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Overview of Purchase and Sale Process In California

In California, most residential transactions are handled by realtors on pre-printed forms developed by the California Association of Realtors. These forms generally require mediation and/or arbitration of any disputes. To facilitate the closing, the parties normally retain an escrow company. The vast majority of transactions are completed without the need of an attorney. When a dispute arises, we are there to represent buyers or sellers of real property in obtaining the benefit of their bargain.

Attorney Demand Letters

In many cases, a well-drafted letter from an attorney can encourage the other side to comply with the term and conditions of the agreement. For example, where a seller refuses to convey title in accordance with a purchase and sale agreement, a letter informing the seller that the buyer has a right to specific performance of the contract (e.g. to force the sale of the property), to record a notice of pendency of the action against the property (also known as a Lis Pendens), and to recover attorney fees and costs, is often is enough to encourage the seller to perform. Where a seller breaches, most purchase and sale agreements entitle the seller to recover liquidated damages, which is a set dollar figure specified in the agreement (often 3% of the purchase price). If the buyer refuses to sign escrow cancellation instructions relating the funds, an attorney letter setting forth the legal rights and remedies of the seller may suffice to resolve the dispute.

Mediation, Arbitration and Litigation

When informal methods of resolving disputes are not sufficient, we are able to protect our clients’ legal interests through mediation, arbitration and, if necessary, court proceedings.We also assist clients in reviewing and drafting purchase and sale documents to place our clients in the best legal position before a dispute arises.