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Real Estate Law Resources

Real estate is one of the oldest areas of law. Consequently, real property law covers some of the most complicated legal issues. Anyone who has had to deal with a legal real estate issue knows that it's challenging to sort through:

  • Legal contracts and paperwork, such as purchase agreements or loan contracts
  • Commercial real estate agreements, including commercial leases
  • Residential disclosures, such as those used for foreclosure proceedings or home buyers
  • Zoning ordinances, bylaws, easements, and other land use laws affecting property rights
  • Complex documents, like deeds required by your mortgage lender and your town clerk

Each state has its own real estate laws. That means you'll need to narrow your real estate research to the jurisdiction in which you're doing business. This legal research section has links to point you in the right direction when selecting a suitable legal professional. Use the legal resources below to help guide you through real estate transactions or point you toward information specific to your state.

Findlaw's Real Estate Law Resources

  • Real Estate Law. Our real estate law overview covers home purchases and sales to homeownership, mortgage loans, and more. There are links to information about neighbor disputes, construction issues, land use laws, and foreclosures.
  • Defenses to Eviction. Landlords cannot evict tenants just because they want to evict them. They also cannot use what's known as self-help, such as changing the locks, to accomplish an eviction. They need a reason and a court order. This article can help you avoid eviction.
  • Security Deposit Return Timelines. State laws regulate security deposits. These laws can cover the amount of the security deposit and a timeline to return the deposit at the end of the lease term after the renter or tenant moves out. If you are trying to get your security deposit back, this article can help.
  • Property Taxes and DeductionsProperty taxes fluctuate greatly from town to town, and payment policies vary from lender to lender. Given this variation, potential home buyers should carefully consider property taxes as an additional, ongoing expense of home ownership. This article includes tips on using your home as a tax shelter, in-depth information on property taxes, and helpful resources from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  • Avoiding ForeclosureThis article includes tips on how to avoid foreclosure, including ways to reduce your mortgage and get help with housing and credit counseling.
  • Using a Real Estate Attorney. Before hiring a lawyer, you must consider where they can help your case. For example, when buying a home for the first time, you might find confusing paperwork related to the sale and the mortgage. This page helps you understand how a lawyer fits into the picture.
  • Other Legal Help and Resources on Findlaw. If you still haven't found what you need, consider this subsection for more real estate law resources links.

External Legal Education Resources

For more information in the practice area of real estate, consider other reputable websites. Some helpful starting points include the American Bar Association's:

You can also use the following professional development resources to get more information:

  • Your state's real estate department, bureau, commission, or board of real estate. (The name usually varies between states — for example, New York has the NYS Board of Real Estate.)
  • Your local library, including law school libraries open to the public
  • The National Association of Realtors. America's largest real estate trade association

Findlaw's Listings on Real Estate Lawyers

No resource is as valuable or effective as the legal advice of a trained legal expert. An experienced real estate lawyer knows how to handle complex real property issues.

Real Estate Law Resources

Real Estate Law Resources

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