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Mansfield Bronstein, PA Real Estate Department Successfully Prosecutes Title Claim

Mansfield Bronstein, PA was recently retained by a seller of commercial real estate in Broward County, Florida to assist with the closing of the transaction.  The seller, represented only by a real estate broker, was strongly persuaded to not hire a real estate attorney to assist with the transaction.  Seller was told multiple times that that hiring of a real estate attorney for a “standard” commercial transaction was a “waste of money” and that they will only “make things more complicated.”  Seller was pressured to the closing table when they were informed that prior years ad-valorem taxes were unpaid (amounting to $5,000.00 in total).  Seller’s broker told Seller that these taxes were their responsibility and that if they did not close and pay these outstanding taxes that they would be sued by the buyer and that the broker would sue them for the lost commission on the transaction.  Buyer’s title company was also pressuring Seller to close and to pay the taxes or risk defaulting under the contract.  It was at this point that Seller sought Mansfield Bronstein’s help.

Once engaged Mansfield Bronstein’s real estate department quickly determined that the unpaid taxes were from a prior owner and that when Seller purchased the property the prior title company had not picked this up.  Had they done a proper search they could have found the unpaid taxes and required the prior owner to pay them at closing.  Seller was extremely happy with the explanation and was even happier when they were told by Mansfield Bronstein that the unpaid taxes should be paid from the title insurance that they received when they purchased.  They were never told this by the buyer’s title company or their own real estate broker.  After the closing Mansfield Bronstein proceeded to prosecute a claim against Seller’s title insurance, which resulted in a full recovery within sixty days of closing.

No matter how small the transaction, sellers and buyers of real estate in the State of Florida should always consult with an attorney prior to entering into any contract.  For most people this is the single largest purchase they will make in their lives.  Having an attorney review the purchase agreement, title, lien and estoppel searches and other closing and financial documents will always pay off.

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