Real Estate Litigation
When you buy or sell a home, the hope and plan is that the process will go as smoothly as possible. Occasionally, a problem arises that needs to be resolved with the help of an experienced Charlotte real estate litigation lawyer.
A common problem we encounter prior to closing is whether the buyer or seller is justified in backing out of or terminating the contract. North Carolina’s standard Offer to Purchase and Contract attempts to spell out the circumstances in which a seller or buyer can terminate the contract. Those standard contracts allow more leeway for buyers to terminate (as long as the right to terminate is exercised during the due diligence period) than for sellers. A buyer will want to work closely with his realtor and the home inspector to attempt to uncover any hidden defects. Contract disputes still occur, involving who gets to keep the earnest money deposit, due diligence fee, and whether any other damages are owed upon termination.
If a buyer is purchasing a new construction home from a developer or builder, the buyer must be diligent in reading the documents thoroughly before signing. If a sales agent for the developer, for example, makes a promise to a buyer about the property, about the adjoining lots, about the planned use of natural areas or planned amenities, then a buyer will want to get those promises in writing. Our firm is often called upon to provide counsel and even litigate these contract disputes with developers or builders.
Another frequent disagreement involves allegations of misrepresentations. When a seller lists her home, a seller generally has to complete and sign a disclosure statement. The seller should be very careful in filling out this document, and should consult with the listing agent to make sure that there are no misrepresentations. The law imposes on sellers the duty to avoid making misrepresentations when selling their home. At the same time, the law imposes on buyers the duty to use due diligence and to inspect the home. Our firm often handles disputes where there are allegations that the seller lied about their property, and we have to help determine if a misrepresentation was made and/or if the buyer used appropriate due diligence or reasonably relied on the seller’s statement. This issue more often than not comes up after closing, and later the buyer discovers a problem or defect with the home and believes the seller knew about the problem but did not reveal it. These defects are varied, but often involve property problems with water intrusion, leaks, plumbing, HVAC, mold or mildew, boundary disputes, fence encroachments, a developer’s planned use of natural areas, and even HOA assessments.
As part of the purchase process, real estate agents are great resources for the seller and buyer. A good real estate agent can normally help avoid these property disputes. However, a real estate agent can only do so much if a buyer or seller is not acting reasonably. Sometimes, a buyer or seller may believe that a real estate agent has not performed their duties professionally. Our firm helps the participants navigate these waters, and we have also represented realtors in defending complaints to the North Carolina Real Estate Commission.
Because of our extensive real estate litigation experience in Charlotte and nearby cities, our firm is able to handle your particular situation and present a range of options, delivered from an informed perspective. At Thurman, Wilson, Boutwell & Galvin P.A., we can provide you with effective representation in these real estate disputes. For a consultation, call us today to speak to one of our experienced Charlotte real estate litigation attorneys at (704) 377-4164 or fill out our online form.