3 Most Common Real Estate Issues in North Dakota
Real estate is a complicated area of law that is fraught with potential legal risks. Sellers are required to disclose certain issues before they can sell their properties to prospective buyers. Foreclosures are a complex process that may trap an unwary homeowner. Here are a few issues involving real estate law in North Dakota that you should discuss with an attorney before buying or selling a property:
Property Disclosures in North Dakota
Sellers should err on the side of disclosure. Many states require that the seller conduct an inspection of the home and disclose what was discovered. A seller’s failure to disclose certain information may be grounds for a lawsuit. Such information may include, but are not limited to easements, eminent domain actions, foundation problems, or foreclosures. A seller should conduct his or her due diligence and disclose defects where appropriate.
North Dakota is rather unique in that it is one of only 12 states that do not require the sales price to be disclosed to the public or available in the public record.
Property Titles in North Dakota
Home buyers may perform a title search to ensure they are paying the correct proper owner. A title search shows the history of the ownership as well as any debts, liens, mortgages, court records, or foreclosures that may have transpired. A title search can reveal the chain of ownership for the property, any debts associated with it, easements, and any other potential legal issues with it.
However, a title search is not infallible. A title search can find any legal disputes involving the property such as a probate dispute between the heirs, but it cannot detect forgery or other documentary issues.
Foreclosures in North Dakota
A mortgage acts as a lien on a property. If the borrower does not repay their loan, the lender can force them to repay it by selling the property. The mortgage document itself guarantees that a financial institution will get their money back, even if the borrower is not making the repayments.
Once a borrower has failed to repay their mortgage, the lender may begin the foreclosure process. The lender takes possession of the property because the borrower has defaulted on their mortgage payments. Once the foreclosure process is complete, the lender can sell the property at a public auction so they may use the proceeds to recover their losses. If the sale of the property or home does not equal the amount that the lender is owed, the borrower may be required to make up the difference in a deficiency judgment.
Do I Need to Hire a Real Estate Law Attorney in North Dakota?
If you are purchasing or selling a home in North Dakota, it is important to have an attorney’s help ensuring that all requirements are met and all documentation is clear and accurate. Having a lawyer help at the outset will prevent future unnecessary disputes. It is essential to have the assistance of a skilled North Dakota real estate lawyer with any real estate issues you may have especially if it involves a complex transaction.