Palo Alto, CA Real Estate Lawyers & Attorneys

About Palo Alto Real Estate Lawyers

Palo Alto has become one of the most sought-after communities in the Bay Area, skyrocketing real estate prices over the past few years. In fact, the median price of a Palo Alto property with under 1,000-square-feet of living space hit $1.7 million in 2014, and these prices have continued to climb ever since. As the real estate market in the Bay Area has grown, the need for qualified Palo Alto real estate lawyers has also increased. Every real estate transaction is fraught with possible legal pitfalls, which have an even greater impact when the sums of money involved are so high.  Regardless of your real estate needs--buying and selling property, handling leasing issues as the lessee or lessor, subleasing property or handling a challenging situation with a landlord or tenant, Priori's on-demand, vetted marketplace of the best Palo Alto real estate lawyers will help you navigate every question–big or small.

Palo Alto Real Estate Law 

Real estate law encompasses a wide range of issues, including everything from landlord-tenant relationships to real estate sales to real estate investment. In Palo Alto, the ever-changing market conditions make understanding all the state, local, and federal real estate laws that may apply to you even more important. Consulting with a Palo Alto real estate lawyer is the best way to ensure you are prepared for any legal issues that may come up.

Clearing Titles and Easements in California

Before you close any real estate sale in Silicon Valley, it’s important to clear the property’s title. Clearing the title ensures a marketable title, free of liens, encroachments, and encumbrances. While most property deals require a fully clear title, some will have minor clouds or defects, such as an easement. Easements are property interests granted to another party that gives them permission or restrictions to use the land for a certain purpose, such as ensuring access roads through a property or prohibiting additional stories on a building. Understanding these easements is a vital part of any title-clearing process in California.

Leases and Rental Agreements

The current real estate market in Palo Alto has similarly affected the renters market. Leases and rental agreements are always a tricky area of real estate law, but now that the city has put in place regulations to prevent abusive rents and practices, these agreements must be drafted even more carefully. A local real estate attorney can help you ensure that you have defined the relationship beneficially without stepping across any legal lines. While it may seem easier to simply print out a standard lease or rental agreement found on the internet, this can cause problems later, especially if you have a landlord-tenant conflict.

California Documentary Transfer Tax

California real estate transfer taxes are relatively low, but property in Palo Alto is subject to much higher transfer taxes since both Santa Clara County and the city of Palo Alto have their own local transfer taxes. In addition, these payments will all be part of the public record. In California, the documentary transfer tax used to be possible to shield from public view. In 2015, this part of the California Documentary Transfer Tax Act was repealed, which means that you must now make the purchase price of any property public knowledge. In Palo Alto, this can be a large sum.

California Bureau of Real Estate

Under Title 10 of the California Code of Regulations, the California Bureau of Real Estate (CalBRE) has the authority to enforce real estate regulations in the Bay Area and across the state. CalBRE also licenses all real estate agents and brokers authorized to participate in real estate transactions in California. If you are involved in real estate sales, you must be careful to comply with all CalBRE regulations, especially licensing laws. Many real estate investment companies need licensed employees, even if their roles do not fit the traditional definition of an agent or broker. A California real estate lawyer can help you better understand which regulations apply to you.

When a Palo Alto Real Estate Lawyer Is Needed for a Real Estate Contract

While legally you may not be required to hire a real estate lawyer to purchase property for yourself or your company, a Palo Alto real estate attorney can make the process result in a more favorable outcome for your needs. Despite the fact that real estate contracts are fairly standardized, the recent jump in prices in the Palo Alto real estate market has led to many of these agreements being hastily drafted. Many of these contracts may contain language that can lead to unexpected, undesirable legal outcomes. 

If you are considering buying or selling real estate in Palo Alto, the stakes are now too high to risk a real estate transaction going south. You need to be sure that you have a trustworthy and experienced Palo Alto real estate lawyer looking out for all the laws that may affect your real estate contract, whether you are negotiating a purchase agreement, a lease or sublease, or even just a favorable outcome related to a landlord-tenant conflict. 

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