Real Estate

Owning your own home has always been part of that American Dream and is typically a family's most valueable asset.  Because of that, you should know the process, understand how to protect yourself and your investment, and review your options - before you would any investment decision- before signing on the dotted line. Whether that be seeking help in buying or selling your home or having decided to purchase a home with another and needing an agreement that govern your relationship and expectations of all co-owners, Skulborstad Legal Group, LLC can protect you and your investment for typically less than the cost of a realtor. 

 

 

Our Strategy

We’re proud that our law firm offers top-notch legal services for a nationwide affordable pricing! With us you’ll never feel like the lawyers are just robbers in suits, besides, we win 98% of all cases. So with us, your chances of winning are as high as they possibly can be!

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Efficient

Achieving maximum case productivity with limited wasted effort or expense

02
Knowledgeable

Insight, knowledge, and awareness of the law and analysis and strategy within these parameters

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Effective

Anticipating and shaping events, decisively guiding a case to the desired outcome

Real Estate Services

For Sale By Owner (FSBO)

FSBO transactions can be quite profitable for homeowners who choose to sell their property without the help of a real estate agent.  Saving 6-9% is quite enticing.  However, if you’re like most people, your home is one of your most valuable assets and it is important that things are done property while still keeping your proceeds in Your pocket.  A real estate lawyer will draft or review the purchase contract, make suggestions and negotiate its terms, outline your deadlines and obligations, and ensure that all state and federal legal requirements are satisfied.

Buyer and Seller Representation

Navigating a real estate transaction without an attorney’s counsel can be devastating.  Your real estate agent is no more trained in drafting binding contractual terms than a non-attorney.  Additional terms and requirements are often negotiated, yet they are drafted carelessly, later leaving you with an unenforceable agreement. Before making what is likely the most expensive purchase of your life, or selling your most valuable asset, hire an attorney, even for a couple hours.

Opening Probate to Transfer Property

In order to sell property in the name of a decedent, you need to first commence probate proceedings. We can assist you in obtaining the authority to manage the assets of a decedent.  Once authorization is given by the court, we can assist you in transferring the property using what is called a Personal Representative’s deed.

Cohabitation Agreements

A cohabitation agreement is an agreement entered into by cohabitants that sets out their intentions in relation to property and any other assets they own either jointly or individually and what should happen if their relationship breaks down.  Such agreements are primarily used by unwed couples, but they can also be used between friends or other cohabitants. 

In addition to outlining expectations and rights with regard to real and personal property, cohabitation agreements typically make it clear that the parties have no intent to become common law married and make it clear that should they choose to marry, they will have a formal ceremonial marriage.  In the event that parties decide to marry, the agreement can be revised to reflect what the parties wish to happen if the marriage breaks down.  In this instance, the parties may wish to consider a pre-nuptial agreement as an alternative.

Cohabitation agreements can be legally binding and can impact your rights to property, so it is essential to obtain legal advise before preparing an agreement.

 

 

Co-Ownership Purchase Agreements

A co-ownership agreement governs the obligations and expectations of co-owners of a shared property. It deals with items such as ownership interests, payment of expenses, financing, maintenance of the property, and each owners’ rights and responsibilities. 

If you have purchased a property, or if you are contemplating the purchase or resale of a property with more than one (1) person, you should have a co-ownership agreement prepared to protect yourself and your future relationship with the other co-owner.

Co-ownership agreements arise as useful tools in a number of other situations:

  • A decision among friends or family to own or invest in property together, for residential, investment or vacation purposes;
  • A decision between business partners to own property together for commercial or investment purposes;
  • A devise in a will or conveyance by a trust to multiple people as co-owners;
  • A family property passing down/devise to successive generations;
  • Following a divorce, where the former couple does not wish to sell the property, but instead wishes to benefit from renting it out or setting up a temporary rental situation until one can purchase it from the other.

In any context, co-ownership agreements create binding commitments; they provide guidance by offering a contractual framework for rights & responsibilities, ensuring that all co-owners are held the agreed upon expectations and that they are able to make decisions efficiently and effectively while knowing their investment is protected.

Adverse Possession & Boundary Disputes

"[O]ur property becomes a part of our being, and cannot be torn from us without rending us to the quick."1

Adverse possession was developed centuries ago as a way to provide certainty to title holders by creating certain presumptions about ownership. If an occupant of a piece of property could establish a pattern of ownership to the exclusion of others, which was “open and notorious” for an extended period of time, the presumption was that person owned the property outright. The burden of proving the property was not used exclusively would then shift to the landowner defending against the claim of adverse possession. In Colorado, lawmakers codified the law on adverse possession, meaning that any claim to adverse possession must meet the statutory requirements. To succeed on a claim of adverse possession, a claimant must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the possession of land was:

  • Actual
  • Adverse
  • Hostile
  • Under a claim of right
  • Exclusive
  • Uninterrupted
  • For a period of at least 18 years

Further, for every claim where title would have vested after July 1, 2018 (i.e., claims where the eighteen-year period did not finish until after that date), claimants cannot prevail unless they (1) present evidence to satisfy all of the common-law elements of adverse possession, and (2) demonstrate that either they or their predecessor in interest had a good faith belief that they actually owned the land, and that the belief was reasonable under the circumstances.  The court may also require the claimant to compensate the party losing title for the actual value of the lost title and for the taxes paid over the last eighteen years on that property, increasing the risk of bringing an adverse possession claim.

1 Jeremy Benthan, The Theory of Legislation, Principles of the Civil Code, pt. I, ch. 10, at 115 (C.K. Ogden ed., Richard Hildreth trans., Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd. 1950) (1789).

 

Frequently Asked Questions

We understand the importance of choosing the right lawyer. We invite you to explore the breadth and depth of our capabilities.

During a real estate closing, the deed of title is delivered to the buyer, the title is transferred, the purchase if funded by way of cash or loan, title insurance policies are exchanged, and the agreed-on costs are paid.

A real estate attorney will prepare and review documents relating to purchase agreements, mortgage documents, title documents and transfer documents and inform the client about the documents and their responsibilities and obligations.  The real estate attorney will also draft any agreements or counteroffers pertaining to the sale or purchase.  A real estate attorney will guide the client through the process and deadlines and often attends closing with the buyer.

It is no secret that real estate agents earn high sales commissions.  Although their commission is often paid by the seller, the cost may be indirectly shared with the buyer.  Typically, in a standard real estate transaction, it is rare for attorney's fees to exceed or even come close to the commission of a real estate broker.  

It is not uncommon for legal issues or problems to arise that a real estate agent cannot answer.  Although good agents may know a lot about negotiating and contracting, they cannot make judgments on legal questions nor can they initiate and draft additional contractual provisions.

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