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Maryland Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Are capital gains owed on real estate sold by the executor if the sale price exceeds the value on the date of death?

The real estate was solely titled in the name of the decedent and left to two heirs as part of the residuary estate. The executor is selling the house for $380K; the house was valued at $360K on the date of death (stepped-up basis), therefore there will be a capital gain on the sale of $20K, less... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on May 27, 2022

If the PR sells the property, the estate pays the taxes as part of the estate tax retrun. Have an accountant prepare the estate returns.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Real Estate Law and Cannabis & Marijuana Law for Maryland on
Q: My uncle is the executor of my parents will she is refusing to give me my trust and won't contact me

She is the executor of the will saying he will donate and not give to me I really need help and I really need help getting my trust cuz my uncle is trying to keep it from me and I don't know what to do

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on May 8, 2022

There is no reasonable way to evaluate your position without reviewing the trust document to determine the trust instructions and, potentially, formation issues and breaches of fiduciary duties. Schedule a consult with a qualified lawyer.

3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: I have a sales contract for my house. I wrote the contract with the Disclosure for an as-is sale. Buyer rejects

There are multiple initials and signatures missing from the contract, including hers is missing on the page noted above (AS-IS). Post-inspection and appraisal (for a USDA loan), she states that that disclaimer is not part of the contract, and means nothing.

In an addendum, different... Read more »

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on May 3, 2022

Did you treat the contract as "ratified," even with the missing items? Contracts grow and change, from the initial submission to the final document. Missing addenda and signatures may mean items were not agreed upon, or that simple mistakes were made. Your question doesn't allow for... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Construction Law for Maryland on
Q: Maryland subcontractor claims contractor didn't pay what is the statute of limitations for him to file a lawsuit?

I am a contractor in Maryland and a subcontractor says that I owe him for work performed. His invoices date from April 2019 to December 2019. What is the statute of limitations and does it apply to each invoice or does it apply to the last invoice which would include all of them? Thank you

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on May 1, 2022

Generally, the SOL runs from the date of breach of a contract, or from the last date the money became due and remained unpaid. Sometimes, that is harder to nail down in some cases, and may depend on whether the subcontractor's claim is based upon a single contract to provide labor and... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Can the beneficiary get the stepped-up basis if an executor sells the house through the estate?

I am executor and beneficiary to a rental house. I want to sell it to the current tenant. I want to avoid capital gains liability. If I sell the house through the estate now as executor versus waiting for it to be transfered into my name and then sell it, will the estate then be liable for the... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Apr 6, 2022

The estate has a stepped up basis and can sell it and avoid capital gains assuming the net sale proceeds are equal to or less than the date of death value. If instead the estate distributes the house to you and then you sell it, the result is the same. You will get that same stepped up basis.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: I lent a sculpture to a friend about ten years ago and it was on her front lawn all that time. She recently sold the

house and left the sculpture for the new owner. Do I have the right to reclaim my sculpture? I live in Montgomery County MD and that is where the sculpture is too.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Apr 6, 2022

Can you prove it was a loan and not a gift? Is there a claim that you gave up ownership through abandonment of it? Your friend who sold the house in all likelihood did not inform the buyers that the sculpture was not part of the sale and did not convey--in fact, your friend may even have... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: When typing a deed, title, or will, does the text have to be single-spaced or double-spaced?

I'm taking a Real Estate course at college and have been tasked with writing a deed. However, our instructor did not clarify the spacing of the text.

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Apr 1, 2022

It need only be legible. If you research old deeds, they are hand-written, single spaced, in cursive. Recording is charged a flat fee, up to a page limit. Thus, longer documents can be in very small, single-spaced text, to minimize the cost of recording.

Go to the land records, on-line, and...
Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: For a life estate deed, how do I describe the grantees? Ex: A is transferring to B for life of C with remainder to D?
Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann
answered on Apr 1, 2022

The Grantees are persons receiving an interest in property. So if B holds a life estate during C's life (it isn't clear why one would do this), "C" wouldn't be a grantee.

There are a variety of ways one can transfer lifetime interests in property, with a host of...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: My sister & I settled on our mother's home sale in Cumberland, MD in May 2021.

6 weeks ago we learned that the MD taxes haven't been turned in yet nor has the deed been filed. We have contacted our realtor & the Title co. and for 6 weeks no one is providing answers. Who should we contact next ? We are unable to file our taxes until we resolve this matter.

Thanks!!

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Mar 28, 2022

I have noticed that recording offices are way behind in many of my jurisdictions. Long before Covid, it was common for recording to take weeks or months, and recorder staff working remotely for two years has not improved that delay. The next step is to retain a lawyer to investigate whether a... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Real Estate Law, Civil Litigation and Legal Malpractice for Maryland on
Q: I'm a realtor in MD and a client posted a defamatory google review...can I sue for non-economic damages?
Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Mar 28, 2022

I am also a MD broker, and we have had this question from many of our clients, over time. The answer is entirely dependent on what the review says, and the circumstance. But it is extremely unlikely that you would ever recover non-economic damages. Have you exhausted your remedies with Google? Have... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Can I be evicted from my commercial space without a lease in place? How much time am I entitled to have to move out?

I own a salon and never had a written lease and the building has been sold and the new owner and I can't agree on terms for a lease and he told me I need to move out by Sunday March 27, 2022. What are my legal rights and how much time do I have to move out?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 25, 2022

You have few protections in a commercial lease dispute--it is not like residential landlord-tenant law. You admit you have no lease, so I assume you had some sort or oral lease arrangement with the previous owner of the building. The argument would be you were on a month-t0-month lease of your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Tax Lien Auction caused by Settlement Company recording error. Who is liable?

I am the buyer and the Settlement company we hired incorrectly recorded the mailing address for Grantee/Buyer on the Government Intake form.

Due to the address error, important mail and tax bills were undeliverable to the Buyer and returned to sender. I confirmed this with our County... Read more »

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Mar 22, 2022

For a dispute over $3,000, your remedies become as expensive or more expensive than the loss. Absent a negotiated agreement, you must sue: Either for coverage under the policy, or the title company for negligence. You might also pursue a claim against the insurer in the Maryland Ins. Admin. The... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: Encroachment I have a survey with where my property starts and it ends and it ended over my neighbor’s fence

I have pictures and a video showings when the surveyor was doing the work he put a stake in her yard she has now removed the stake twice and will not remove here fence I am mailing her a letter giving her a copy of the survey and asking here to remove here fence within 30 days from the date on... Read more »

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Mar 17, 2022

Good for you, to be proactive! If she doesn't respond you can remove the fence. If you want to avoid a possible confrontation, or escalation of neighbor dispute, you might consider an action for trespass/ejectment in the Circuit Court.

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4 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: My mom died & the mortgage company made me Successor in Interest & says I can sell. Is opening an estate still needed?

The home is located in Baltimore, MD but I reside in SC. Right after her death I did call the probate courts in MD where I was told I didn’t need to open an estate and that’s when the mortgage company named me Successor. All the correspondence is addressed to the estate of my mom C/O myself. I... Read more »

Daniel Staeven
Daniel Staeven
answered on Mar 16, 2022

This question is one of title to the property. It does not matter if the mortgage company names you as a successor in interest for the property. The title deed of the property is what controls this situation. The title company handling the settlement should be able to tell you whether or not you... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: As a Successor in Interest am I obligated to open an estate just to sell a home

The mortgage company says I am able to do whatever I wish with the home but the realtor is unsure if opening an estate is necessary. I never opened one because I was told it was not necessary by the probate court in 2020 after my mom passed away.

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Mar 16, 2022

The mortgage company can't direct your actions. And unless you are named in the deed as a co-owner of a certain type, or a remainderman, you are considered a stranger to title. No title company will pass title without the signature of an "owner," or "personal... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: I co own a property with my ex girlfriend (she's on title with me), however, the loan is in my name. Can I sell

We're seperated

Daniel Staeven
Daniel Staeven
answered on Mar 14, 2022

Simple answer, no. She is on the title to the property she has to sign the deed transferring the property to the new owner.

Good luck in your future endeavors.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Is there a morororium on mortgage companies reporting late payments to credit report in 2022?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 8, 2022

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes temporary credit reporting protections for certain borrowers with federally-backed loans (mortgages backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA, and USDA). If you are current at the time you enter into a forbearance plan... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Can Surveyors Trespass To Do Their Job in Washington dc and Maryland?

What are the Maryland and DC statutes concerning this question?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 18, 2022

The crime of trespass requires either (1) that the property is posted by signage in a conspicuos location against trespass; or (2) the person allegedly trespassing has previously been specifically warned not to come onto the property, either verbally or in writing, but nevertheless entered... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Do I have rights to equity in the house when it is sold ?

Ex wife owned house before we married. I moved in we got married. she lost her job and house was going to go to foreclosure. I put my name on the mortgage an we refinanced. apparently my name was not put on the deed. We got divorced the separation agreement says I get 50% of equity when the house... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Feb 16, 2022

It is impossible to evaluate this without re viewing the Settlement Agreement and the Deed, but the Settlement Agreement probably trumps the Deed if the Agreement is not ambiguous. This could be an example of saving nickels at the cost of dollars by doing a DYI divorce. One thing that likely helps... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Civil Rights for Maryland on
Q: can homeowner association board of directors restrict individual homeowners from talking with the press/journalists

my homeowner's association (hoa) president and the board of directors (bod) act as if ALL issues - specifically, talking with journalists for a possible light-hearted article that's essentially, an expanded real-estate/house-for-sale feature focusing on our community's positive... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 15, 2022

No, the HOA has no legal authority to control or prohibit a homeowner from speaking to the press or anyone else.

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