Required Legal Forms for Buying or Selling Real Estate

For individuals looking to buy or sell property with the help of a real estate agent, making sure the necessary legal forms are completed is generally not a concern. It is agent’s job to help ensure that all the proper steps are taken to make the property transition as smooth as possible.

Unfortunately, real estate agents are pricey, and in this housing market homeowners are looking for any way to cut back on overall net cost of putting a house on the market and make the most from their investment. This means that more and more buyers and sellers are wading into the real estate market unassisted.

DIY home buying and selling can pay off big in the end, but navigating through the legal obstacle course can be a challenge. Read below to review a checklist of legal documents you need to complete before buying or selling a property.

Sales Contract

A sales contract is the legal document which specifies and binds the agreement between the buyer and seller. Sample contracts can be obtained, but traditional sales contracts include the final purchase price, as well as any contingencies allowing the deal to be nullified, such as a failed home inspection or a buyer who is unable to find financing. Both the buyer and seller must sign the contract to make it legal.

Property Disclosures

Sellers must fill out, sign, and submit a disclosure form before finalizing the sale of their property. A property disclosure is where the seller lists all of the defects of the property as honestly as possible. Failure to provide a complete list of property defects can result in a lawsuit where the seller is held liable.

Occupancy Agreements

Occupancy agreements are responsible for defining the date the seller must move out, and when the buyer is permitted to move in. If the buyer is moving into the property prior to the finalization of the deal, or if the seller is occupying the property after the deal is confirmed, then separate pre-occupancy and post-occupancy documents must be completed.

Lead Paint Record

If a property was built before 1978, under federal law the seller must submit a lead paint hazard form. The form must contain a lead paint warning, statement that the seller has fulfilled all lead paint legal requirements, and an acknowledgment that the buyer received a pamphlet (approved by the EPA) on the dangers of lead paint poisoning. Both the buyer and seller must sign and date the document as well.

Offer and Counter Offer Forms

Sellers have the option of giving the buyer an offer form to fill out when bidding on the property. The seller, in turn, can either submit a counter offer form to the buyer, or sign and approve the buyers offer. These forms aren’t necessary, but can prevent future misunderstandings.

Third-Party Financing Addendum

If the buyer intends to take out a mortgage to finance the purchase of the property, then a third-party addendum will be required. This document allows for the deal to be terminated if the buyer is unable to receive financing in a specified amount of time.

Homeowner’s Association

For properties that are members of a homeowner’s association, a couple additional documents will need to be filled out and submitted: a resale certificate, and an addendum transferring over the membership fees of the homeowner’s association. In most states, failure to provide the buyer with association information can result in termination of the deal at the seller’s expense.

Title Documents

The job of a title company in a property sale is to schedule and prepare for the sale closing, and handle the transfer of funds. If a buyer or seller decides to hire a title service to oversee the sale, make sure the necessary documents are included in the deal.

Real Estate Attorneys

Deciding to put your property up for sale by owner, or buying a property from a seller without an agent, can be financially beneficial to both parties involved. However, it also means there is an increased risk of failing to complete the complicated legal procedure of transferring property.

Streamlining the Mediation Preparation Through Family Law Attorneys

When dealing with disputes that involve family law, many people have the mistaken idea that you can engage a family law attorney if you’ll undergo mediation, and vice versa. It’s simply not true. The fact is, when resolving conflicts and protecting your interests in a family law dispute, mediation is just one tool out of many. Just as engaging an attorney to advise you doesn’t preclude you from entering into mediation in order to avoid court, entering into mediation doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hire an attorney to advise you.

In a wide variety of important ways, a family law attorney can assist you with preparing for mediation.


With any legal proceeding or dispute, discovery is one of the most important aspects. The discovery process involves the collection and collation of information pertinent to the dispute, and the data collected can have a serious impact on the final result. A clear and up-to-date knowledge of every aspect of the issues you will be deciding is vital whenever one party enters into mediation with another party. A family law attorney will not only have the resources to gather this information, including subpoena powers if they are necessary, but also the experience to collate and present it to you, to the opposing part and to the mediator in a clear and easily understood manner.

Worksheet Completion

A divorce is a complex situation with a lot of moving parts’ that will have a significant impact on the lives of all involved. A family law attorney will have the necessary information on hand to complete a child support obligation worksheet (if necessary) or a marital estate worksheet. There are serious financial problems or even court-imposed penalties when errors on these worksheets are made. And unless you possess the experience and familiarity with them that an attorney brings, these worksheets can be difficult to complete.

Emotional Prep

Finally, a family law attorney has been through the process many times and can give the client a clear concept of the best-case and worst-case scenarios. The whole experience becomes less frightening and more effective when clients have a reasonable and objective idea of what the outcome of mediation could be. When this happens, clients come to terms with those possibilities more easily and enter into the mediation process with a calm, productive attitude.

Mediation is, not a separate realm, but an aspect of the legal process. Although it is not an absolute requirement, the advice of an attorney is always helpful. Therefore, any attempt at mediation is much more likely to succeed with the help of a skilled and experienced family law attorney.

Criminal Justice Online Classes Available With Easy Access

Study of Criminal Justice is a rare opportunity to probe into the legal and security aspects of the nation and to be a part of justice system prevalent in the country. It is not so often that such dynamic courses are widely available throughout the nation and considering the time constraints for every individual due to work and other activities, it is a blessing to know that criminal justice online classes are being offered by different universities and colleges so that the knowledge about the criminal justice system is easily available to the people.

When a person prepares himself to get a degree in criminal justice, it is important for the individual to prepare him for what he is going to face regarding the subject. Criminal law professionals have to maintain law and justice in the society and have to abide by the legal system and make sure that the other citizens also follow suit. It is amazing to note the kind of careers which a person would be entitled after getting a degree in criminal justice. Of course, associate’s or a bachelor’s degree would just be an entry into this diverse subject and can be the step to further enter advanced studies or can also make the person qualify for basic jobs in the same sector.

The career opportunities for this field are rapidly spread out from Park Police or County Police to the Narcotics Bureaus or the court system and to the top-notch jobs that everyone craves for like in the FBI or CIA. Criminal justice programs have thus been on the top of the charts for people who really want to make a mark by sacrificing their life for the services of the nation. A vast number of universities and colleges have indulged in providing online classes in this subject.

The finest of the universities in this arena would include the University of Phoenix and Kaplan University which are symbolized as supreme online universities of the country and the most respected amongst others. Both of the universities provide unique programs in associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s level and provide specialization subjects in Organizational Security Management, Corrections and Global Issues. Different universities offer distinctive courses where in the students can decide the specialization subjects which can be chosen from the range of topics like law enforcement, social security, criminal forensic studies, corrections and probation, and court system.

The online classes have very much affected the rate of people joining these courses as they have the right to choose studying from their homes without spending time at the campus and still continue with their other duties. Criminal justice online classes will surely bestow the citizens the ability to acquire knowledge about the law and security of the country and to be able to keep the country safe.