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Common Real Estate Law FAQs: Unraveling Your Concerns

Embarking on a real estate transaction can be exciting and overwhelming, with numerous legal questions and concerns arising for individuals and businesses alike. In this blog post, we address some of the most frequently asked questions about real estate law in North and South Carolina, providing clarity and insights to guide you through the intricacies of property transactions.

From property title issues and contract disputes to legal compliance and financial implications, having access to expert knowledge is essential in real estate. Understanding the fundamentals behind these common questions will help smoothen your real estate journey and assist you in making informed decisions. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer, an investor, or a business owner engaging in real estate transactions, our goal is to dispel your concerns and empower you with the confidence to navigate any legal matters at hand. Equip yourself with essential real estate knowledge and let Steltzner Law Firm, LLC be your guiding light through the legal complexities of North and South Carolina’s booming property market.

How Are Property Titles and Ownership Verified in Real Estate Transactions?

Title verification is a crucial step in a real estate transaction as it ensures the seller has the legal right to transfer ownership of the property to the buyer. To verify property titles and ownership, buyers should conduct a title search, which typically involves reviewing land records available at the county office where the property is located. This search helps identify the property’s ownership history, any recorded liens or encumbrances, property boundaries, and potential disputes.

It is strongly recommended to engage the services of a title company or a real estate attorney to perform a comprehensive title search and resolve any potential issues before closing the transaction. In addition, obtaining title insurance is crucial to protect against undiscovered title defects or liens, potentially saving the buyer from significant financial losses.

How Can Contract Disputes Be Resolved in Real Estate Transactions?

Contract disputes are a common concern in real estate transactions and may stem from various sources, such as misunderstandings about property or contract terms, undisclosed defects, or disagreements over earnest money.

To resolve contract disputes, the parties may resort to several methods, including:

  1. Negotiation: Both parties can engage in direct discussions in an attempt to reach a mutually acceptable solution.
  2. Mediation: A neutral third party (mediator) assists both parties in resolving their dispute, working collaboratively to find an agreement that satisfies all parties involved.
  3. Arbitration: An impartial expert (arbitrator) listens to each party’s case and makes a decision, which may be binding or non-binding depending on the terms agreed upon.
  4. Litigation: Involving the court system, litigation is typically the last resort when all other methods have been exhausted. A judge or jury will make a decision based on the facts and the law, with the ruling being legally binding.

Engaging a knowledgeable real estate attorney to review contracts and advise on potential disputes can help prevent misunderstandings and address concerns before they escalate into major issues.

What are the Key Legal Compliance Factors to Consider in Real Estate Transactions?

Legal compliance in real estate transactions ensures that the involved parties adhere to federal, state, and local regulations governing the sale, purchase, and use of property. Some common legal compliance factors to consider include:

  1. Zoning Laws: Governing the permitted use of land and buildings, zoning laws dictate property usage, such as residential, commercial, industrial, or agricultural. Adhering to local zoning restrictions is crucial to avoid penalties, legal disputes, and potential property devaluation.
  2. Building Codes: Ensuring that buildings and structures adhere to safety, health, and construction standards prescribed by local authorities, building codes cover aspects such as foundations, electrical systems, plumbing, and fire safety.
  3. Environmental Regulations: Federal environmental laws like the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Clean Water Act protect our environment by regulating land use and imposing cleanup liability for contamination. Non-compliance can result in substantial fines, legal penalties, and reputational damage.
  4. Fair Housing Laws: Governed by the Fair Housing Act, housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability is prohibited. Compliance with fair housing laws is crucial for property owners, landlords, and real estate agents to avoid legal issues and penalties.

How Is Closing Cost Determined in Real Estate Transactions?

Closing costs refer to the fees and expenses incurred by both the buyer and seller during the process of transferring property ownership. Although the specific closing costs can vary depending on the location, terms of the transaction, and property type, some common components include:

  1. Lending Fees: Buyers may incur fees related to their mortgage loan, such as origination fees, underwriting fees, processing fees, and mortgage points.
  2. Title Fees: Associated with title searches, insurance, and settlement services, these fees are generally divided between the buyer and seller.
  3. Government Recording and Transfer Fees: Recording fees are charged by the government for documenting the sale of the property in public records, while transfer fees or taxes may apply to the transfer of property ownership.
  4. Property-Related Fees: Appraisals, inspections, and surveys may be required during the transaction process, with their costs being the responsibility of either the buyer or seller, depending on their agreement.
  5. Escrow and Prepaid Expenses: Buyers may be required to prepay property taxes, homeowners’ insurance, and other expenses, which are usually placed into an escrow account.

Closing costs typically range from 2% to 5% of the property’s purchase price. It is essential for both buyers and sellers to review their closing documents and consult with a real estate attorney to understand their respective responsibilities and potential liabilities before completing the transaction.


Understanding the complex landscape of real estate law is critical to ensuring successful property transactions in North and South Carolina. By addressing common concerns related to property titles, contract disputes, legal compliance, and closing costs, you can make informed decisions, avoid potential pitfalls, and safeguard your real estate investments.

At the Steltzner Law Firm, LLC, we pride ourselves on providing exceptional legal services catered to the nuanced needs of our clients. Specializing in real estate law in Rock Hill, SC, our experienced attorneys are here to guide you through every step of your property journey, offering personalized counsel and unparalleled expertise to navigate the complexities of real estate transactions.

Don’t leave your real estate transaction to chance. Empower yourself with the knowledge, support, and assistance of the Steltzner Law Firm, LLC. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive range of real estate legal services, from title verification and contract review to dispute resolution and closing assistance. Together, we will secure your dream property and pave the way for a seamless, successful real estate experience in North and South Carolina.