Few transactions are as complicated – or as expensive – as buying or selling real estate. While Wyoming business law certainly allows residents to negotiate their own real estate deals, most experts advise would-be property owners to consult with a real estate agent, and in some situations, an attorney experienced in real estate and contracts law.
The Wyoming Real Estate Commission and Certified Appraiser Board licenses real estate agents operating in the state and enforces Wyoming’s real estate laws. For example, while agents are allowed to represent both the buyer and the seller in a real estate transaction, they should not be charging clients up front.
Additionally, Wyoming has made it abundantly clear that real estate agents are forbidden from any actions that might be considered “practicing law,” such as substantially changing the terms of a real estate contract, for example. As such, it is becoming increasingly common in Wyoming for real estate contracts to include an attorney review clause, which allows either party’s legal counsel to review the contract. Finally, real estate agents are not technically allowed to advise their clients about the various clauses included in these contracts since that could be construed as offering legal advice.
These issues could pose problems for a potential real estate transaction, so in addition to working with a qualified agent, buyers and sellers should work with a business attorney. Call Burg Simpson’s Wyoming office at 307-527-7891 or fill out our Free Case Evaluation Form if you’re considering buying or selling any real estate.
Wyoming is one of only three states that does not require sellers to make any disclosures at all in a real estate deal. Instead, Wyoming relies on the concept of “caveat emptor,” or buyer beware, with regard to real estate contracts, which places the burden of identifying any material defects with the property on the buyer.
However, if a real estate agent is involved, they are bound by state law to “disclose to any prospective buyer all adverse material facts actually known by the broker.” The broker also “shall not perpetuate a material misrepresentation of the seller which the broker knows or should know is false.”
If you are concerned about the condition of a property you are about to buy or have already purchased, get help from an experienced corporate litigation attorney. Call Burg Simpson Wyoming right away at 307-527-7891 so we can take a look at your case.
Some other issues that can arise in real estate law include:
- Adverse Possession – This is an ancient legal doctrine intended to prevent land from falling into disuse. In Wyoming, trespassers can gain secure legal title to a property if they openly and continuously inhabit and improve upon it for at least 10 years.
- Homestead Exemption – Wyoming law allows a property owner going through bankruptcy proceedings to designate a portion of their property as a “homestead,” protecting it from creditors. The point of this exemption is to prevent someone from becoming homeless simply because they have to declare bankruptcy. The exemption is $20,000, or $40,000 for a married couple.
- Property Line and Fence Laws – A few different statutes address fences. One allows a fence builder to charge a neighbor for half the cost of the fence if it becomes a partition fence – that is, a fence that borders the properties. Additionally, the state can charge a fence owner with a misdemeanor if they leave the gate open on a fence.
Fence and border disputes can happen among even the best of neighbors. Get help from a civil litigation lawyer today by calling Burg Simpson office in Wyoming at 307-527-7891.
Get Help from a Burg Simpson Wyoming Commercial Litigation Attorney
Wyoming is a uniquely hands-off state when it comes to real estate transactions. The state does not require the use of any particular forms or contracts. Property records are not public record. It is an environment that might seem to favor buyers, but it is one that comes with a wealth of potential legal pitfalls. If you are pursuing a real estate transaction – whether you are a buyer or a seller – you need more than a good real estate agent. You need professional legal counsel. A litigation lawyer at Burg Simpson in Wyoming can help make sure you are protected. Contact us before you sign anything. Call our Cody, Wyoming, office at 307-527-7891 or complete our Free Case Evaluation Form.