, certain residential condominiums, residential timeshares (unless subject to written disclosure by law), and mobile or manufactured homes. “Unimproved residential real property” is property zoned for residential…

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Due Diligence Considerations When Buying an HOA Parcel in Montana

By Art Macomber

Consider the impact of the following documents on your use and enjoyment of an HOA parcel before buying: Homeowner Association Records and Budgets. Financial or other governing entity documents include boards of directors meeting minutes minutes and financial statements. Even a simple three-member road, septic, or water system maintenance agreement should have financial records related to that maintenance. You need to ask for those records for your review and approval within the due diligence period negotiated…

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