Real Estate Tops Legal Issues List
October 1, 2002
When people become involved in a legal issue, there’s a good chance it concerns a real estate matter.
Nearly one out of five people in the country faced a legal issue within the last year. And the issue was most often related to real estate, which beat out personal injury and traffic violations, according to a survey by Findlaw (www.findlaw.com), a legal resources Web site.
Twenty-one percent of survey respondents involved in a legal matter—both those who used a lawyer and those who didn’t—said it concerned real estate, such as buying or selling a property or a landlord-tenant dispute.
Does that mean real estate is an especially litigious area? Not necessarily, says Kyle Christianson, a Findlaw spokesperson. “The minority of issues involve litigation,” he says. “There are just a lot of legal arrangements, such as transferring title, made around real estate.”
That said, what’s a common legal dispute? Bruce Aydt, senior vice president and general counsel of Prudential Alliance, REALTORS®, in St. Louis, says disputes often center on the return of earnest money after a transaction sours.
Top five legal issues
|21%||Real estate law (buying and selling, property disputes, landlord-tenant disputes)|
|17%||Family law (includes divorce, child custody)|
|12%||Estate planning (wills, trust, settling of estates)|
Source: Findlaw survey of 1,000 adults. Margin of error is plus or minus 3 percent.
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