Whether you are buying or selling a property, it is essential to know the legalities. There are laws on the books, but many people need to learn the rules, which can create serious pitfalls. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Municipalities have a fiduciary duty.
Whenever a municipal board of trustees is involved in purchasing real estate, they have a fiduciary duty to ensure that they purchase the property at the best price and with the most beneficial terms. This is akin to the relationship between a trustee and a trust beneficiary. However, the nature of the relationship is different. Public officials are also tasked with managing the public treasury, establishing laws affecting citizens, and participating in a deliberative process. This means they must act in the public’s best interest to maintain public trust.
Whether municipal officials fulfill their fiduciary duty when buying unneeded real estate depends on many factors. The main factor is whether the board acts in the public’s best interests. This could be through a good faith negotiation or eminent domain procedures, usually used to obtain properties at a lower cost. The board of trustees may also get an independent objective property appraisal.
In several cases, courts have stated that municipal officials have a fiduciary duty to secure the best price for a private sale of land. A leading case is Ross v Wilson, where the school board was asked to determine the best price for the lawful use of a former school building.
Marketing techniques to use
Using social media in your land marketing campaign has to be at the top of your list. Getting your hands on your customer’s attention is half the battle. The best way to do it is to put their best foot forward. The most popular social media platforms include Facebook and Twitter. You can do much more than just ‘liking’ a customer’s posts to stand out from the crowd. Creating a custom hashtag is a great way to personally connect with your customers. Adding a virtual tour is another terrific way to engage your clients. One of the best ways to do this is to create a custom landing page for each client’s property.
Legal ramifications if the buyer fails to pay
Purchasing a private piece of land is an excellent way to avoid paying hefty fees and interest rates associated with home loans. However, if you fail to pay off the balance, you may be in a legal quagmire. Fortunately, there are several ways to mitigate the risk.
The most obvious way to go about it is to ensure that the contract for the deed has a solid due-on-sale clause. These clauses ensure that if the buyer defaults on the loan, the bank will have recourse against them. Another option is to offer to make the buyer whole. This means that if the buyer defaults on the purchase, the seller can reclaim the money that has been paid. If the buyer agrees, the seller could be incentivized to keep the deal on track.
If you are a buyer, you might be surprised to learn that a contract for a deed can also have a large balloon payment at the end. This type of contract can prove costly for both parties. For example, if the balloon payment is too large, the buyer could lose property ownership. If the buyer can’t come up with the cash, the seller could forfeit the property and possibly be sued for fraud.
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