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Maryland Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Maryland on
Q: In the state of Maryland, if my neighbor is claims adverse possession on piece of my land. Who pays the taxes?
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Sep 13, 2022

You are completely confused about the concept of adverse possession, and your confusion is very likely to deprive you of your property. Get a lawyer!

Adverse possession is a defense. Think: Statute of Limitations. If you've let someone possess your property openly and adversely...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: How do I transfer my deceased grandparent's house into only my name?

My grandparent's left their house to my mother and aunt in their will. A copy of the Deed of Assignment with Reserved Life Estate is on file with the state as the most current deed. My grandparent's name is still on all paperwork coming from the city and state. My mother and aunt want to... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Sep 12, 2022

You do not state who the remainderman is or who has the life estate. The deed will have to be reviewed by a lawyer. The life tenants under the life estate would need to transfer or relinquish their life tenancies and new deed can be issued to the remainderman in fee simple. If that is you, then... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Unpermitted work

Hi. I am a buyer and under a contract to buy home in Montgomery County, MD. Our closing is end of August. I just learnt that the home has unpermitted work. Seller built a bathroom in the basement. Seller signed the Maryland Residential Property Disclaimer Statement. My agent is agreeing but... Read more »

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Aug 9, 2022

You can't get a full and complete answer on this free platform because any lawyer will have to review the documents. I assume you are referring to the standard MAR and perhaps GCAAR forms. In our litigation practice, I have considered the failure to disclose unpermitted work to be both a... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: I own a house with my ex and I’m still on the deed not the loan. I want to be bought out can I legal do that?
Daniel Staeven
Daniel Staeven
answered on Aug 2, 2022

Yes, you can be bought out. Your ex will, likely, have to refinance to come up with the cash to pay you. It is in the settlement of that refinance that you can be removed from the title and a new deed showing your ex's ownership of the property.

Good luck in your future endeavors.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Maryland on
Q: Can a neighbor claim possession of a community beach access pathway to the Chesapeake Bay?

Neighbor 1 has claimed possession of a community beach access pathway to the Chesapeake Bay .A 1923 deed conveyed right of access to the community. This right of access was confirmed in a 1935 court case ruling and also stated in a 1955 deed for the property in question. All subsequent deeds... Read more »

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Jul 24, 2022

You do not disclose whether you are 1, 2, 3 or perhaps an undisclosed 4. An academic response would require any lawyer to review the past title chain, the case law you reference, and perhaps inspect the conditions on the ground. You also mention at least one live lawsuit arising from the facts.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: We were given a buyer-broker agreement the day after we signed a contract to buy a house. Do we have to sign?

A realtor that helped us find a home to buy gave us buyer-broker agreement the day after we signed a contract to buy a house. We now close on home in a week and she is making us sign the buyer-broker agreement. She never told us we would have to sign any agreement with her brokerage prior to making... Read more »

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Jul 23, 2022

You misunderstand the document, and who pays the buyer's agent. Our lawyers are also licensed brokers, so we understand your question. It is the SELLER that pays the entire 6% commission, which is then SPLIT in some way with YOUR buyer's agent. The 2.5% you refer to DOES NOT come out of... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: MD Condo Act 11-125(e): This section's language is based on Investigating "damage" that already exists.

My condo has Noticed all 300 units in our hi-rise that they WILL be coming to "inspect" every unit for leaks and to ensure that we have the required (new rule) water alarms from 11/18-29/22. They are not presuming damage exists in all these units, nor that if damage does exist that it may... Read more »

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Jul 15, 2022

Your questions references the Maryland Statute. You don't reference the condo by-laws and rules that specifically govern your unit/development. This is where you will find your answer, I am certain. There may also be a dispute resolution process in the by-laws or rules. You should also review... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Can I hold our lender liable due to their negligence which caused us to lose earnest money deposit and other fees?

We were under contract to purchase our first home. The lender asked for a second extension on the closing date. The Seller was not happy but agreed under the terms that we would forfeit our earnest money deposit if closing did not happen. Our lender assured all parties involved that he only... Read more »

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Jul 11, 2022

Not likely. In Maryland there is a reported case called "Jacques," (my spelling may be off) which describes the standard of care owed by a lender to its prospective borrower. Whomever you consult should pull this line of cases for discussion.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Hello, I’m under contract for a home and want to back out due to it under appraising

The realtor has informed me that I cannot back out of the contract or I will lose my security deposit. The original appraisal was disputed. The seller is pushing to pay for another appraisal to be done. The realtor has asked the lender to get approval for another appraisal, but at this point I just... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jul 8, 2022

If you have a financing contingency, and your lender refuses to approve the loan based on the appraisal, then you may have a basis to cancel, but it depends on the language of the financing contingency and whether the lender will fund the mortgage for the purchase price under a different... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Good day, This question is for a real estate attorney experienced in chapter 7 post bankruptcy.

I was told by the mortgage company that the mortgage statement was not correct that If I refinance or sell the property that I still live in, That I would only be responsible for the principal balance of $66k.

However, the statement says there is a deferred balance of 189k.

Over... Read more »

Daniel Staeven
Daniel Staeven
answered on Jun 30, 2022

It is clear that the mortgage company representative is melding two issues together to come up with a nonsensical result. The issue here is that while the Chapter 7 discharge absolves you of personal responsibility on the loan the liens remain. So, the deferred balance is part of the lien that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: how do you sue a condominium association in maryland? The president lives out of state.

The condo documents filed in 1982 list a resident agent, but his wife indicates that he has had no contact with the association since 1982 and suffers from dementia.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jun 23, 2022

You can look up the resident agent at SDAT, since it was likely updated when the entity filed annual reports, or you can serve an officer, or you can serve SDAT if there is no resident agent, or you can move the court to grant substitute service. You start by reading the rules of civil procedure.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: My ex put me on his deed in N.C. In 2008. In 2011 did a gift deed my name is still on it unknown to me do I have legal ?

This was all done without my knowledge or even being notified I know as far as nc register of deed has me as a grantee the gift also has my name. I honestly don’t know what to do with this info Any advice

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jun 21, 2022

Consult NC counsel. You probably have substantial rights.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: I have squatters living next door for a year. Their waste water is entering my basement. How can I remove them?

The original owner died and the home was vacant. Can I use the nuisance property ordinance to remove them?

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Jun 15, 2022

Actually a common issue in the City. In past cases, we have sued the owner (in your case, the estate or heirs of the property) for nuisance and injunctive relief. You can also press the City Solicitor's office and Dept. of Housing to press regulatory claims against the owner, or to initiate a... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: How to transfer a deed in puerto rico notarized in Pennsylvania
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jun 12, 2022

You need to consult a Puerto Rican lawyer of title agent. While the notarial seal of another US jurisdiction is likely to be honored, the jurisdiction where the land lies will have transfer rules, filing requirements, and tax protocols to follow.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Are sellers in MD required to disclose cracks in an in ground pool to potential buyers if the home is sold "as is"?

Several large cracks that are leaking were discovered upon trying to open our pool. The Pool was closed and covered during the inspection when we purchased the home. These cracks are very visible. Current repair estimates are $30k plus labor, pool draining and refilling. We would not have purchased... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jun 4, 2022

You need to look carefully at the disclosures and the advertising as well as all other correspondence to look for misrepresentations. There are several categories of cases, but you aren't in the easiest of them. It's not going to be an easy latent defect case if the cracks are very... Read more »

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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