Real Estate

We provide experienced guidance in the sale or purchase of residential or commercial property.

 

Residential

A residence is not only a major financial asset, but also a home for loved ones. Real estate matters are complex transactions involving a multitude of details and legal documents. A Purchase Agreement is a binding legal contract and should be reviewed by an attorney before signing, especially in cases of "For Sale By Owner" and Contracts for Deed. Among important issues to consider are the effect of contingencies, disclosures of the property’s condition, included (or excluded) personal property, financing terms, and critical deadlines. BMLO represents both Sellers and Purchasers in reviewing this and other legal documents associated with a real estate transaction.

Minnesota law provides special rules for common interest properties including condominiums and townhomes. If you move from a free standing single family home into a condominium complex, you will experience benefits including freedom from many maintenance responsibilities but you will also give up some independence of making decisions regarding the use and appearance of your unit. As a member of the Homeowner Association, you become part of a statutory community with voting rights, but subject to regulations and assessing authority. Minnesota law requires that you receive a Disclosure Statement with copies of certain legal documents. You can cancel a purchase within 15 days after receiving this Disclosure Statement. You should familiarize yourself with the contents of these documents. BMLO reviews these documents on behalf of clients to identify areas of concern.


Commercial 

Besides all of the concerns surrounding residential real estate transactions, commercial property offers many additional complexities. Surveys may need to be obtained and reviewed. Zoning and license approval may be needed from local agencies. Additional title insurance coverage may need to be arranged. Due diligence by the Purchaser may require soil tests, inspections by engineers and environmental impact reports. Commercial lenders have additional requirements, or the Seller may provide financing through Contracts for Deeds or private mortgages. I represent both Sellers and Purchasers through what is normally a lengthy and complex transaction involving a number of related parties. I advise Purchasers regarding the use of a separate legal entity such as a corporation or limited liability company to shelter their personal assets from legal claims arising out of the ownership of the commercial property, and prepare the documents to create your new company. Some of my clients purchase or sell a business with the real estate.

Estate planning considerations 

While estate planning is discussed separately, each real estate transaction impacts estate planning and potential probate issues. For example, the deed may transfer title to a single Purchaser, Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common, each with different results in the event of an owner’s death. BMLO can review real estate transactions from the perspective of estate planning needs and provide appropriate assistance.


real estate specialist

Nelson Berg, the founding Partner, has been a Real Property Law Specialist since the program was created by the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) in 1989. “Specialist” certification helps prospective clients identify an attorney who has demonstrated knowledge and experience in a specific field. Certification is earned by successfully completing an examination that tests knowledge of the substantive law and ethics involved in many areas of real estate law. Real Property Law Specialists are required to have a substantial amount of experience in real property matters and take additional continuing legal education courses in this area of law. A Certified Specialist must be recertified every six years and meet compliance standards annually. More information about MSBA Certified Legal Specialists is available here.