If you are currently involved in the real estate world in any capacity, you understand that it doesn't take much for transactions to go awry. This is why parties in transactions will do whatever they can to ensure a dispute doesn't arise. Disputes are an inconvenience for all parties - they're costly, time-consuming, and not to mention stressful. But they often rear their ugly heads in a vast number of transactions, driving unwilling parties to negotiation hearings and even to court.
In this article, we'll highlight the most common underlying causes of real estate disputes. Even if you aren't currently involved in one, this information will give you some insight as to how to prevent a dispute from arising in the future.
A breach of contract
Contracts are an integral part of real estate processes, negotiations, and transactions. A contract contains oral or written conditions and terms that each party is expected to adhere to. A breach of contract occurs when a party connected to the contact fails to carry out any of the contract's terms.
Without the oversight of an attorney, a contract may be drafted in a way that is unclear or incomprehensible to one or both parties. A poorly written contract will increase the chance of a dispute arising. The best way to prevent a contract dispute is to ensure that your contracts are crafted articulately and that they account for every impending scenario. A business law attorney can help you devise an air-tight contract that won't lead to a dispute.
A breach of contract can transpire in a variety of ways, but the most common breaches include:
- Failing to deliver a deed the proper way
- Failing to pay in a transaction on time
- Unauthorized leasing of property in either residential or commercial leases
A breach of duty
The job of a real estate agent is to make decisions that are in their client's best interest. This responsibility is known as a “fiduciary duty.” The single most important aspect of a real estate agent's fiduciary duty is the guarantee to be honest. During the course of negotiations, inspections, and the assessment of contract documents, real estate agents must be transparent.
Here are a few duties that belong to real estate agents:
- The duty to fully disclose all facts to the client
- The duty to handle the client's personal information and affairs with loyalty and confidentiality
- The duty to refrain from representing an opposing party in the same transaction without knowledge and consent from both parties
- The duty to fully disclose all purchase offers to the seller
Failure to disclose defects in property
Property defects that are hidden or not obvious still must be identified by the seller to the buyer of a property. A dispute could arise if a buyer discovers a defect in the property that a seller did not disclose. To avoid having to file a dispute, buyers are encouraged to hire a property inspector before the transaction ensues to identify any hidden defects.
New York Real Estate Attorney
You need the assistance of an attorney to help you avoid disputes. Experienced New York attorney Melvin Monachan can help. Contact him today by filling out an online contact form or give us a call at (516) 714-5763.