Real Estate Law

Real estate transactions are governed by a wide body of federal statutes and a combination of state statutes and common law. The requirements established by state law often differ significantly from one state to the next.

The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in real estate transactions on account of race, color, religion, sex,or national origin. See 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3631. Real estate brokers are specifically prohibited from discriminating by the act. See § 3606 of the act.

It is commonly required in real estate contracts that the title to the property sold be marketable. This requires that the seller have proof of title to all the property he or she is selling and that third parties not have undisclosed interests in the title.

A title insurance company or an attorney is often employed by the buyer to investigate whether the title is, indeed, marketable. Title insurance companies also insure the buyer against losses caused by the title being invalid.

In order to pass title, a deed with a proper description of the land must be executed and delivered. Some states require that the deed be officially recorded to establish ownership of the property and/or provide notice of its transfer to subsequent purchasers.



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