Skip to main content

When Should You Use A Real Estate Lawyer in Washington State?

By November 14, 2023Articles & News

Real estate, a pricey and often significant share of anyone’s portfolio, presents opportunities for good returns, the enjoyment of owning your own home or land, and innumerable challenges given the many inevitable risks you face in buying, selling, owning, leasing, insuring, or managing even a single property.  

Many of these challenges can be overcome and disaster avoided if you retain qualified legal counsel, like our team at Levy | von Beck | Comstock | P.S. to help you navigate your transaction, be it a purchase, a property insurance claim, or a boundary dispute.  

When You Should Reach Out To A Real Estate Attorney

Here is a brief but not exhaustive list of situations in which you may do well to hire a real estate attorney here in Washington:

Purchasing or Selling a Property

The disclosure obligations required by Form 17 and, in the case of a condominium sale, the Resale Certificate, are important both to the seller – to limit their liability if the buyer later discovers a significant problem with the home, for example – and to the buyer, who may be limited in pursuing claims based on disclosed issues with the property, and may be on notice of potential issues that require further investigation.  Home inspections also have limitations, often including a limit of the inspector’s liability to only the inspection fee paid.  If you are concerned about any legal aspect of your transaction, retain a lawyer.  Any attorney fees you pay will dwarf in comparison to the cost of the property or the hidden costs you might avoid by, for example, bailing out of a transaction rife with legal red flags.

Defects discovered post-closing

If you discover issues with your home or other property after closing, and you believe the seller may have concealed those conditions from you – including, for example, performing “band-aid” repairs such as caulking or painting over damaged components – don’t hesitate to call a lawyer.

Boundary disputes 

Our team has handled many boundary disputes around Puget Sound, including adverse possession claims, prescriptive easements, title insurance claims, and more. Given that only documents recorded with the county are binding on subsequent owners and title insurers, it is important as part of resolving any such dispute to ensure that that the proper form of document is ultimately recorded so that all future potential claimants are on actual notice.

Property insurance claims 

This one is easy.  Insurance companies have lawyers on staff.  You should, too.  Insurers are not in business to make sure you get fully compensated for your loss, so make sure to hire an attorney to work on exactly that: getting every dollar you deserve from your insurance company.

Seattle Real Estate Lawyers 

These are just a few of the many situations in which you should not delay in contacting a real estate lawyer.  Given property values and the consequence of losing or failing to pursue or protect all your rights, hiring qualified counsel early makes good sense. Contact the experienced team of real estate lawyers at Levy | von Beck | Comstock today to get started.