Real Estate (OLD)

Bastrop Real Estate Lawyers

Real estate (also known as "real property") is an area of law that most people will experience at some point in their life. Whether you are a first-time home buyer, a real estate investor, or you just want to buy or sell some acreage, Texas real property law applies to you and your real property transaction. Similarly, if you are in a boundary dispute or you are having an issue with an easement, Texas real property law will determine the outcome.

The Bastrop real estate lawyers at the Law Office of Derek R. Van Gilder have assisted hundreds of people in real estate transactions and real estate disputes over the years. 

Texas Real Property Deeds

The heart of every real property transaction is the Deed. There are several types of deeds that are available--including general warranty deed, special warranty deed, gift deed, partition deed, transfer on death deed, executor's deed, and a few others. Under Texas law, a verbal agreement to transfer real property to another person is not enforceable. Texas law also establishes certain requirements in order for a deed to be valid.

We have prepared hundreds of deeds for virtually every type of transaction and circumstance. The cost of having a deed prepared by a licensed Texas real estate lawyer is minimal compared to the attorney fees and court costs that will be incurred if the deed is not properly drafted.

Deed for Cash Sale or Purchase of Real Property; Texas Warranty Deeds

If you are buying or selling real property for cash or by owner-finance, you must have a proper deed in order to complete the transfer of the property.  The minimal cost to have an experienced lawyer prepare the deed for you is well worth it. Many people who are not experienced in real property transactions make the mistake of using a "form deed" from the internet or one of the online services that provide a "fill in the blank" deed for the cost of a barbeque dinner. Those deeds are cheap for a reason.

Note: If your real property transaction is going to close through a title company, they will prepare a deed for the transaction. In order to ensure that the deed they prepare meets your needs and provides you the legal protection you deserve, we recommend that you allow us to review the deed before you close on the transaction.

Contracts to Sell or Purchase Real Property

It's not absolutely required that you have a written contract before selling or buying real property, but it is highly recommended. Under Texas law, a verbal agreement to buy or sell real property is not enforceable. That means the other party can back out any time before the deed is signed, notarized, and delivered to the buyer.

Imagine that you intend to buy some real property and you have a verbal agreement with the Seller. You hire a surveyor to survey the property and/or you pay a home inspector to inspect the house. The Seller can back out and you wasted that money.

On the other hand, imagine you are a Seller with a verbal purchase agreement with a Buyer, who needs time to hire a surveyor, inspector, and/or appraiser. Maybe the Buyer needs a little time to get the purchase funds together or to apply for a mortgage loan. Those processes can take weeks or months--especially in a hot real estate market. The Buyer has your property tied up and you are missing out on other prospective buyers--maybe even a buyer who would offer a higher purchase price, and then your Buyer disappears or just decides not to finalize the transaction.

We prepare earnest money contracts, deeds, promissory notes, deeds of trust, and other legally required documents for your real estate transaction to make the process easy, reliable, and in compliance with Texas law.

Gifting Real Property; Texas Gift Deeds

Do you want to gift a house or acreage to your child or any other person or, maybe, to a nonprofit organization? Texas law allows you to convey the property through a gift deed, rather than a deed for the sale of the property.

We prepare gift deeds that accomplish your intention to convey the real property as a gift and in full compliance with Texas law.

Partition of Texas Real Property; Partition Deeds

If you own only a portion of real property, whether its a house or acreage, Texas law provides that you may have the right to require a partition of the property "in-kind" or by sale. This situation often arises when land is inherited by two or more people or when two or more people purchase real property together. 

It is not necessary that all of the property owners agree to a partition of the real property. Under Texas law, any owner of the property is entitled to demand a partition. If one or more of the other owners is noncooperative, a lawsuit may be filed to obtain a court order for partition of the real property--either in-kind or by sale, whichever is more appropriate under the circumstances. 

A partition in-kind is where the real property is physically divided up among the owners. For example, if two siblings inherited 10 acres of land from their parents, and one of the siblings wants to sell his or her share, a partition in-kind might result in each sibling receiving a specific 5-acre tract under a partition deed. The first sibling can then sell his or her 5-acre tract, and the second sibling can keep the other 5-acre tract. For obvious reasons, a partition in-kind generally is not appropriate when a residence is involved--you cannot divide a house into pieces.

If the real property is primarily a residence, or if the acreage cannot be fairly divided, a partition by sale is the preferred means of partitioning the property. In that instance, the real property will be sold and the funds are then distributed to the owners according to their percentage of ownership.

The Texas real property lawyers at the Law Office of Derek R. Van Gilder have assisted hundreds of people in real property transactions and conveyances. We can advise you about any legal issues related to your transaction and prepare all of the necessary documents to purchase, sell, or transfer real property.