Bakersfield Real Estate Lawyer Robert Brumfield
Real Estate Law in Kern & Mono Counties
An important part of our practice involves commercial and residential real estate. Both purchasers and sellers of real estate need experienced legal counsel to make clear and binding agreements. Unfortunately, sometimes disputes arise in real estate transactions. There are dispute resolution techniques short of litigation to resolve them. Robert H. Brumfield is a real estate attorney with offices in Bakersfield & Mammoth Lakes who’s well versed in alternative dispute resolution but well equipped to represent clients in court should that prove necessary.
Robert Brumfield is the principal of the Law Offices of Robert H. Brumfield, P.C. and has been practicing law since 1984. Mr. Brumfield is dedicated to resolving disputes out of court when possible. He is a certified mediator and holds membership in the Southern California Mediation Association, the California Dispute Resolution Center and the Association of Conflict Resolution. He is also familiar with the courtroom as a member of the State Bar of California and of the bars of all of California’s federal courts.
Commercial & Residential Real Estate Agreements Attorney
By law, agreements to purchase or sell real estate must be in writing. Although the California Association of Realtors has created standard forms for residential real estate transactions, you should consider having an attorney review them before use, especially if there are unusual provisions. Commercial real estate agreements are much more sophisticated than those for residences. It is best to have an attorney draft or review them.
Construction contracts are also complex. The American Institute of Architects publishes a number of construction contracts and forms. Again, an attorney should review a construction contract, especially for contractor draw and bond requirements as some contractors and subcontractors are unscrupulous in their dealings.
There is yet another source of forms available for use, but you should not use them. Any Google search for purchase and sale agreements or construction contracts will produce a list of websites that will allow you to build your own. Remember, before thinking about using such a contract how much money is riding on your real estate transaction.
Easements Across Commercial & Residential Real Estate
Whether you are purchasing or selling commercial or residential real estate, or planning construction, one of the documents you may receive is called a survey. The survey is prepared by an expert land surveyor whose job it is to set out the exact location and dimensions of the property. One of the things that a survey will show is whether there is an easement on the property.
An easement is a property right that allows a person who does not own the real estate to travel across it or, in the case of utility companies, to install a sewer or electrical line. Easements usually are granted in writing by the property owner or imposed on a property owner by a governmental entity. At times, easements can exist by long-time usage rather than through a written document. In cases such as that, the existence or not of an easement can lead to a real property dispute.
Real Property Disputes
If a dispute arises concerning commercial or residential real estate, there are other ways to try resolving it short of going to court. One way, and the best way to start, is to agree to mediation. The parties to mediation select an impartial, professional mediator. The parties separately tell their side of the dispute to the mediator who then shuttles back and forth between the parties to try to come to a compromise. Mediation is far less expensive than litigation. If successful, it is binding if it meets certain requirements.
If mediation is not successful, in whole or in part, the parties can agree to arbitration instead. Arbitration is much less formal, and therefore less expensive, than going to court. The parties agree to a neutral person who often is a member of the American Arbitration Association. The parties then present their cases to the arbitrator. The arbitrator makes a decision that is normally final and enforceable in court.
Commercial & Residential Real Estate Litigation
If alternative dispute resolution techniques are unsuccessful, and the parties cannot work out their differences, then one party or the other may decide to sue. This type of litigation requires the formal filing of a complaint with the court, after which documents are exchanged and sworn statements are taken from the parties and others. At some point, when the court’s schedule permits, the parties attend court to settle their dispute.
From negotiating and finalizing a contract, to attending court if necessary to protect his clients, Mr. Brumfield can assist you with your commercial and residential real estate needs. Please feel free to contact him at (661) 416-3753 or through our website contact form here.