Seattle Real Estate Lawyers


Seattle real estate lawyers and attorneys are the men and women lawyers of Seattle who handle the real estate transactions in and around the greater Seattle, Washington area.

A “Seattle real estate lawyer” is the same thing as a “Seattle real estate attorney”. There is no difference between “lawyer” and “attorney” and this context.

In most residential purchase situations the real estate lawyers and attorneys get involved after the brokers or agents are done with the parties and an earnest money agreement has been agreed to and signed. Usually the broker or brokers help put together the contract, but a person can certainly get the help of a lawyer or attorney at this stage if they want to.

Both the buyer and the seller usually get their own lawyer or attorney and the transaction goes ahead from there.

If the buyer is getting a new mortgage then the buyers lawyer or attorney will often take care of that on behalf of the bank or other lender as well.

In mortgage refinancing situations the mortgage lawyer or attorney sometimes acts for both the borrower and the lender. This happens as well with second mortgages or lines of credit secured by mortgages.

Special caution needs to be taken in situations involving situations where there is no broker or where there might be only one broker involved.  

The main job of the buyer’s lawyer in most situations is to make sure that the buyer gets their name on the property.  The main job of the seller’s lawyer in most situations is to make sure that the seller gets their money.  The bank, if there is one, will often use the buyer’s lawyer as well and the main job on behalf of the bank is for the lawyer in most situations is to make sure that the bank’s mortgage or other security documentation gets properly registered against the property.

Seattle real estate lawyers do much more than the “standard” purchase described above. They must have a deep and really varied knowledge of the law and of how to apply it to various situations.  They must be familiar with both federal and state laws.

Special care must be taken if there are rental tenants in a property that is being either bought or sold. They have rights that can carry over to the new owner. You need to discuss this with your lawyer or attorney.

A Seattle escrow and title insurance company is typically used by the buyer to investigate whether the title is marketable. Title insurance companies also insure the buyer against losses caused by the title being invalid.

Here are just a few of the areas that most Seattle real estate lawyers and attorneys will have experience in. Keep in mind that the best Seattle real estate lawyers and attorneys probably have a broad background but do most of their work in particular field.

Residential Real Estate

Seattle real estate lawyers are involved in practically every single purchase, sale and refinancing of residential real estate in Seattle. This includes both residential house and condominium sales.

The lawyers often get involved in negotiating all kinds of things and holding deals together. The realtors don’t always do a perfect job of putting an offer together. Dower issues arise.  Purchase money issues arise.  Property tax matters need to be adjusted so each party only pays their share and not more. Title, survey and boundary issues come up. The real estate lawyer or attorney must be familiar with all areas of residential real estate contract law including contract, specific performance, non-disclosure, fraud, misrepresentation and more. When financing is being obtained the purchaser’s lawyer or attorney will sometimes act for the bank or lender as well. These mortgage lawyers are responsible for making sure the mortgage gets properly signed and registered. It takes a great deal of coordination and communication among all the parties to close the deal.

Commercial Real Estate

Seattle real estate lawyers and attorneys are involved at some stage in every purchase and sale of commercial real estate. This includes land and buildings whether they be corner stores, shopping centre’s or high rise office buildings. Commercial real estate law involves commercial purchases, commercial sales, real estate investment opportunities, construction, development issues including, land use planning, zoning issues, farm purchases, farm sales, leasing, landlord and tenant matters, financing, refinancing, mortgages, second mortgages, foreclosures and everything that goes along with these situations. If there are changes in “the market” before the deal closes then it can really complicate things. One party or the other may suddenly want out. The legal matters that come up in commercial real estate situations can be extremely complex.

Construction Real Estate

Behind every construction project in Seattle there is a real estate lawyer or attorney. These projects might be developing residential real estate or they might be constructing commercial properties. These construction real estate lawyer’s deal with owners, lenders, contractors, municipal officials, land titles offices, utility providers, builder’s liens, mortgages, mortgage advances, construction defects and claims, construction accident claims, progress payments, warranties and all of the situations that go along with these. Construction real estate lawyer’s negotiate mortgages, re-financing’s, purchase and sale agreements, commercial leases (i.e. office, medical, dental, restaurant, industrial property, or shopping center leases) and more. As with any real estate deal, if the market changes before the deal is concluded (i.e. before the project is complete and money has changed hands) it can really get interesting as one party or the other may suddenly want to get out of the deal. Being a construction real estate lawyer or attorney is a high pressure, fast paced and demanding profession.

Real Estate Law Related Legislation Applicable To Seattle, Washington

Here is a partial list of legislation that applies to the real estate law area in Washington. Any Seattle law firm that practices real estate law will be familiar with these as appropriate.

Title 59 Landlord and Tenant 
59.04 Tenancies.
59.20 Manufactured/Mobile Home Landlord-Tenant Act.

Title 61 Mortgages, deeds of trust, and real estate contracts 
61.10 Mortgage insurance. 
61.12 Foreclosure of real estate mortgages and personal property liens. 
61.16 Assignment and satisfaction of real estate and chattel mortgages. 
61.24 Deeds of trust. 
61.30 Real estate contract forfeitures. 
61.34 Distressed property conveyances.

Title 64 Real property and conveyances 
64.04 Conveyances. 
64.06 Real property transfers — Sellers’ disclosures. 
64.08 Acknowledgments. 
64.12 Waste and trespass. 
64.16 Alien land law. 
64.20 Alienation of land by Indians. 
64.28 Joint tenancies. 
64.32 Horizontal property regimes act (Condominiums). 
64.34 Condominium act. 
64.35 Condominiums — Qualified warranties. 
64.36 Timeshare regulation. 
64.38 Homeowners’ associations. 
64.40 Property rights — Damages from governmental actions. 
64.44 Contaminated properties. 
64.50 Construction defect claims. 
64.55 Construction defect disputes–Multiunit residential buildings. 
64.70 Uniform environmental covenants act.

Copies of all Washington laws can be accessed through the official Laws of Washington website. Your Seattle real estate lawyer or attorney will help you interpret these. In addition to statute law, the “common law” places a large role in the real estate law area and your real estate lawyer or attorney will have knowledge in this area as well.

Real Estate Law Publications Available From The State of Washington Law Library

Here is a partial list of some Washington real estate law and practice materials that are available from the State of Washington Law Library.

  • Real Estate Transactions by Tax-Exempt Entities, by Bradley T. Borden.
  • Commercial Real Estate Leases: Preparation, Negotiation, and Forms, by Mark A. Senn.
  • Modern Real Estate Practice Forms and Commentary, by Alvin L. Arnold & Myron Kove.
  • Current Issues in Commercial Real Estate Leases in Washington, by Mark J. Asplund.

City of Seattle

The City of Seattle, Washington is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest. It contains a major port, a major airport and is a transportation hub. Some 3.4 million people live in the Seattle metropolitan area. It is the home of numerous coffee companies, including Starbucks and since 1979 has been the central location of the Microsoft Corporation.

The City of Seattle website is a very good, advanced municipal website that is divided up into a number of sections. The site contains an effective search feature. If you are looking for Seattle bylaws, a search for these will bring you over 300 results, reasonably divided up into sections. The Seattle Law Departement page boasts that there are some 90 lawyers employed in the legal department, making it one of the bigger firms in Washington.

If you search the site for “lawyer” or “attorney” you will get hundreds of responses, but none of them are really useful in helping one find a Seattle real estate lawyer or attorney.

Our service is much more effective. If you are looking for a Seattle real estate lawyer or attorney, we can help you. Try our service today!

Seattle real estate lawyers – like all lawyers in Washington – must be members of the Washington State Bar Association and are regulated by that Association. Membership in the Bar Association is mandatory. They have to be registered here. This includes every Seattle real estate lawyer. No lawyer or attorney can practice if they are not registered with the Bar Association.

Many Seattle lawyers and attorneys are also members of the Real Property Law section and possibly the Environmental and Land Use Law section of the Washington Bar Association as well. These are not compulsory but are very common. Being a part of these groups is a good way for Seattle lawyers and attorneys to stay up to date on the latest real estate law happenings.

The Washington State Bar Association does not operate a lawyer referral service. However some of the county law bar associations do offer lawyer referral services.

It is important, in considering who your Seattle real estate lawyer is going to be, that you select one that is practical, experienced and knowledgeable of exactly how things work in Seattle.

We are that counsel.  We are that law firm.  We are your Seattle Real Estate Lawyer referral company. We will help you.

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