California Real Estate Law Questions & Answers

Q: I live in parents home, pay for upkeep, property taxes, insurance & etc. can my mom sell house?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Jan 27, 2015

Answered on Jan 27, 2015

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

When two people hold a property's title as joint tenants, and one of them passes away, the other joint tenant receives the deceased's title by right of survivorship. If your mother holds title to the house, she is able to sell or otherwise transfer the title. Be sure to consult your own attorney to protect your legal rights.

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Q: My dad quitclaimed property to his wife for a loan and was told by the wife she would put his name back on later

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Jan 19, 2015

Answered on Jan 19, 2015

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

I see some issues with what you describe. First, based on the "statute of frauds," contracts concerning transfer of real estate need to be in writing. Therefore, a verbal promise to transfer the real estate back to your is not legally enforceable. Second, most real estate loans documents provided that the entire balance becomes due and payable upon a transfer of title. Hence,...

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Q: I placed an offer on a condo, got a counter which gave me 48 hrs to respond, can he cancel his counter during the 48 hrs

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Jan 19, 2015

Answered on Jan 19, 2015

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

Yes, an offer can be "rescinded" (i.e., taken back) at any time before it is accepted. I am guessing the seller's counter-offer stated that it will expire if not accepted within the 48 hours. Be sure to consult your own attorney to protect your legal rights.

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Q: CAN I FILE A QUITCLAIM DEED MYSELF? CAN AN ESCROW OFFICER LOOK IT OVER?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Jan 18, 2015

Answered on Jan 19, 2015

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

You need to provide additional information to help clarify your question. Generally, if you have title to a real property, you have the right to sell or transfer your title. Your right to sell or transfer title may be limited by any contractual obligations (e.g., terms of mortgage loan against the property), statutory provisions (e.g., fraudulent transfer laws), etc. There is...

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Q: What happens when two people not related bought a house 27 years ago and one dies ?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Jan 14, 2015

Answered on Jan 14, 2015

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

The answer to your question depends on how the two individuals took title to the property. If the property was held in a "joint tenancy" (e.g., deed conveyed to "________ and _________, as joint tenants") then upon one joint tenant's death, the other joint tenant will receive his/her share by "right of survivorship." On the other hand, if the property was not held in a joint...

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Q: I am planning to get my real estate license in next couple of months.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Dec 23, 2014

Answered on Dec 26, 2014

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

It is not necessary for a buyer or seller to use a real estate broker when they are buying or selling their own real estate. That said, unless you have proper experience in real estate transactions, you should have a good real estate broker or attorney on your side. Be sure to consult your own attorney to protect your legal rights.

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Q: The seller is trying to take back property she included in sale of house. Can she do this?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Dec 24, 2014

Answered on Dec 25, 2014

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

The answer depends on what "items" you are referring to. Real property refers to land and fixtures (i.e., any tangible property permanently attached to land). Personal property refers to movable, tangible items. When you contract to purchase a residential real property, all fixtures are included unless the contract states otherwise. By the same token, the real property...

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Q: If my house was sold and the new owner defaulted on the promisary note, does my house go back on auction?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Nov 18, 2014

Answered on Dec 24, 2014

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

If the new owner does not cure default, the property will likely go through a trustee's sale.

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Q: I have a driveway that is supported by a retaining wall located at my neighbor's backyard. They erected a wooden fence

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Nov 15, 2014

Answered on Dec 24, 2014

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

If your property's boundaries are not clear, you may have to obtain a property survey, so you can determine in whose property the fence is located. Aside from the ownership of the retaining wall, you have the right to lateral and subjacent support. Pursuant to Section 832 of the California Civil Code, your neighbor needs to take reasonable precautions to sustain your land...

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Q: Can I take action against a seller after purchasing for cracked foundation/framing?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Dec 22, 2014

Answered on Dec 23, 2014

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

In California, when a residential property owner sells her/his property and the seller is aware of certain issues, those issues must be disclosed in the Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement pursuant to California Civil Code Section 1102, et. seq. As well, the seller's agent needs to make certain disclosures based on making inquiries and a visual inspection of the property....

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Q: Can a real estate agent list and show a property without all the owners signing the listing agreement?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Nov 10, 2014

Answered on Dec 23, 2014

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

I there is joint ownership of the property, the broker should have consent of all co-tenants to market the property for sale, unless only some of the co-tenants want to have their own interest sold. Be sure to consult your own attorney to protect your legal rights.

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Q: The buyer of land we sold has asked for an extension of two years as he is unable to come up with the balloon payment.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Oct 27, 2014

Answered on Dec 22, 2014

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

You should review your existing agreement and/or promissory note to see if it contains necessary provisions allowing the changes you mention. It would be a good idea to reduce the changes in writing either in form of a new agreement or as an amendment to the existing agreement. Be sure to consult your own attorney to protect your legal rights.

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Q: How is this handled?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Oct 30, 2014

Answered on Dec 22, 2014

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

I am sorry for your loss. We need some additional informational to fully understand the context of your question. Was your mother's estate probated? Am I correct to understand your mother and your step father had no estate plan of any sort (e.g., will or living trust) when each passed away? Had your step father adopted you as his own child? When a person dies with any estate...

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Q: I have been paying taxes for two in a RE partnership for over ten years without their knowledge. can I obtain title.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Oct 29, 2014

Answered on Dec 22, 2014

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

Your question is not very clear, but it seems like you are asking whether you can get the property by adverse possession. It is rather difficult to qualify for adverse possession in California, because California law has more stringent requirements than other jurisdictions. The elements of adverse possession under California law are actual possession of the real property which...

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Q: Can I negotiate a real estate purchase on the behalf of my employer without a real estate license?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Nov 24, 2014

Answered on Dec 21, 2014

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

Generally, you are correct that you would need a California real estate broker's license to negotiate purchase, sale, lease, etc. of property on behalf of someone else. The California Business & Professions Code provides narrow exceptions such as those listed in Section 10133. Since the exceptions are rather narrow and since penalties for violations are severe, you should...

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Q: Do you need a broker's licence if you plan to run a website walking users through the real estate transaction process?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Dec 1, 2014

Answered on Dec 21, 2014

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

If you are posting a general article online, that probably would subject you to the licensing requirements of the California Department of Real Estate or California State Bar, although the information in the article need to be accurate and truthful. However, if you are providing "advice" and intending to "walk users thought the entire real estate process" that likely falls...

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Q: I gave someone a written option to buy property. Two years later they submitted a counteroffer which I rejected.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Nov 11, 2014

Answered on Dec 19, 2014

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

An option to purchase property is a agreement in which a property owner ("optionor") allows the potential buyer ("optionee") a specified amount of time to opt for purchasing the property. So long as the time period has not expired, and so long as the optionee is not otherwise in breach of the option agreement, the optionee may exercise the option. Be sure to consult your own...

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Q: What is the statue of limitations on a mortgage lien in Ca

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Nov 22, 2014

Answered on Dec 19, 2014

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

In California, loans secured by real estate are documented by a promissory note and a deed of trust. The statute of limitations to sue on the promissory note is within 4 years after the date of breach. Cal. Civil Code § 337. The statute of limitations to foreclose on deed of trust is (1) within 10 years of the date of performance of obligation if that date is ascertainable,...

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Q: Are all partners liable for punitive damages for the acts of the managing partner regardless of their lack of knowledge

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Dec 11, 2014

Answered on Dec 18, 2014

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

It is difficult to answer your question without knowing all the facts. If the jury returns verdict for punitive damages against all defendants, and the court enters judgment on that verdict, then the assets of all defendants would be subject to enforcement of judgment. The short answer is that each defendant should retain competent counsel to represent them in the action. Be...

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Q: I've canceled my purchase based on the home inspection, its been 9 days. How long should it take for escrow to get it?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Dec 17, 2014

Answered on Dec 18, 2014

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

If you had a structural inspection contingency in your purchase contract, and you timely and properly informed the seller of adverse inspection results, your earnest money deposit should be released to you. Ask your real estate agent to check on the escrow's expected processing time. Be sure to consult your own attorney to protect your legal rights.

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