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Real Estate Law & Litigation

Property Attorney Based in the Pleasanton Area

A real estate transaction may be one of the most expensive transactions into which a person or business ever enters, and it can carry substantial risks. Accordingly, it is important to seek counsel in connection with purchase and sale agreements or any disputes or litigation that may arise related to real estate. If you need to retain a Pleasanton real estate lawyer, you should contact the Law Offices of Stephen M. Fuerch. We represent clients throughout Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

Real Estate Law and Litigation

California real estate laws are complex and nuanced. Different rules apply to residential and commercial properties. Generally, the purchase and sale agreement is a critical aspect of any real estate transaction. It should include provisions addressing the property description, the method by which property title will be transferred, the purchase price, the timeline for inspections, covenants by both parties, provisions in case one of the parties defaults, representations made by both parties, and sometimes what will be transferred as part of the sale, such as fixtures. Often, earnest money is paid to commence the transaction. Some or all of this deposit could be refunded if the seller does not take certain acts by specified dates. When a buyer does not perform as required under the contract, they may forfeit the deposit.

Commercial real estate transactions can be especially intricate, involving multiple parties, rights, duties, and liabilities. A real estate attorney in Pleasanton will know how to navigate these issues. The parties will need to negotiate which of the seller’s assignable interests in leases, permits, contracts, and licenses will be transferred as part of these transactions. Buyers will also need to conduct due diligence to make sure that commercial properties are in full compliance with zoning, variances, building permits, occupancy permits, and a range of regulations, some specific to the buyers’ industries. It is important to retain knowledgeable professionals to conduct surveys and inspections prior to the closing; contingencies should be included in purchase and sale agreements. When there are tenants in a commercial building, the buyer will usually ask the seller to indemnify it in case of tenant claims that arise before the closing. Additionally, the buyer and the seller will need to take certain steps to notify the tenants of the sale.

Breach of Contract

Many types of lawsuits may be filed in connection with real property. Breach of contract is a common basis for lawsuits. Disputes may arise based on a purchase and sale agreement, a lease, or an option. To recover damages, the plaintiff will need to prove that it performed its side of the bargain or that an excuse applied, and that the defendant did not perform. Either party may ask for specific performance. This is a remedy in which an experienced Pleasanton real estate attorney can ask the court to order the other party to go through with performance of its broken promise, such as by selling a building or buying a building.

Disputes After the Closing

There are instances in which a buyer realizes that a seller or another party made a misrepresentation prior to the sale of real property. A real estate fraud lawsuit for damages may be brought when: (1) one party makes a misrepresentation to the other party, (2) the other party reasonably relies on the misrepresentation, and (3) due to the reliance, the other party is harmed. Fraud is also defined and prohibited under multiple real estate statutes. Statutes covering real estate fraud in California include Civil Code 890, Civil Code 2945.4, and Penal Code 487.

Title issues may come up long after a property is sold. If there is a dispute about who owns a parcel of property, for instance, it may be appropriate to file a quiet title action. This type of lawsuit can settle who owns the property and what the property’s boundaries are. It can also be an appropriate means of correcting title defects.

Consult a Real Estate Lawyer in Pleasanton

If you are concerned about legal issues that arise from property transactions, you should seek counsel from a knowledgeable attorney. We can assist you with negotiations, alternative dispute resolution, or litigation as appropriate. Call the Law Offices of Stephen M. Fuerch at (925) 463-2575 or complete our online form.