Faq - Rich, Fuidge, Lane, and Bordsen


Fax (530)742-5982

Legal Services for Yuba County, Sutter County, Marysville, Yuba City, Colusa, Wheatland, Chico and surrounding areas since 1909.

1129 D Street, Marysville CA 95901

Normal FB logo rich


Real Estate Law FAQs


Signing a contract to purchase real estate is an exciting and major step, but it is only part of the buying process. There is still a lot to do and the days and weeks leading up to the closing can be very busy. Once the contract is signed, you will need to provide a check for escrow or earnest money which will be deposited into an account until the closing. You will need to review the seller’s disclosures, as well as city reports and property specific reports, such as the preliminary title. If necessary, you will need to work with a mortgage lender. And finally, you will need to schedule an inspection of the property.

I Have Just Signed A Contract To Purchase Real Estate. What Should I Do Next?



Some states require attorneys be involved in the selling and purchasing of real estate. However, even if one is not required, it is a good idea to work with an attorney during a real estate transaction because transactions can be fraught with unexpected occurrences.


For instance, there can be contractual issues that need the oversight ofa legal professional. If you and your agent are concerned about a specific issue, it is best to work with a real estate attorney. For example, there may be a tenant on your new property or you might be considering renting some or all of the property during a certain time period. Some properties have tax liens imposed on them and you do not know what the implications might be. The bottom line? Real estate attorneys offer invaluable help.

Why Do I Need An Attorney?


Why Do I Need A Home Inspection?

A home inspection is a vital component in the successful purchase of a new home. Home inspections are important because they allow buyers to uncover potential safety issues. Inspections ensure the house is checked inside and out and all important issues or flaws are detected before the sale is finalized. This ensures you know what you are buying and allows you to request that issues be fixed before the sale is finalized. Identifying issues in advance can also help you save money. Problems with a property can be expensive and the last thing you want is to finalize the sale and suddenly realize you are faced with thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in home repair issues.


Why Do I Need Title Insurance?

Title insurance protects a buyer’s investment in a property if any right to ownership is challenged. Because the majority of homeowners require mortgages to purchase homes, lending title insurance is often required by the bank to protect its investment. A number of issues can affect the title of a home, including fraud or forged documents or false representation of ownership of a property. Most of the events that arise and cause problems with a property’s title typically happen before you purchased the property, but a good title insurance policy provides coverage for the consequences of those events. It is possible your ownership of the property can be affected if there is a problem with the title.


What Are The Different Ways To Hold Title To The Property?

There are several different ways to hold title to a property. The most common include:

1. Sole ownership: holding title in a single name by itself.

2. Tenants in common: two or more people hold ownership as co-owners.

3. Joint tenancy with right of survivorship: jointly held ownership in which co-owners take title at the same time and own equal shares and each would own the property alone if the other dies.

4. Community property: ownership option in certain states for married couples to take ownership of property. Each spouse owns half of the property and it is passed to the other in entirety in the event of one of their deaths.

5. Living trust: type of ownership that allows owners to avoid probate costs and delays in the event of an owner’s death.


What Are Some Key Issues For Me To Consider When Reviewing A Contract To Purchase A Home?

There are several things to consider when reviewing a contract to purchase a home. For instance:

  • What price is the buyer offering to pay? Be realistic and objective when considering an offer.

  • What are the conditions of inspection before finalizing the sale? Buyers should have a right to inspect the property, but their demands should not be unreasonable.

  • Is the buyer using financing? If a contract is contingent on the buyer’s ability to obtain a loan it could be problematic if that loan falls through.

  • What is the response deadline? How long do you have to consider the offer?

  • Is the purchase contingent on the sale of the buyer’s home? What will happen if the buyer struggles to sell his or her home?

  • What is the occupy date? Does it fit your schedule?

  • Are there any other conditions?


If I Have Purchased A Home And Found That Something Inside The Home Was Faulty When I Purchased It, Is There Anything I Can Do About It?

Most of the time an inspection reveals problems with a home before you finalize the contract, but on rare occasions, problems are not discovered until after the sale is completed. If this happens to you is there anything you can do?

The answer depends on two factors:

  • Can you prove the homeowner had knowledge of the issue before the sale and committed fraud by not revealing the problem?

  • Was there some kind of warranty or guarantee?

The best thing to do if you discover a problem with a home you have purchase after the purchase iscomplete is to speak to an attorney.


If I Have Purchased A Home Where The Seller Agreed To Certain Repairs And Those Repairs Are Not Made, What Should I Do?

Sellers are not required to fix everything wrong with their home before a sale, but many agree to repairs because it protects the sale. If a seller has agreed to repairs but does not follow through, there are several things a buyer can do:

  • Postpone closing until repairs are completed.

  • Request the seller put funds in an escrow account until the repairs are completed.

  • Request a credit from seller to complete the repairs.

  • Re-negotiate repairs. This might be your only option available if you want the sale to proceed.

  • Cancel home sale for non-performance. If this occurs, you will receive your earnest money back because the seller refused to comply with the terms in the contract.

  • It is also possible you might have grounds to file suit against the seller for breach of contract.


As A Seller, Are There Any Defects Which I Must Disclose To The Buyers Before Signing A Contract?

As the seller of a property, you are legally required to disclose any known latent defects which materially affect the value of the property, and which are not readily observable to the buyer, before signing any contract. This is the case whether the contract is “as is” or not. If you know something is wrong with the property you are selling, it is best to share that information with your real estate broker and he or she can help you determine what needs to be shared with the buyer. The duty to disclose also extends to a seller’s real estate broker.


For A Home Being Sold As-Is Who Is Responsible For Major Repairs?

Selling a house “as-is” might seem like a great way to avoid a lot of the responsibility of repairing a property. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. You are responsible for disclosing any defects with the property, just as you would be in a non-as-is sale. The responsibility for the repairs of a home being sold as is/are negotiated just as they would be a typical sale. “As-is” does not mean buyers would not try to negotiate repairs because the home’s condition, like the sale price, is subject to negotiation.Listing a home as-is alerts buyers to the fact that the seller is willing to invest minimal effort and money into repairs, so they might be able to negotiate a lower price than usual.


How Important Is A Building Inspection Report?

Building inspection reports are very important in the sale of a property. It tells the buyer exactly what he or she is getting and it alerts the seller to any potential issues that could hold up the sale. The report gives a detailed evaluation of the house and can reveal potential significant structural defects or possible systemic deterioration. These issues sometimes go unnoticed for a long time, even when a property is occupied. The inspection report ensures a third-party has looked over the home and the requests for repairs are not just at the whim of the buyer. Reports also serve to give buyers peace of mind.


How Long Does It Take To Close After Signing The Contracts?

The length of time it takes to close on the sale of a property after signing contracts varies from purchase to purchase. This length of time is usually between 30 and 45 days after the contract is signed, but it can be as much as 60 days or more. Some of this might be contingent on other parts of the contract, including the sale of the buyer’s existing home or financing. It is possible for both parties to negotiate in advance how long it will take to close on the purchase, but once a date is set both parties are obligated to fulfill their duties within that period of time.