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Posts in Real Estate
What Do You Need to Know before Selling Your House without a Realtor?

If you have decided to list your house for sale in Pennsylvania, you will need to make several important decisions along the way to a successful sale. The first, and possibly the most important, of those decisions is whether to work with a real estate agent or list the home for sale “By Owner.” If you are considering the “By Owner” route, you may wish to consider the following things you need to know before selling your house without a realtor.

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When Can Realtors Be Held Liable under Pennsylvania Law?

Although the law does not require a buyer or seller to utilize the services of a real estate agent to assist with the purchase or sale of property, most buyers and sellers do work with a realtor. In fact, most buyers and sellers rely heavily on a real estate agent throughout the purchase or sale process. If something goes wrong, such as uncovering hidden defects after the sale, can realtors be held liable under Pennsylvania law? As is often the case with questions relating to liability, there is no easy answer to that question; however, it is possible for a realtor to be held liable under certain conditions.

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What Type of Entity Is Best for Investing in Real Estate?

Real estate has long been considered one of the best long-term investments – and sometimes it even makes a good short-term investment if the market is just where you want it to be. If you are contemplating investing in real estate one of the first factors you will want to consider is what type of entity is best for investing in real estate. While there is no right or wrong decision, your choice of entity will have an impact on your investment as well as on your overall financial health. Consulting with an experienced Pennsylvania real estate attorney is always your best option because you attorney can discuss how each entity will impact your unique situation; however, a broad understanding of the entities available and their pros and cons may also be beneficial.

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Could a Qualified Intermediary Go Bankrupt and Tie Up Money Designated for a Section 1031 Exchange?

In the normal course of events, the sale of a capital assets that results in a gain to the seller is a taxable event. As such, a taxpayer who realizes a gain from the sale of a capital asset will owe capital gains tax on the realized gain. One way to avoid, at least for a time, the payment of capital gains taxes is to enter into a Section 1031 Exchange in lieu of a traditional sale. If a transaction qualifies for Section 1031 treatment, any capital gains taxes that would normally be due on the gain are deferred. Among the many rules for entering into a Section 1031 Exchange is that you use a “Qualified Intermediary” to facilitate the exchange.

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Can I Fire My Real Estate Agent?

Whether you are in the market to purchase or sell real estate the assistance of an experienced and knowledgeable real estate agent can be invaluable. Unfortunately, if you end up with the wrong agent it can make your buying or selling experience a colossal failure. Worse still, it could end up costing you money instead of saving you money in the long run. If you are currently working with a real estate agent and you realize he/she is not the right agent for you and your needs you may be wondering “Can I fire my real estate agent?”

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How Does a Short Sale Work?

To understand the short-sale process you first need to understand how a mortgage loan works and a little bit about the real estate market. Most people cannot afford to pay cash for the purchase of a home. To finance the purchase of a home most people take out a mortgage loan and then make monthly mortgage payments for 15-30 (typically) years until the loan is paid off. At any time during the life of the loan a borrower may sell the home and pay off the mortgage with the proceeds from the sale. Of course, that assumes that the proceeds from the sale will be sufficient to pay off the balance owed on the loan. If the real estate market takes a drastic turn for the worse, as often happens during a recession, that assumption could be wrong.

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What Is the Role of a Civil Engineer?

Anytime a new building or structure, whether commercial or residential, is constructed, a number of different steps must be taken during the process. It takes a team of professionals to take a building from conception to construction. A civil engineer is usually among those professionals. Whether you are planning to build a multi-million dollar commercial office park, or just your dream home, you may need to employ the services of a civil engineer.

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What Is a Guaranteed Maximum Price Construction Contract?

Whether you are planning to build your dream home or a multi-unit commercial complex, the entire project is based on a construction contract. For both the owner and the contractor, the cost of the project is important; however, it is not only the final cost that matters, but how that cost is arrived at as well that is important. In the construction industry, there are several different types of commonly-used pricing structures, including a “guaranteed maximum price” construction contract.

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What is a Tenants in Common Agreement?

When real estate is purchased, there are different ownership structures by which the owners may take title. One option is to take title as tenants in common. Tenancy in common means that two or more people own a property concurrently and the co-owners have a simultaneous right to possession.  Each of the co-owners has an individual, undivided interest in the property that is owned as tenants in common, so each can transfer his or her own ownership interest.

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What Is a Payment and Performance Bond?

In the construction industry there is virtually an endless number of things that can go wrong. There are also numerous opportunities for disagreements between the various parties involved in a construction project. Executing written contracts is one way to reduce the likelihood of problems or disagreements. Requiring different types of bonds is another. In fact it is very common to require a general contractor to take out a payment and performance bond before beginning a construction project.

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What Is a Variance and How Do I Apply for One?

When it comes to developing or improving real property, zoning regulations are everything. Before you purchase a piece of property, and certainly before you start designing plans for the property, it is imperative that you know how the property is zoned and you understand the restrictions that apply to how the property is zoned. If the current zoning will not allow you to develop or improve the property in the manner in which you wish, a variance might be the answer.

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How Do I Get My Property Re-Zoned in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania?

Local zoning regulations determine how a piece of real estate may be used. Real estate is typically broadly categorized into several different types of zoning, including agricultural, industrial, commercial, and residential. Within those categories, all property is further sub-divided according to the allowable uses for the property. A property owner must conform to the zoning restrictions for the property.

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How Do I Subdivide My Property in Pennsylvania?

When you subdivide property, it basically means you take a parcel of land and turn it into two or more tracts of land. Typically, subdividing is done by a developer who plans to build a “subdivision” on the land. Although this sounds simple enough, it can be a complicated process because of the legalities involved. You cannot simply decide to split your land into numerous legal parcels of land. In Pennsylvania, subdividing land requires you to legally separate the land.

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What Are the Processes Required to Develop Land in Pennsylvania?

If you have a decent sized plot of land you may have a goldmine and not even realize it. Raw land is frequently far more valuable than people realize if the location is right and the land I suitable for development. If you are considering developing the land you own your first inquiry will likely be “What are the processes required to develop land in Pennsylvania?”  Exactly which processes or steps are required to develop the land you have will, to some extent, depend on whether you plan to develop the land for personal use or subdivide the land.

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What Is the Role of an Architect?

Whether you plan to add on to your existing home, build your dream home, or develop a commercial complex, you will likely need to consult with an architect before your project actually gets off the ground. Unless you have worked with one before, however, you may not really understand what the role of an architect is.  Think of an architect as the artist and a building or home the canvas. An architect’s role is to work on a project from concept to design.

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