CRISTOPHER A. HOGAN, ATTORNEY
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Western Michigan Real Estate Law

Hogan Law, P.C. has been helping West Michigan area residents with legal issues for decades. We have extensive legal experience and are committed to helping our clients succeed. Client focused, results driven.

Western Michigan Real Estate Law

At Hogan Law, P.C., we have over 30 years of experience in real estate law services, making us well-equipped to handle even the most complex transactions. Our attorneys can assist with Lady Bird Deeds, Purchase Agreements, Buy/Sell Agreements, and more.

At Hogan Law, P.C., we have over 30 years of experience in real estate law services, making us well-equipped to handle even the most complex transactions. If you're looking for an experienced attorney to help guide you through your real estate transaction, look no further than our team at Hogan Law, P.C. 

Our attorneys can assist with Lady Bird Deeds, Purchase Agreements, Buy/Sell Agreements, and more. Let the experts at Hogan Law help make sure that your real estate transaction goes smoothly and without a hitch! Our experts will work for you so that you can enjoy peace of mind throughout the process. 

If you need assistance with real estate law transactions or services, please don't hesitate to contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you and helping make your real estate transaction a success.

What is a real estate contract and what should it include?

A real estate contract in the state of Michigan is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions of a real estate purchase. It should include basic information such as the names of all parties involved, the legal address of the property, an agreed-upon purchase price, any special contingencies, a closing date for the transaction, and contact information for both buyer and seller. 

The contract should also include more detailed provisions related to financing, taxes, insurance, and title searches. In addition to these specific items, a Michigan real estate contract must be in writing and signed by both buyer and seller to be valid according to Michigan law. 

Once executed, it is important that both parties diligently comply with all aspects outlined within the contract. This includes but is not limited to paying the agreed-upon purchase price, arranging for title insurance, and recording the deed in the appropriate county records. Once all terms of the contract have been met, buyers will receive a deed from sellers which will be recorded at a local county clerk's office. 

Failure to adhere to any aspect of the real estate contract can lead to legal action against either party. Both buyer and seller must seek legal advice before signing a real estate contract in Michigan. 

By understanding what should be included in a real estate contract as well as following through on its terms, buyers, and sellers in Michigan can confidently enter into mutually beneficial agreements when purchasing or selling property. With knowledge of these legal documents, parties involved can protect themselves from potential pitfalls and enjoy successful real estate transactions. 

What is the process for buying or selling a home in Michigan?

The process of buying or selling a home in the state of Michigan begins with having a thorough understanding of your rights as a buyer or seller. As per the Michigan Occupancy Rights law, buyers and sellers should have the right to occupy their homes within 14 days after closing. 

Sellers should begin by obtaining a market analysis from an experienced real estate agent to ensure their listing price is fair and attractive to potential buyers. Sellers should also research local zoning laws and regulations to determine any restrictions that may affect their home’s salability. 

Additionally, they must make sure all necessary paperwork is complete before listing the home on the market. This includes disclosures such as any known defects or issues that might influence a buyer’s decision.

The next step for buyers and sellers is to negotiate the terms of the sale. The buyer must explain their financing options and plans, while the seller needs to be clear on any contingencies they may have in place. If both parties are satisfied with the agreement, they can proceed to sign a purchase agreement. This document will include all necessary details regarding closing costs, taxes, and other financial obligations associated with the transaction. 

Once the paperwork has been signed, it’s time to move forward with closing! In Michigan, there are two types of closings: conventional or attorney assisted. During a conventional closing process, an escrow agent will oversee final preparations such as title searches, inspections, and appraisals. Attorney-assisted closings require both parties to be present with their attorneys to finalize the sale.

Finally, once all the paperwork is completed and funds have been transferred between buyer and seller, the home officially changes ownership. Buyers and sellers need to understand that there may still be a few details left to manage even after closing has taken place such as updating deeds and registering mortgage loans. 

Buying or selling a home can be an exciting experience if you understand the process ahead of time. By following these steps, Michigan buyers and sellers are well on their way toward closing on their dream home.

What are the legal requirements for disclosing property defects in Michigan?

In Michigan, sellers must disclose any material defects about a property that they are aware of. If the seller fails to disclose or purposely hides any information, it may lead to legal ramifications. 

According to Michigan law, before concluding a purchase agreement, sellers must provide potential buyers with a Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement (ETDS). This document requires the seller to be honest and thorough in disclosing all known defects of the property. 

It must include details such as structural problems, mechanical issues, water damage, mold contamination, and other important facts about the condition of the home. The ETDS is an important part of the contract between buyer and seller and should not be overlooked. 

In addition to providing a written disclosure statement prior to closing on the property, sellers must also be truthful in verbal communications and answer questions honestly. A seller is not allowed to knowingly misrepresent or omit any information regarding the condition of a home. This includes hiding defects they are aware of or making false statements about the quality of their property. 

If a buyer finds out that a seller has failed to disclose material facts, they may have legal recourse against them. A court could order the seller to pay damages and sometimes even require them to buy back the property at its current market value. 

Therefore, buyers need to ask plenty of questions and do their due diligence when considering purchasing real estate in Michigan. It's also essential for sellers to be responsible and honest about disclosing all known defects to avoid any potential legal action. 

In the state of Michigan, all sellers must provide buyers with a Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement and be truthful in answering questions about their property during negotiations. Failure to do so could have serious consequences that can result in costly financial penalties or even deportation of the sale agreement. 

Both parties need to know their rights and responsibilities when buying or selling real estate in Michigan. 

Real Estate Law
Cristopher A. Hogan
May 30, 2023
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What is a title search and why is it important in real estate transactions?

In the state of Michigan, a title search is an important step in the process of buying or selling real estate. This type of search is conducted to determine if there are any liens or judgments attached to a property, as well as any ownership claims. The purpose of this search is to ensure that the buyer has a clear legal title to the property and that no other person has an interest in it. 

When conducting a title search, an experienced lawyer will review all relevant records related to the property, including deeds, mortgages, tax liens, judgment records, and court documents. This research will reveal if there are any existing issues with the property and provide potential buyers with peace of mind. Additionally, it can help protect both parties involved in the transaction from any potential legal issues that may arise in the future.

In Michigan, it is especially important to conduct a title search because of the state's unique laws and regulations related to real estate transactions. For example, the Michigan Landlord Tenant Act allows tenants to have certain rights when it comes to renting or leasing property, so understanding these laws is essential for any buyer or seller involved in a real estate deal. 

By conducting a title search before entering a contract, both parties can be sure that they are fully aware of their respective rights and responsibilities under the law. 

A title search is an important part of any real estate transaction in Michigan and should not be overlooked. It provides buyers with valuable information about a property and can help protect them from potential legal issues down the line. An experienced lawyer can guide you through the title search process and ensure that your rights and interests are properly protected. 

For more information on title searches and real estate law in Michigan, contact an experienced attorney today. 

What is the difference between a mortgage and a deed of trust in Michigan?

In Michigan, the primary difference between a mortgage and a deed of trust is who holds legal title to the property. In a mortgage, the borrower retains legal title while the lender holds only an interest in the property as security. 

In a deed of trust, however, the borrower transfers legal title to a third-party trustee until such time that all loan obligations are fulfilled. The trustee then conveys the title back to the borrower upon completion of repayment. 

Another key difference lies in how foreclosure proceedings are handled when a default occurs. When a default happens under a mortgage agreement, lenders must go through judicial foreclosure proceedings which involves going before a judge and obtaining permission to take possession of the property. 

However, with deed of trust agreements, lenders can use non-judicial foreclosure proceedings which is a much more expedited process. As of June 2019, Michigan has allowed non-judicial foreclosure proceedings for deed of trust agreements since 2001. 

Finally, another difference between a mortgage and a deed of trust in Michigan involves the application process. Mortgages usually require the completion of an extensive application and approval by the lender before granting the loan amount. 

With a deed of trust, however, all that is needed is proof that all parties have read and agreed to the terms outlined within it. This makes obtaining short-term loans through deeds of trust much easier than with mortgages due to their simplified approval procedures. 

Understanding the differences between mortgages and deeds of trust in Michigan can be very helpful when it comes to making an informed decision about which to use when taking out a loan. Knowing the nuances of each agreement can help save time and ensure that one is choosing the best option for their situation. 

What are the legal requirements for obtaining a mortgage in Michigan?

In Michigan, obtaining a mortgage requires meeting certain legal requirements. To begin with, all borrowers must provide proof of income and be at least 18 years of age. The total monthly debt payments for the borrower should not exceed 36% of their gross monthly income. 

In addition, borrowers must also have funds in reserve to cover any closing costs and any additional fees related to the loan. 

The lender will investigate the credit history of each borrower as well. A credit score of 620 or higher is usually required to receive favorable terms on a loan. If there are accounts that are either delinquent or in collections, they need to be satisfied before the loan can proceed.

If you are purchasing a home with someone else who will also be responsible for the loan, they must also meet all the same requirements. This includes providing proof of income and having a credit score of at least 620.

To complete your application for a mortgage, you will need to provide additional documentation such as tax returns, W-2s, or pay stubs from the past two years. You should also provide information about any assets you may have, such as savings accounts, investments, or real estate that are not being used as part of the loan. 

If you are self-employed or receive income from rental properties, then additional documentation may be required to verify your income source. Depending on which lender you choose, some may require an appraisal on the home before they can offer financing.

Once all the legal requirements are met, you should expect to wait several weeks before receiving a final decision on your mortgage. It is important to be patient throughout the process and provide any additional documentation that may be requested by the lender. 

Once approved, you will be able to move forward with obtaining your loan and completing the purchase of your home. 

What are the legal requirements for obtaining a home equity loan or line of credit in Michigan?

In Michigan, prospective borrowers must meet certain requirements to qualify for a home equity loan or line of credit. First, the borrower must be at least 18 years old and prove that they are a legal resident of the state. Second, they must have sufficient collateral—namely their home—which is typically valued at least 20% higher than what they owe on it. 

Third, they must also have an acceptable level of existing debt-to-income ratio to qualify for the loan. Fourth, the lender may request proof of employment and/or other sources of income to ensure that the borrower can repay their loan should circumstances change and make repayment difficult or impossible. 

Fifth, applicants will need to provide evidence that they own their property outright or have significant equity in it. Finally, the borrower will need to provide an appraisal from a licensed appraiser to verify that their home is worth at least its appraised value. Upon meeting these requirements, applicants can then begin the process of applying for a home equity loan or line of credit in Michigan. 

To ensure a smooth application process, prospective borrowers should also be prepared to provide documents such as proof of income and expenses, tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, and other financial documentation if requested by the lender. 

Furthermore, applicants may be required to obtain homeowner's insurance before being approved for the loan. To increase their chances of approval, potential borrowers should research all available options before selecting a particular lender or type of loan and make sure to check their credit score and report before applying. 

Following these steps will help ensure that the loan process goes smoothly and that they can get the best possible deal on their home equity loan or line of credit in Michigan. 

In addition to meeting the legal requirements for a home equity loan, borrowers should also be aware of any potential financial penalties associated with such loans. These can include foreclosure costs, prepayment penalties, and other fees charged by the lender. 

Borrowers need to understand all the details before agreeing to take out a loan so as not to put themselves in a difficult financial situation down the road. 

By taking the time to research all available options and understanding all associated costs, prospective borrowers can make an informed decision when selecting a home equity loan or line of credit in Michigan. 

By familiarizing themselves with all legal requirements and potential costs associated with a home equity loan or line of credit, borrowers can ensure that they are making an informed decision when deciding to take out such a loan in the state of Michigan. 

Ultimately, being aware of all legal requirements and financial penalties will help prospective borrowers secure the best possible deal on their home equity loan or line of credit. Borrowers need to understand all the details before agreeing to any type of loan so as not to put themselves in a difficult financial situation down the road. 

What is the process for resolving disputes related to real estate transactions in Michigan?

In Michigan, the process for resolving disputes related to real estate transactions can be divided into three main stages: negotiation, mediation, and litigation. 

Negotiation is often the first step in the dispute resolution process. This involves the parties meeting with a mediator to discuss their disagreements and attempt to resolve them through compromise or agreement. 

If an agreement cannot be reached during negotiations, then mediation is typically the next step. During this stage, a neutral third party works with both sides of the dispute to help them come to a mutually acceptable solution without involving legal action or going to court. 

If it becomes clear that an agreement cannot be reached in either of these initial steps, then litigation may become necessary. At this stage, both sides will need to hire lawyers and take their cases to court. Here, a judge or jury will decide the outcome of the dispute based on legal precedents and evidence provided by each party. 

Regardless of which stage is used, all involved in a real estate dispute in Michigan need to be aware that there are laws governing the process. It’s also essential to note that courts can impose sanctions if either side fails to follow procedures as outlined by these laws. 

Therefore, it’s best practice to seek professional legal advice before attempting to resolve any disputes related to real estate transactions in Michigan. 

Additionally, it’s also worth exploring other forms of dispute resolution like arbitration and collaborative law as possible alternatives prior to taking the matter to court. Doing so can help both parties save time and money and allow them to come to a resolution more quickly and successfully. 

What is the role of a real estate attorney in Michigan?

A real estate attorney in Michigan is involved with a variety of legal matters related to property and land transactions. They may be responsible for preparing paperwork, researching title information, negotiating contracts, drafting leases and other documents, assisting with closings, addressing zoning laws or regulations, representing clients in court proceedings, and other duties as required. 

Real estate attorneys must have an intimate understanding of the state’s laws regarding property ownership and transfer. They can help buyers make sure that their purchase contract is legally binding and ensure that all applicable rules are followed during the transaction. Similarly, they can handle any disputes between buyers and sellers that arise from the sale of property or during lease negotiations. 

Real estate attorneys also provide advice to clients on how to best protect their interests in a particular transaction. They help buyers and sellers understand the legal implications of their decisions, as well as any risks associated with them. 

In Michigan, real estate attorneys may also take on a more advisory role by helping clients develop strategies for buying, selling, or holding onto certain properties. They may provide advice on tax issues or suggest investments that could be used to increase profits from a property. 

Real estate attorneys can also help clients navigate any zoning laws or regulations that might affect how they use their property. 

Real estate attorneys in Michigan play an important role in facilitating transactions between buyers and sellers while protecting both parties’ rights. In addition, they can offer valuable insight into the legal landscape and provide advice to ensure that clients are making informed decisions. As such, these professionals are essential to the success of any real estate transaction. 

What are the potential legal issues that can arise in real estate transactions in Michigan?

The potential legal issues that can arise in real estate transactions in the state of Michigan depend on several factors, such as the type of document involved and any hidden liabilities or undisclosed issues. 

Issues regarding contract enforcement are also common and involve disputes between parties to the agreement about its terms and conditions, such as payment for services rendered. 

In addition, title defects may exist which should be investigated before closing a transaction. These can include liens or other encumbrances, judgments against prior owners, or ownership claims by others not associated with the current transaction. 

Fraudulent practices involving individuals posing as authorized agents can also occur in real estate transactions in Michigan. All documents required for a transfer of property must be signed by the parties involved and witnessed by a notary public, so verifying the identity of individuals claiming to be agents is critical. 

Finally, it is important to be aware of any special regulations or restrictions that apply to certain types of real transactions in Michigan. For example, there are specific requirements for condominium sales that must be followed to avoid potential legal problems. Similarly, short-term rentals may need special permits in some cities and counties. 

By understanding the above potential legal issues and taking appropriate measures to prevent them from occurring, buyers and sellers can help ensure successful real estate transactions in the state of Michigan. 

It is always best to seek legal advice before entering any real estate transaction so that all parties involved can be fully informed of their rights and responsibilities. 

What is the legal process for foreclosure in Michigan?

The legal process for foreclosures in the state of Michigan is relatively straightforward. When a borrower fails to make payments on their loan, their lender may initiate foreclosure proceedings against them. 

This process begins when the lender files an action in court, declaring that the borrower has defaulted on the loan and asking that a judge order a sale of the property as specified by law. 

Once this filing is made, a notice will be sent to the homeowner informing them of the foreclosure proceedings. At this point, homeowners have several options which include negotiating with their lender for payment arrangements or refinancing the loan to avoid foreclosure altogether. If these options are not successful, then it is likely that foreclosure proceedings will continue. 

Next, a foreclosure auction will be held, and a date set for the sale of the property. The lender may bid on the property to recoup its losses, or someone else may purchase it at this point. If no one bids on the home, then the lender will take ownership of it. 

Finally, after the sale is complete, any proceeds from the auction must go to pay off the mortgage debt first before any other debts associated with the house. Any remaining funds are paid out either to creditors or to legal representatives depending on what is stipulated in court documents. 

Once all these steps have been completed, the title to the property has been transferred and foreclosure proceedings are complete. 

Such foreclosures can present significant financial hardships for homeowners, and it’s important to remember that homeowners can always seek legal advice and assistance during foreclosure proceedings. Foreclosures should be a last resort, so if you find yourself in this situation, make sure to explore all your options first before proceeding with a foreclosure. 

It’s also important to note that the state of Michigan has implemented programs aimed at helping people stay in their homes while they work on resolving their financial issues. These programs are designed to provide temporary assistance for those at risk of foreclosure, so don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you need it.

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Positive: Professionalism , Quality , Responsiveness Cris and his staff were incredibly responsive to urgent requests for updated POA and estate docs for each of my parents. I'm super grateful for their support.

Krista Hogan

Thanks professional service and quick turn around. Very knowledgable in Estate Law, exceed our expectations.

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"My wife I would Like extend out Thanks and acknowledge our appreciation and gratitude for you Attorney Cristopher and your Law Firm with 10 stars! We waited over a year to receive our Insurance benefits and with the help of Attorney Cristopher at Hogan Law he quickly resolve the issue while being supportive and knowledgeable. We could not have done it without Hogan Law Firm."

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My husband is dealing with a very sensitive family issue through probate court which not only effects him , but myself and his children as well. He has never had to use a law firm before so we asked around. We were referred to Hogan Law. With much prayer, we decided to reach out to him and we are so grateful we did!! Cristopher Hogan is very professional and attentive to what we needed done and sensitive to the issue that was at hand. His staff gets things done and are extremely helpful as well!! He is a great at litigation and gets the job done!! We highly recommend Hogan Law!!

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