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Lead Counsel independently verifies attorneys by conferring with state bar associations and conducting annual reviews to confirm that an attorney practices in their advertised practice areas and possesses a valid bar license for the appropriate jurisdictions.

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Are You Dealing with a Real Estate Law Issue?

Dealing with a real estate matter can be stressful, confusing and complex. No matter if you are selling a property or you want to purchase a property, you should speak with an experienced Cupertino real estate attorney. Your attorney will be able to help you with contract negotiations, avoid transaction disputes and possibly save time and frustration.

Different Types of Real Estate Cases

Real estate law covers a wide range of issues related to real property law. Some of these areas involve purchasing or selling real estate, renting real property and taxation issues associated to these activities. Bear in mind, real estate laws vary from state to state, so it is important to get the right information and guidance.

Whether you are buying or selling a home, this represents a substantial investment. It is important to protect your rights. Working with an experienced real estate attorney will guide you through the legal implications.

What does contingent mean in real estate?

In a real estate transaction like the sale of a house, a “contingency” clause in the contract acts as a way to cancel the contract if a certain event were to happen. For instance, if you make an offer and the seller accepts it, you may negotiate a contingency that accounts for a poor housing inspection allowing you to back out of the deal. If you need to sell your home as well, you could negotiate a contingency that allows you to back out of buying the new home if you can’t sell your current one.

What is a short sale?

A short sale is when the seller is selling the property for less than is owed on the mortgage. This could be a bank that repossessed the home in a foreclosure. In this case, the bank would sell the house, essentially hoping to get someone to buy the house, and the bank will forgive the difference that remains on the original mortgage. A short sale often presents a good opportunity to the right buyer who needs to save a bit of money.

Do I need a real estate lawyer or a real estate broker?

A broker (also known as an agent or realtor) represents people in the home buying or selling process. But they may not be as experienced when it comes to contract negotiations as a real estate lawyer. While you may not need a real estate lawyer for your home sale, they can help you deal with any unexpected roadblocks to the sale process. Some states also require a real estate attorney for any contract signings. If you are unsure, you could schedule a consultation.

Best Time to Seek Legal Help

No matter what your legal issue may be, it is always best to seek legal help early in the process. An attorney can help secure what is likely to be the best possible outcome for your situation and avoid both unnecessary complications or errors.

Top Questions to Ask a Lawyer

  • What is the usual process to resolve my case? How long will it take to resolve this?
  • What are likely outcomes of a case like mine? What should I expect?

An experienced lawyer should be able to communicate a basic “road map” on how to proceed. The lawyer should be able to walk you through the anticipated process, key considerations, and potential pitfalls to avoid. Once you’ve laid out the facts of your situation to the lawyer, he/she should be able to frame expectations and likely scenarios to help you understand your legal issue.

How will an attorney charge me?

A reputable attorney will be very upfront about how he/she will charge you. The three most common fee structures that attorneys use to charge for their services are:

  • Bill by the hour
  • Contingent fee agreement
  • Flat fee agreement

Depending on your specific legal situation, it’s possible that only one type of fee structure is available. For instance, criminal defense attorneys almost always bill by the hour. In a flat fee arrangement, an attorney accepts a one-time payment to help you resolve your issue. With a contingent fee agreement, the client pays little to nothing upfront and the attorney receives a percentage of the money recovered if you win your case.

Common legal terms explained

Affidavit – A sworn written statement made under oath. An affidavit is meant to be a supporting document to the court assisting in the verification of certain facts. An affidavit may or may not require notarization.

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