Land for Sale Legal Issues
Land for sale indicates that there is a parcel of land being put up for sale through a transaction. This may involve a bare plot of land, a plot of land with structures on it, or a combination of the two. Land sales are different from other transfers of land such as a conveyance through a will or through inheritance. There are many steps that the seller and the buyer need to complete before the land can be sold and the title to the land transferred legally.
For instance, steps toward the sale of a land may include: advertising the property for sale; finding buyers; dealing with title searches; negotiating land sales contracts; finalizing the sale; and many other steps. These often require legal representation during the process.
What Are Some Issues to Consider in a Land Sale?
In a land sale, there are numerous issues that must be considered in order for the sale to be considered legally valid. These include:
- Statute of Frauds: By law, any contract that has to do with the sale of land or real estate must be in writing. Without a written contract, the transaction might not be considered valid.
- Land use: The new owner must be aware that the land can only be used for purposes that conform with state, local, and federal land use laws.
- Zoning: Similarly, some land can only be used for certain purposes depending on how the city has zoned off the area.
- Breach of contract: Because there are many steps in the land sale process, there are many ways in which a breach can occur (for instance, with regards to an offer or an acceptance, or with regard to delivery of title, etc.).
- Land contract fraud: Fraud can occur in a land sale transaction; common instances include fraud with regards to the land’s history, as well as fraud regarding the land’s value.
Lastly, a common issue is a contesting of the title. Either the buyer or the seller can run into some problems if there is a third party that contests ownership of the land being sold. These may require a quiet title proceeding to determine who the legal owner of the land is.
Are There Any Remedies for a Land Sale Dispute?
Certainly- remedies for a land sale dispute can include a damages award for losses caused by the other party. This is common in cases involving a breach of contract or land contract fraud. Other remedies may include options such as a re-evaluation of the land’s market value, or an injunction for one party to deliver title to the other. Remedies will of course depend on the exact nature of the legal issue as well as state laws.
Should I Hire a Lawyer If I’m Dealing with Land for Sale?
Selling or buying land is always a major project, even for smaller parcels of land. There will be many documents, much negotiation, and many steps to fulfill before ownership of the land can change hands. You may need to hire a real estate lawyer in your area if you need legal assistance with a land sale. Your attorney can be with you during negotiations, contract meetings, and closing steps. Also, if you need to file a lawsuit, your attorney can represent you during the official court process.