Powers & French, P.A. has been assisting individuals, lenders and businesses with real estate and leases for more than 80 years. We assist our clients with all aspects of real estate law and landlord tenant law, including owner financing for residential and commercial transactions. We also provide a full range of services to those who are buying or selling a business, developing their land or creating a subdivision and we also represent our clients in front of planning boards, zoning boards and appeals boards. We also help clients when the deal goes bad, negotiating on behalf of our clients or, if necessary, pursuing litigation and evictions. Our commercial and residential real estate and lease practice includes:
- Purchase & Sale Agreements • Deeds
- Easements • Boundary Disputes
- Rights of Way • Title Searches
- Residential Leases • Commercial Leases
- Landlord Tenant Disputes • Evictions
- First Time Home Buyers • Contract Disputes
- Land Use and Zoning • Subdivision Review
- Road Associations • Condominiums
- Options • Rights of First Refusal
Royall Title Company, our in-house partner, is an authorized closing agent for many local and national lenders, offering full title insurance, closing and settlement services.
Here are some points to bear in mind if you are buying or selling real estate:
- Historically, the doctrine of caveat emptor (“let the buyer beware”) applied to the sale and purchase of real estate. However, in the residential setting, a home owner who is selling a home privately, without the assistance of a broker, must disclose in writing any known defects, whether the home has hazardous materials (e.g. asbestos, lead-based paint, radon), and the condition of the water supply system, insulation, and waste disposal system. The rules are less clear when dealing with commercial real estate – the seller is generally liable if it misrepresent the condition of the property.
- Traditionally, the client of the real estate agency has been the home seller not the homebuyer. In the typical real estate transaction that relationship is created when the seller signs a listing agreement authorizing a real estate agency to sell the client’s property. This listing agreement is a contract whereby the seller promises to pay the agency a specified amount of money for procuring a buyer. Now, however, there is a growing trend where real estate brokers serve as “buyer’s brokers” and brokers can also represent buyers and sellers in the same transaction, subject to certain conditions.
- Real estate agents are prohibited from actions which constitute or demonstrate “bad faith, incompetency, untrustworthiness, or dishonest, fraudulent or improper dealings;” and making any substantial misrepresentations.
- The buyer should always pay particular attention to the following potential pitfalls when buying real estate:
- Structural Integrity And Condition
- Physical Characteristics and land use or zoning regulations
- Water Supply
- Waste Disposal Systems
- Hazardous Materials
If you are leasing residential property, whether it be a home or apartment, Maine statutes set forth many specific rights and obligations concerning unfair evictions, unreasonable discrimination, unsafe housing, unreasonable refusals to return the security deposit, and other abuses during the lease. If there is a condition in the rented apartment, trailer or house which makes it unfit or unsafe to live in, then the landlord may be forced to fix the problem by the court.
If you are buying, selling or leasing real estate, schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys and we will get you on the right track.