Augusta & Richmond County Real Estate Attorneys
Real estate can seem to be a relatively simple area of law, dealing primarily with buyer/seller or landlord/tenant negotiations and decisions. However, as in so many other legal areas, the devil is in the details — details that, in this instance, cover a wide range of commercial and residential matters, including development, zoning regulations, title clearance, inspections, variances, and more. With more than 15 years of serving both residential and commercial clients in Augusta and the CSRA, our attorneys have proven themselves to be as thorough as they are comprehensive. Our goal is to not only deliver a smooth real estate transaction, but to also safeguard you from difficulties in the future.
What sets us apart from other law practices is that each of our three attorneys is committed to providing careful, individualized service. Our background in the real estate field enables us to approach you with experience and insight, fresh perspective and well-developed listening skills. We pride ourselves on paying close attention to the details we know can be problematic, as well as details that are of special importance to you.
Our Practice Areas
At Klosinski Overstreet LLP, we are fully prepared to assist you with all legal aspects of real estate dealings. From starting, expanding, or downsizing a business, to buying, selling, or renting a home, our areas of specialty include the following:
Residential Real Estate Closing
In Georgia, it is necessary to have a real estate attorney present at a closing. The real estate attorney plays an integral part in reviewing title work for inspection issues, and all other pertinent documents, coordinating communications between the buyer and seller (or landlord and tenant) and recording and distributing all monies involved. The monetary exchanges made at closing may include paying off existing loans, taking money out of escrow for distribution, paying homeowners insurance, and paying broker fees, as well the exchange of the larger amount of money involved in the actual purchase.
Commercial closings involve real estate law that governs retail centers, office buildings, hotels, apartment complexes, or vacant property slated for development. It is essential that, prior to a closing on commercial property, there is sufficient time for the real estate attorney to complete due diligence in reviewing all appropriate documents, such as title, insurance policies, business sales and acquisitions, zoning and easement documents, and any pertinent leases and/or small business loans.
Drafting and Reviewing Purchase and Sale Agreements
Another important service we provide is to draw up and review purchase and sale agreements, the preliminary documents in which the buyer and seller agree to the terms of the sale. Purchase and sale agreements must:
- Identify the participating parties
- Identify the property, at least by address
- Identify the proposed purchase price (which must be verified after appraisal)
- Include voluntary signatures by both parties (who must each be of age and mentally competent)
- Have a legal purpose
- Include a consideration (money or other property) to confirm the promise
- Reflect agreement on both sides of each party’s rights and obligations.
Purchase and sale agreements typically spell out specifics like the closing date, the amount of deposit required, and any items that will be sold along with the property, such as window treatments or appliances.
In the event that you are unable to keep up with your mortgage payments, you are in danger of foreclosure. Foreclosure is the process through which the owner of your home loan (usually the bank) is permitted to sell your home to reclaim the money they have lent you (the unpaid portion of the mortgage).We may be able to help you delay, or even avoid, foreclosure by negotiating a loan modification with your lender, or by convincing the lender to accept a short sale, in which your house is sold for less than its full value.
Foreclosure is already unfortunate when it occurs due to the financial troubles that arise because of illness, divorce, a death in the family, or a natural disaster. However, when you and your family are threatened by wrongful foreclosure through the fraudulent actions of another, it may be even worse. In cases in which forged or falsified documents, dishonest lenders, or predatory foreclosure mediators have maneuvered you to the brink of foreclosure, you need one of our savvy real estate attorneys to fight vigorously to protect your rights.
Once we win your case of wrongful foreclosure, not only will you be entitled to compensation for the value of the property, but compensation for emotional distress as well. If there is direct evidence of fraud with malicious intent, you may also be awarded punitive damages.
Tax Sale Redemption
Falling behind on your property taxes in Georgia, can result in the loss of your home at a tax sale. In Georgia, any overdue property taxes automatically become a lien on your home. With one of us at your side, however, you may be able to reclaim your home during a 12-month “redemption period.” If you don’t fulfill your obligations during the redemption period, you will, unfortunately, lose the opportunity to reclaim your home.
To redeem your home during the redemption period, you’ll have to pay:
- The amount the purchaser paid for the property at the tax sale
- Premium of 20 percent for the first year or fraction of a year that has elapsed between the sale date and the redemption date
- Any taxes the purchaser paid on the property after the sale
- Any special assessments on the property
- Sheriff’s cost for serving you and publishing a public notice (if you haven’t redeemed for more than 30 days after the notice of the redemption deadline)
Although it is possible to redeem your home after a tax sale in Georgia, it is always preferable to be proactive and avoid getting behind on your property taxes in the first place. One of our competent attorneys can assist you by taking steps to have your property reassessed, which may lead to a decreased property value and a lower tax rate.
Other Legal Real Estate Services Offered by Klosinski Overstreet LLP
In addition to the real estate services already discussed, our law practice also handles home refinancing, inspections, title clearances, landlord-tenant concerns, commercial lease agreements, site plan reviews, zoning and land use issues, and variances. If you are seeking first-rate legal assistance with any real estate matters, please call our office or fill out the contact form on our website.