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How To Make Sure You Are Represented Fairly Selling or Buying a Home: An Interview with Ramirez & Associates, P.C.

By Kristen Bosse

Please describe the various real estate services you offer.

Ramirez & Associates, P.C. deals generally in business and real estate matters, including on an international sphere. Our experience in real estate matters consists of representing buyers, sellers, developers and condemning authorities in every aspect of the real estate Sale/ Purchase process including negotiating and preparing contracts of sale ; negotiating financing and preparing loan documents; coordinating the entire process and other professionals toward a timely and thorough closing on the matter; conducting and supervising due diligence review to assist clients in determining the correctness of the acquisition. Naturally, as necessary we ligate real estate issues inclusive of: title and boundary disputes; lease and contract breaches and enforcement; and condemnation proceedings. Our experience has taken us to countries such as Mexico and the Dominican Republic representing individuals in their acquisition or sale of their vacation homes as well as at times providing management services of our client's vacation homes in Mexico, and in representing developers in their acquisition, construction , sales and management of investment properties such as hotels and condominiums.

How long have you been practicing?

I was licensed in Texas on December 16, 1965 and have been in private practice ever since. My real estate practice developed in the 1970s shortly after having served as a Member of the City of Dallas Zoning and Planning Commission.

Some real estate litigations can get messy. What techniques do you have in dealing with these types of cases?

Legal issues in real estate controversies are very frequently resolvable with a good title document trail. Documentary evidence is more valuable than a swearing match. The object, then, is to be thorough in the search for that proof. Condemnation results are very dependent on expert testimony and it is imperative to be able to reach out to the best fitted expert to assist in the fact proving process. Both these approaches lend themselves to a good analysis by both sides of a controversy and can result in faster resolution of the problem.

What tips do you have for our readers looking to represent themselves throughout the selling/purchasing process?

Don't do it! Select a broker and attorney experienced in the type of property involved. That broker should be knowledgeable not only in the sale of real estate but most importantly the attorney should be familiar in the title review work of title companies. Many issues can arise from the title documents. Have a lawyer study them and opine to you on their impact on the deal. Remember that whatever is discussed and does not get transferred in writing to the contract, is not a part of the "deal". If you reach any agreement, however slight, make sure that it gets properly and adequately mentioned in the contract. The title company lawyer that prepares the deed etc DOES NOT REPRESENT ANY PARTY to the transaction and does not provide counsel to either. Thus, the recommendation naturally arises that one should have a lawyer from the very beginning of negotiations.

In your opinion, what do you believe your firm offers to your clients that other law offices do not?

Over 40 years of "hands-on" experience dealing with every kind of transaction imaginable and of the "business savvy" of a business law firm for that long. Our firm can address how the purchase should be structured; how it fits in any estate planning scenario; what type of business entity should be used in a commercial transaction; and so many other questions that can arise.

What advice would you give to homeowners to make sure they are represented fairly throughout the home purchasing/selling process?

Ensure that you have good legal, financial and real estate advisers.

What are some specific qualities that a homeowner should look for in a qualified lawyer?

Qualified is a big word, but besides being knowledgeable (education and experience) about what it takes to handle the type of transaction involved, the lawyer's personality should be compatible with the client's and should be one that knows how to ethically and courteously advocate for his client's position. That is revealed from his/her professional credentials and recognitions and others' recommendations.

What are the most common mistakes consumers make without a real estate lawyer during the process of buying a new home?

Not knowing how to review a title commitment and the title documents, including most emphatically any Property Owners Association documents and restrictions; not understanding the Reservations from Warranty and Title; not including in the written contract every single item of negotiation that was agreed; not providing for items that should survive the closing.

What's the best way for people to get in contact with you?

Our phone (214) 637-0933; my email address: framirez@ramirezassociates.com; our web page: www.ramirezassociates.com.

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Kristen has written impressive content including press releases and feature stories...

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