Family Health Legal Library

More Examples of Special Contracts

Basic Real Estate Transactions

This section of the book deals with real estate transactions and some basic legal concepts in this area. It is not specific to medical problems, but is intended for all persons to assist in a general understanding of legal issues.

Perhaps the most common transaction in the area of real property is the purchase or sale of a residential property. In many states, real estate brokers, title companies, and escrow companies routinely handle purchases of residential property, without the services of a lawyer, in other states, attorneys handle various parts of the transactions.

Should you have an attorney assist if you are buying or selling a house? Obviously, if you live in a state where attorneys play an essential role in the sale, you need an attorney. In states where an attorney is not required, it may still be worth a few hundred dollars to retain an attorney, particularly to draft or review the original contract and escrow instructions.

There are many instances in which having an attorney at the outset has assisted in a smooth closing process. Contrary to the popular view that attorneys will slow down or "wreck" a potential real estate sale, it is the author's experience that real estate purchasers or sellers should have legal counsel. Any deal that is not favorable to you should, in fact, not close. An attorney is likely to be the most independent party removed from the transaction, and after all is hired to represent only your interests.

Most Plan Attorneys have a long list of clients who were purchasers or sellers involved in lawsuits over real estate, and who did not bother to consult an attorney prior to making an offer to purchase a house or listing a house with a broker for sale.


Generally the following steps are involved in a routine real estate transaction: 1) Listing by Seller; (2) Offer by a Buyer; (3) Counter Offer by Seller; (4) Contract between Both; (5) Escrow Instructions; (6) Financing; and (7) Closing.

The most important steps from a legal standpoint are the terms of the written offer, which may become part of the purchase contract. One must be careful to review the offer and the contract, to make sure that unlikely contingencies, e.g., the house having an infestation of termites, are provided for in the contract. Also, every one of the main items in the deal, such as what happens if escrow does not close on the specified date, should be addressed.

Because this is an area where good legal advice cannot be ignored, there is no attempt to discuss each and every aspect of the purchase and sale transaction. This task is better left to the lawyers. However, several common problems can arise in any real estate sale and are worth discussing.

More Examples of Special Contracts
1  2  
Sections Available in Family Health Legal Library
How to Use the Family Health Legal Library
Healthcare Directives: Preventing Serious Legal Proceedings
Durable Power of Attorney For Healthcare
Durable Power of Attorney
Considering a Life Care Plan
Protecting Your Estate
Revocable and Irrevocable Living Trusts
Medicare: Do You Know All You Should?
Medicaid - What If This System Is Necessary
Credit and Debt Problems with Medical Issues
Medical Surgeries, Diagnosis and Related Issues
Children at College Issues
Marital Issues When Medical Problems Arise
Introduction to Contract Issues
Specific Types of Contracts and Contract Issues
More Examples of Special Contracts
Real Estate Issues
Typical Consumer Problems

The Law
  in Your Life
Elder Care
Family Health
  Legal Library
Access Financial
Credit, Debt and Budgeting
Small Claims &
  Consumer Help
Domestic Violence
Anatomy of a Case
Legal Document
  Tenants' Rights