Real Estate Law

For most people, their investment in their home will be one of their biggest assets.

Unfortunately, many enter into contracts for the sale or purchase of real estate without consulting an attorney.

A thorough examination and understanding of the contract, deed, note and mortgage prior to signing is essential in preventing long-term problems.

Real Estate Q & As
Do I need a survey if I am buying real estate in Arkansas?

A survey is always preferable; however, most property in Arkansas is sold and bought without surveys. You need to make sure that you and your neighbors agree on where the boundaries are before you buy the property. Even this agreement may not be adequate if there is a problem with the legal description.

 When does a fence line become a property line?

When the parties agree or when the fence has been there for more than seven years unless the parties on each side of the fence have agreed that the fence is not the property line.

Which is better, a warranty deed or a quitclaim deed?

A warranty deed is always preferable!

What is the difference between a warranty deed and a quitclaim deed?

The grantor in a warranty deed warrants that the grantor has good and merchantable title to the property, while the grantor in a quitclaim deed conveys only the interest which the grantor has in the property, if any.

Is there a difference between a mortgage and a deed of trust?

These two documents do basically the same thing -- secure a promissory note with real property. You are required to sign either a mortgage or a deed of trust when you borrow money in order to buy real estate. The deed of trust names a third party to hold title until the promissory note is paid in full. The mortgage is more commonly used in Arkansas than the deed of trust.

Do I need a lawyer at closing?

Real estate transactions can be tricky and usually involve signing numerous legal documents. Without a lawyer, you are on your own to either read all of these documents or sign them after someone who is not necessarily representing your interest tells you what these documents mean. It is advisable to have a lawyer with you at closing.

What about adverse possession in Arkansas?

Arkansas has a very short adverse possession statute. If a person claims property adversely for seven (7) or more years, he can petition a court to declare him the owner of the property. Adverse possession requires that a person have continuous, exclusive, adverse and notorius possession of the property for seven (7) years or longer and pay taxes on the property.

Do I need a written contract with my builder if I am building a house on my property?

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