Skip to Content

News & Resources

Precautions to take before entering a real estate deal

4/10/2012 | Real Estate Blog

Our Philadelphia readers may be interested in a recent article printed in the San Jose Mercury News, a daily newspaper in San Jose California. The article discusses important aspects of real estate deals, and much of the advice applies equally to our Pennsylvania readers.

David Hamerslough, the attorney who authored the article, points out that real estate litigation occurs when the goals and expectations of the parties have not been met. Because of this, it is important for those who may be involved in a real estate suit to document as much as they can about the real estate deal. This includes paper documents, oral testimony, as well as the behavior and credibility of the other party.

All communications should be documented, advises Hammerslough, and copies of documents should be properly dated. This is important, because an attorney taking on a real estate case will be better equipped to take up their client’s cause when they are able to determine exactly what story the documents tell. Documents accompanying a real estate deal should be seen as providing an objective history of the deal, whereas oral testimony can show how the parties involved in the deal remember that history.

Among the various issues that can come up in a real estate deal, disclosure is among the most frequent. Before entering into a deal, both buyers and sellers have things to keep in mind in terms of disclosure. For their part, sellers need to be aware they are required to disclose all material facts affecting the value and desirability of a property up for sale. Disclosure documents are a key concern in the area.

Buyers should be sure to have the property properly inspected, securing qualified professionals for this purpose. Getting the inspector’s report in writing is preferred. Once the inspection is conducted, the buyer will have the opportunity to decide whether they wish to back out of the deal-if they are able-or to negotiate the terms of the deal.

And of course, both buyers and sellers should carefully read all documents related to the sale.

Taking these and other precautions may help prevent a deal that should not be entered into, or alternatively, in strengthening one’s case and smoothing out the litigation process when a deal goes sour.

Source: San Jose Mercury News, “Attorney points out critical aspects of a real estate deal,” Rose Meily, March 26, 2012.