Doyle Law Office S.C. logo

Real Estate


Picture of forest land Real estate services our office can provide:


Purchasing or selling real estate can be a stressful and confusing experience for anyone. That is why we recommend consulting an attorney at the beginning of the process to ensure that your rights are protected. The typical real estate process goes as follows:

  1. The real estate for sale is listed with a realtor or listed as "for sale by owner". If a realtor is involved, the seller will sign a listing contract detailing what is expected by both the seller and the realty company.
  2. A prospective buyer makes an Offer to Purchase the real estate that is for sale. This Offer to Purchase is a legally binding contract and should not be entered into without consulting an attorney or real estate professional. After this document is signed by both the buyer and the seller it is too late to change your mind or ask for revisions in the agreement. It is important, therefore, that you are sure the agreement is what you want before you sign.
  3. If the seller does not wish to accept the offer, they draft a Counteroffer. This counteroffer indicates what they would be willing to accept for the real estate.
  4. Once the buyer and seller agree on the terms of the sale, several things must happen prior to the closing:
    1. The seller must provide title insurance warranting that the title is free and clear with no liens or encumbrances.
    2. Inspections may be requested by the buyer which may include a total home inspection, termite inspection, radon test.
    3. If there is a mortgage with a financial institution, the payoff amount for the mortgage must be requested from the institution prior to closing.
    4. Any property taxes for the year in which the property is sold should be prorated to the date of closing.
    5. A Warranty deed and Wisconsin Real Estate Transfer Return must be completed.
  5. The real estate closing may take place at an attorney's office, title company, or financial institution, and the sale is considered complete.


Picture of Doyle law office house

Common Real Estate Questions


What are closing costs?


A typical real estate sale involves the following closing costs: The seller pays for title insurance which is based on the selling price of the real estate; Real Estate Transfer Tax which is again based on the selling price; Recording fees with the Register of Deeds to record the deed and any mortgages on the property; Broker's commission if a real estate agent is involved; Proration of Real Estate taxes; and Attorney Fees, if any.


Is a verbal offer good enough?


In the State of Wisconsin, a verbal offer to purchase is not enforceable. A written Offer to Purchase is required for the offer to be binding.


What is earnest money?


Earnest money is an amount of funds that is put into a trust account until the date of closing to ensure that the Offer to Purchase is a serious and binding offer. It is, in effect, a down payment and will be credited to the buyer at closing.


What is a land contract?


A land contract is another unique method to purchase real estate with the seller's help. The title is split into two separate parts and the legal title with the Register of Deeds remains in the seller's possession until the land contract is paid in full. The other part of the title is the equitable title, which is what the buyer holds and entitles them to live on the property, pay real estate taxes on it, and insure it as the owner. Once the land contract is paid in full the buyer attains full title to the property. If the buyer fails to make payments as agreed, the seller may foreclose on the property and keep all monies that have been paid.


Is a real estate agent necessary?


No, it is not necessary to attain the services of a realtor when selling or buying real estate. However, it may be a good idea. Real Estate professionals can be a valuable resource in pricing and "getting the word out" about your home.


Is an attorney necessary?


An attorney will look out for your best interests and aid you in negotiating your property sale. They will take the necessary steps to ensure that all laws are followed and that you understand your real estate transaction. Having an attorney help you through a real estate transaction is the best way to prevent lawsuits after the sale has been finalized. Again, because a signed Offer to Purchase is a binding contract, it is important to consult an attorney before you sign.


Click here for helpful links to web sites about the real estate process.

Any information presented on this web site is not legal advice nor does its viewing constitute the formation of an attorney-client relationship.