Real Estate Law in Washington State

David Meyer, Real Estate Attorney located in Bellevue, Washington

David Meyer has been representing clients in their real estate matters in the Bellevue, Washington area for over 35 years.  He provides a broad spectrum of experience and knowledge when assisting his clients in all matters related to the purchase and sale of homes and businesses.  If you have any needs concerning these matters contact David Meyer at 425-455-1002 or david@meyerlaw.net.  The following are some basic areas he deals with in real estate matters.

Buying and Selling Real Estate in Washington State

Purchase and Sale Agreement (Earnest Money Agreement)

An agreement for the purchase and sale of property is usually called a Real Estate Purchase and Sale Agreement.  It is often referred to as an Earnest Money Agreement.  It is one of the most critical documents involved in a real estate transaction because it sets forth all the terms and conditions of the sale.

Take care before you sign a Real Estate Purchase and Sale Agreement

Incidental verbal promises that are not incorporated into the purchase and sale document will not be enforceable.  For example, if the buyer wants the deal to be contingent upon a satisfactory inspection of the property, the agreement must provide for it.  It is a good policy to have your realtor add to the agreement that the entire agreement is conditioned upon approval of your attorney.  It is also advisable to have your attorney review all the closing documents before you close the transaction.  David Meyer has reviewed and/or drafted hundreds of these agreements through the years.  Contact us at 425-455-1002 or david@meyerlaw.net to have us assist you.

Deeds, Mortgages and Deeds of Trust in Washington

An interest in real estate can only be transferred by a document that complies with the requirements set forth in the Washington deed statute, RCW 64.04.020.  Any deed, mortgage or deed of trust must comply with such a statute.

Deeds

There are three basic types of deeds in Washington; Statutory Warranty Deed, Bargain and Sale Deed and Quit Claim Deed.

Warranty Deed

A Statutory Warranty Deed will include a warranty that there are no liens or encumbrances except for those specifically excepted on the deed.  This is the typical deed to expect when the full market value for the transfer of property is paid.

Bargain and Sale Deed

A Bargain and Sale Deed provides a limited warranty that you have the power and authority to transfer the property but does not warrant that there are no liens or encumbrances.  This type of deed is often given by an executor of a decedent’s estate because the executor did not occupy the property and has limited knowledge about the property.  Many attorneys will label this a Special Warranty Deed.

Quit Claim Deed

A Quit Claim Deed provides no warranty whatsoever.  It only provides that you are transferring whatever interest in the property you may have, if any, to the other party.  This form of deed is what is typically used when gifting an interest in property.

Mortgages and Deeds of Trust

An interest given to secure the repayment of a loan will typically be provided by a Mortgage or Deed of Trust.  The Mortgage was the traditional form of instrument given to secure debts.  In the 20th century most States adopted some form of statute allowing that a Deed of Trust could be issued to secure a debt.

Mortgage

A Mortgage is a document that is recorded against the borrower’s property stating that the owner or borrower grants a lien on a specific parcel of property to secure the debt of the owner to the lender.

Mortgage Foreclosure

In order to foreclose on a mortgage lien, the lender must file a law suit from which the judge will order a sheriff’s sale of the property.  The debtor then has a redemption period in which the debt can be paid off and the property returned to the debtor.  If the property is the debtor’s residence, the debtor has the right to possession of the property during the redemption period.

Deeds of Trust in the State of Washington

The deed of trust statute was adopted to provide a more efficient method of foreclosure.  This is the preferred instrument by lenders.  A deed of Trust also grants a lien on property to a lender.  It does so by the debtor granting title to the property to a trustee who is to hold the property in trust for the benefit of both the debtor and the lender.  When the debt is paid off the trustee then issues a reconveyance deed to the debtor thereby restoring title to the debtor.

Trustee Sales in the State of Washington

A deed of trust may be foreclosed judicially as a mortgage or it may be foreclosed without a court proceeding by trustee’s sale.  A trustee’s sale is held by a trustee by first giving a 30 day notice of default to the debtor.  If the debtor does not cure the default, the trustee will then give at least 90 or 120 day notice of the sale to the debtor and any other party whose interest in the property could be affected as of the date of sale and the last day by which the default can be cured to avoid the sale.  If the sale is held, there is no right to redeem the property.  The result is final.  Note: this is an oversimplification of the foreclosure process.  If you have any issues concerning foreclosure you need to consult with an attorney.

Please contact David Meyer, attorney, of Bellevue Washington at 425-455-1002 or david@meyerlaw.net to see how he might help you with your real estate needs.