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Real Estate Law Made Simple: An Interview with Timothy Klisz of Klisz Law Office, PLLC

By Tim Klisz

Tell us a little bit about your experience, firm's history and the areas of law that you practice.

I have been practicing Real Estate Law for my whole career of 18 plus years and have been a solo attorney here in Livonia since 2007. I also practice in personal injury, collections, criminal law and probate.

What types of residential transactions does your firm typically handle?

Mainly For Sale By Owner deals where there are no realtors involved or for the seller if they are selling by owner. Also lots of new construction and other residential buys and sells.

What are some reasons that people buying a home would want to consult with a lawyer?

You are making probably the biggest purchase of your life and it's a binding legal contract. Preventative advice is huge because once the purchase agreement is signed, you are stuck with its terms. I also draft the purchase agreements when at all possible to benefit either my buyer or seller client.

Can you briefly explain the process of working with a lawyer to purchase residential property?

From the very beginning, with or without a Realtor, it is important to have the purchase agreement drafted by the lawyer or at least carefully reviewed. An attorney review clause is best added to the agreement to allow the buyer to get out of a bad deal without risking their earnest money deposit. From there, the title commitment must be examined for any issues and the paperwork from both the title company and the mortgage company needs to be reviewed and understood by the buyer. Finally, there is the closing, which should be very smooth if the buyer and attorney has looked everything over and is comfortable with signing the documents at closing.

Are there any state laws about transferring property ownership that most people aren't aware of but should know?

Two things:
One, a quit claim deed adding or removing owners can be tricky and one must know the proper exemption codes to be a recordable document. Have an attorney draft the recordable deed is a wise investment.
Second, many people don't realize there is a "transfer tax" or sales tax on all real estate transactions. Sellers are often stuck with this cost in a pre-printed purchase agreement, but this is a negotiable term. The tax is $8.60 per thousand dollars of the property value paid when recording the deed.

When it comes to the actual buying process, what is one of the biggest mistakes that you've seen new homeowners make?

Signing a purchase agreement without an attorney review clause, proceeding towards closing, and then bringing in the attorney once things are messed up. Take preventative measures and have things looked at and reviewed from the very beginning.

What's the best way for people to reach you and your firm?

Online at www.kliszlaw.com, emailing tim@kliszlaw.com or by calling (313)402-0853 for a free phone consultation on any legal matter.

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