Owning property can be complex, especially in California. Whether it’s related to the family home or investing in a vacation rental, real estate attorneys at Hanley Law provide legal advice on all types of real property matters. Sean Hanley was mentored by Dan Hanley who was a licensed real estate broker for over 30 years and had extensive real estate experience.
The Legalese of Purchasing & Selling Real Property
We know that real estate agreements can be confusing, filled with legal terms that may or may not protect your rights as a purchaser or seller. Over the last several years, real estate law has dramatically changed. Hanley Law provides legal advice on how to best structure a real estate transaction to maximize tax benefits, minimize legal exposure, and everything in between. We help with:
- Seller/buyer disputes (e.g., deposit disputes, fraud, misrepresentation)
- Construction issues
- Co-owner disputes (e.g., right to partition, right to rent or occupancy)
- Agent/broker problems (e.g., breach fiduciary relationship duties)
- Joint ownership agreements (e.g., tenants in common, joint tenants)
- Titling, vesting or deeding and disputes related thereto
- Partnership Agreements & Joint Ventures for real estate investments
1031 Property Exchanges
In real estate law this is also known as a tax-deferred property exchange. However, there are specific rules for qualification. With proper guidance, it can be a simple yet effective strategy to selling a property and acquiring another. That’s where a qualified and experienced real estate attorney comes in. We help our clients determine if they qualify, and if it provides the best financial option. We’ll also determine if the exchange has estate planning implications. In instances where a third party accommodator is required, we provide those services through Fidelity Exchange, Inc.
Structured Sales Agreements
Structured sales agreements provide an alternative way to sell real property. For some, the sale of a business or real property can often present a situation where capital gains or other tax liability is realized. This specialized agreement is ideal for those who want a steady stream of guaranteed income and defer their tax liability. However, both the buyer and seller must first come to an agreement of the sale terms. Rather than borrowing money from a traditional mortgage company, the buyer agrees to make their payments directly to the seller. Like an annuity, the seller receives payments from the buyer over a period of time. These types of agreements have several facets and thus are best created by a real estate attorney to avoid unnecessary complications.
Real Estate Properties in Distress
Real estate prices have fluctuated widely in recent years, causing many property owners who have lost equity in their homes to search for legal advice regarding walking away from their property through foreclosure, short-sale, or deed in lieu of foreclosure. Before walking away, we suggest that property owners review their options and determine if there are less drastic alternatives available. If walking away is unavoidable or is done for other strategic purposes, then property owners must be aware of the potential legal, tax, and other financial consequences to properly prepare for the future.
Residential & Commercial Leasing
Leasing agreements are intricate legal documents that can lock parties into terms that span years, even decades. Before signing on the dotted line, it’s important to know your rights and the financial implications of the lease. In addition to having years of experience in crafting lease agreements, real estate attorneys at Hanley Law have represented both landlords and tenants in (eviction) and out of court.