Wise & Reber, L.C. assists individuals and businesses with the sale, purchase and lease of real property.
We offer real estate legal help under the umbrella practice areas of our business law and estate planning services. Likewise, we often help individuals, families, lenders, institutions, and businesses with personal and commercial lease or purchase-sale agreements.
Since we are also admitted to practice in state and federal courts throughout Kansas, we can represent clients who require real estate litigation services.
Contracts: As a rule, oral contracts to sell real property in the state of Kansas are unenforceable; therefore, if you do not have a written agreement, and either party attempts to back out, the contract may not be enforced by a court. Going through the steps necessary for a written contract is a prudent way to avoid future disputes by getting all the issues on the table.
Title insurance: Title searches and insurance help you know what you are actually buying. People can only sell you what they actually own, so if a seller does not have good title (“marketable title”) to a piece of real property, you may have a legal problem. The title search results can alert you to title problems before it is too late. If the title examiners miss a problem, the title insurance may help compensate you for the loss.
Deeds: An unrecorded deed is enforceable between the parties, but does not give third parties legal notice of the transfer. Therefore, if you buy a piece of property and do not record your deed, you will be vulnerable if your seller decides to sell the property to some third party, or the property is transferred by operation of law (for example, by the seller’s bankruptcy or death). If another buyer records his or her deed before you record your deed, that buyer will generally win, even though you purchased the property first.
Property taxes: Other than agricultural property, most real property is taxed on the basis of the county appraiser’s yearly determination of the fair market value of the property. Kansas law requires property to be physically inspected and reassessed periodically. Once the appraised value is determined, the mill levy is applied against the “assessed value.” You will not be able to tell whether your actual taxes will increase until you know both the assessed value of the property and the mill levy set by the various governmental units (county, city, school district, etc.). In Kansas, agricultural ground is assessed under a separate formula not involving the fair market value.
Contact our offices to get representation in Kansas real estate law.