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Common issues in real estate transactions, Part 1

You might hope that the transfer of real estate is a simple transaction, like fulfilling an eBay order or placing an order for pizza. But, unfortunately, it is not. The exchange of real estate is a complicated dance because of the issues inherent in transferring assets as complicated as real estate. This post will go over some of the typical issues that can torpedo a real estate transaction.

When you exchange a piece of personal property, like a pen, you can make the exchange simultaneously, thus assuring that everyone is covered. But real estate is far more complicated because you need to inspect it for defects, confirm that the person selling you the property has the authority to do so, and you are dealing with huge sums of money, so you can't simply hand over a bag of money for the deed.

One of the biggest concerns in real estate sale is that the person selling you the property has the authority to do so. This deception may not even be intentional, the person selling it to you may never have had their claim to the property challenged before and so may not know they do not actually own the property.

For example, many people transfer ownership of their homes to trusts and LLCs. You may have inherited the right to live in the home, but the LLC owns the home, so you cannot sell it. Additionally, many people often try to exercise control over a property through an expired Power of Attorney. In these situations, you may want the assistance of a lawyer. An attorney can conduct a title search and investigate the ownership trail of the property. It is crucial that you identify who or what owns the home and who or what has authority to sell the home. Once you do, you can begin the process of selling the home through the appropriate legal entities.

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