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Practice Areas

Real Estate

When real estate transactions go bad, resolving them is costly, time-consuming and stressful.  It is best to obtain legal representation before you decide to sell, purchase, exchange or develop real estate.  You need to understand your rights and responsibilities.  You need to have someone who represents your interests and is not motivated by their commission or other outside pressures. 

When selling real estate, we make certain our clients’ contracts are legally sound and adequately protect them.  Sellers need to be aware of their potential continuing liabilities after closing.  We review and help implement strategies for reducing them.  There are tax consequences to a sale.  We review the nature and extent of taxes due.  We offer alternative tax strategies.

When purchasing real estate, we make sure that our clients understand the entire picture before they become legally bound.  We make sure the contracts contain the appropriate contingencies, representations, warranties and indemnifications to protect them.  We help clients evaluate the inspection reports and review the zoning ordinances, easements, restrictions and any proposed public improvements or private construction in the surrounding area.  We assist them in understanding how and when they can get out of the contract, if needed.

When exchanging real estate, we help clients comply with the tax regulations required for simultaneous, deferred or reverse exchanges.  The use of an exchange is a powerful tax-deferral strategy, but there are a number of tax traps that need to be avoided.

When developing real estate, we help clients evaluate the investment, acquire the property and put asset protection strategies in place.  We help get zoning variances, conditional use permits and government approvals.  We help with financing.  We form the limited liability entities for holding the development.  We create restrictions, easements, conservation easements, homeowner associations and condominium documentation.  We have comfortable working relationships with the engineers, surveyors, appraisers, bankers, brokers, government agencies, contractors, and scientists who are instrumental in a successful and profitable project.

We help our clients resolve real estate problems when they occur.  It is more cost effective, however, if clients ask for our assistance early to prevent the problems from occurring in the first place (or at least from escalating).

Besides being a lawyer, Bill Swendson is a licensed real estate broker.  He has wide experience representing clients in real estate matters.  He was a faculty member of the Real Estate Institute and he has developed and sold his own investment real estate.