Real Estate Legal Services

With over 110 years of experience in the practice of law, our real estate attorneys provide top-quality legal services to our clients. Our approach focuses on both residential real estate transactions and commercial real estate issues.

The real estate lawyers at Dagger Law assist clients with legal reviews and planning for a wide variety of real estate matters. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Real estate investment opportunities for commercial and residential properties
  • Acquisition, sale, contract review, and negotiation of real estate purchases
  • Real estate construction and development law. Including the litigation of construction warranty and defect issues 
  • Farm acquisitions, sales, and splitting of lots
  • Lease Agreements
  • Landlord/tenant matters
  • Land use
  • Zoning, Re-zoning, and requests for zoning variances
  • Eminent domain
  • Financing, or refinancing, for properties
  • Lien creation, release, perfection, and enforcement
  • Home Mortgage closing services
  • Foreclosure actions on behalf of a lender
  • IRC §1031 exchanges of investment properties
  • Minor and major subdivisions
  • Promissory notes for loans
  • Purchase contracts and options contracts for properties
  • Rights of First Refusal
  • Deed restrictions
  • Easements and shared driveway agreements
  • Preparation of Deeds
  • Transfer on death affidavits
  • Memorandum of trust
  • Drafting and document preparation

Do you have an issue that you can’t find on the list above? We would welcome the challenge! Feel free to ask us about your real estate issue’s legal or practical considerations using our Contact Form.

Dagger Law recommends consulting with an experienced real estate attorney before entering into a real estate contract. Resolving some minor issues during your closing is possible, but fixing every problem at the last second is not. Poorly worded contracts can have a negative, and lasting, impact on your future interests and could create costly legal issues down the road.

Hocking Valley Title Agency, Inc., is the affiliate title agency for the Dagger Law firm. They have been serving Fairfield County, Ohio, and surrounding counties for more than 25 years. Dagger Law and Hocking Valley Title, Inc. share a close working relationship that allows us to work closely throughout your real estate transaction. Because of this, we can catch issues early and fix them before a serious problem can arise. This close working relationship also enables the entire real estate transaction process to happen quickly and efficiently. Our real estate lawyers have over 30 years of combined experience providing legal services throughout central Ohio. We pride ourselves on being a “one-stop-shop” for all of your property questions, legal issues, and transactions. Whether you are dealing with access/easement matters, zoning, mineral rights (oil & gas), eminent domain, estate/title matters, and mortgage/lien/foreclosure issues, we have you covered from start to finish.

Hocking Valley Title Agency, Inc. is a full-service real estate title insurance company. As an insuring policy agent for Old Republic National Title Insurance Co., Hocking Valley Title Agency is located at 136 E. Main Street, conveniently located directly adjacent to the Dagger Law offices. Though located in Lancaster, Ohio, Dagger Law and Hocking Valley Title Agency can provide real estate and title services in 88 Ohio state counties. We go the extra mile to deliver detail-oriented services and the very best customer service for our customers. For more information about title work or insurance policies, please call (740) 654-8266 or visit the title agency’s website at www.hvta.com.

Hocking Valley Title Agency, Inc. offers a full spectrum of title services. 

Along with the law firm’s quality legal services, our title agency has two licensed title agents who can assist customers with a wide range of title and property issues without a lawyer. The following represents the most common work that the title agency does for clients:

  • Residential title, escrow,  and closing services
  • Commercial title, escrow, and closing services
  • Residential sales and refinance transactions
  • On-site facilities for real estate closings
  • Real estate title examination services
  • Scheduling property surveys needed for the sale of a property
  • 1031 tax-deferred property exchanges
  • Title insurance policies for both Owners and lenders 
  • Certificates of title
  • Preliminary judicial reports
  • Judicial commitments

Buyers often receive an Owner’s Policy of Title Insurance when they purchase real estate. However, this is not an automatic part of the closing process. Negotiating the purchase of a title insurance policy will occur between the Buyer and Seller, along with the other terms of the purchase contract.

An Owner’s Policy of Title Insurance may take one of two forms. These are a Standard Policy or a Homeowner’s Policy. A Homeowner’s Policy provides more insurance coverage than a Standard Policy, but a Homeowner’s Policy is only available when an individual purchases land improved with a 1 to 4 family residence. Because a Homeowner’s Policy provides more coverage than a standard policy, the insurance premium is slightly higher. Hocking Valley Title Agency, Inc., issues their Owner’s Policies through Old Republic National Title Insurance Company.

Owner’s Policies are most often issued in an amount equal to the real estate’s purchase price. The Ohio State Department of Insurance sets the policy’s premium, which is paid one time at the real estate closing and does not have any monthly premiums. The title policy lasts for as long as the buyer has an ownership or other interest in the property. In some cases, even after the sale of the property.

Only an Owner’s Policy fully protects the buyer should a covered title problem arise, which the seller did not list as an exception during the title search. A title insurance policy will cover claims arising out of title problems discovered in the public records and those so-called “non-record” defects not detected, even with a complete title record search. 

To see a list of potential title issues covered by a title insurance policy issued by Hocking Valley Title Agency, please visit the title owner’s policy page.

Are you looking to list your home as “For Sale by Owner” or FSBO?

While real estate agents can provide many valuable benefits when selling your home, or other property, there are times when you may wish to avoid listing your home with an agent. For instance, if you have already identified a buyer or want to sell your home through an alternate means. A land contract, lease with the option to purchase, or seller financing are alternative ways to sell your home. Using a Real Estate Lawyer can be a cheaper way to sell your home while meeting all the legal requirements. Real estate attorneys can provide all of the legal services you will need. These services include preparing the purchase contract, providing you with the property disclosure forms required by law, conducting a title search, drafting and reviewing the closing documents, and conducting the closing. Real estate lawyers are incredibly helpful if you choose to sell your home in a manner other than an absolute sales transaction. Attorneys handle all of the legal representation and document preparation at a fraction of the price you would pay a real estate agent, making it very affordable and ensuring that you keep as much of your hard-earned money as possible. When selling your home or other real property, you want to get as much value out of the property as possible!

Dagger Law’s real estate lawyers can provide a full range of services for people wanting to sell their home on their own, including:

  • Represent buyers, or sellers, concerning contract negotiations
  • Reviewing a contract to ensure it protects the client’s interests
  • Contract drafting
  • Handling the completion of a title examination
  • Preparing the closing documents
  • Assisting with the closing 
  • Disbursement of funds, either by check or wire transfer
  • Recording the deed after closing
  • Arranging home or property inspections and surveys 
  • Other legal matters specific to your property and method of sale
  • Reviewing the title commitment and the exception documents referenced in the title commitment
  • Ensuring that you are fully informed and understand the details of your transaction

Below is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) that we have provided to help potential clients answer some basic questions and understand some common real estate words and phrases.

Q: Will my attorney travel to me, or do I need to come to your offices in either Lancaster or Canal Winchester? 

A: While holding some meetings with your real estate attorney in our law offices is necessary, we do try to minimize your travel time by offering two convenient locations in both Lancaster and Canal Winchester, Ohio. Our goal is to reduce the disruption to your life caused by buying or selling property. You and your attorney can conduct many communications or meetings through emails or phone calls for your convenience. In certain circumstances, we realize that clients can’t come to our office physically. In these cases, your lawyer may visit your location, as required. If you retain a Dagger Law attorney to represent you, they will travel to all of the necessary court hearings and legal procedures to represent your interests, anywhere in Ohio! Please note that in some instances, the cost to represent your case may require an unusual amount of money due to travel expenses. In such cases, we may recommend using legal representation closer to the location of your case. We are happy to provide referrals in these instances if we are able.

We routinely handle real estate transactions for all 88 counties in Ohio and represent out of state parties with property holdings in Ohio. We have you covered if you are located in; Central Ohio, Southeastern Ohio, Fairfield County, Hocking County, Licking County, Pickaway County, Franklin County, Lancaster, Baltimore, Circleville, Buckeye Lake, Newark, Logan, Canal Winchester, the Greater Columbus area or other locations nearby. Check out the nearest location to you by clicking Our Locations Page.

Q: What is an option contract?

A: An option contract, or sometimes known as an option agreement, is used in real estate to give a potential buyer the right to purchase a property. This option obligates the seller to allow the buyer to buy the property but doesn’t obligate the buyer, which means they have the right to purchase, but they can refuse or pass on the opportunity. The option contract typically spells out a particular length of time, or an agreed purchase price, which must be satisfied to uphold the deal. 

Q: How are option contracts and right of first refusal different? 

A: Option contracts give a potential buyer the right to purchase the property within a defined period or “option period.” A right of first refusal is triggered when the property owner offers the property for sale, regardless of the time frame. So these two mechanisms, while similar, do achieve different goals. A lawyer will be able to help guide you towards which option is right for you.

Q: What is a promissory note?

A: In the simplest terms, this document provides a written promise for one party to pay another party. These are a written promise to pay and include details such as lender and borrower terms, frequency of payments, and how much the fees will be. A secured promissory note means that the loan has been secured based on an item’s value, such as a home or other collateral.  

Q: What is a foreclosure? 

A: This is a legal process that allows a lender to recover the balance of a loan. Foreclosure accomplishes recovery by forcing the sale of the asset used as collateral for the loan. In real estate, this is most often the property or home that was purchased. Foreclosures happen when a home or property owner fails to pay the mortgage. A foreclosure causes the owner to lose their property rights if they can’t pay the owed debt. Foreclosure is a lengthy process, often taking 5-6 months to finalize under the best of circumstances. In each step of a foreclosure process, there are waiting periods where adverse and interested parties have time to weigh their options and take action. If you find yourself in this process, we recommend that you seek an attorney for guidance. 

Q: Do I need an Ohio attorney to handle real estate matters in Ohio? 

A: There are real estate laws that are particular to the state of Ohio. Furthermore, some rules are even specific to the county in which the real estate resides. For that reason, we recommend that a lawyer assisting with real estate purchases be familiar with Ohio real estate law and licensed to practice as an Ohio attorney. That is the minimum qualifications for which any client should look. Additionally, we believe that using an attorney who regularly practices in real estate law is essential. As with many law areas, what your attorney doesn’t know about the law tends to be more important than what they know. The details matter, and only experienced real estate attorneys have a proper understanding of the tricky little details about which a client should worry. At Dagger Law, we use our legal team, continuing legal education developed for Ohio attorneys, and shared experience to best protect our clients from those obscure legal issues that can sour a real estate deal.

Contact one of these Dagger Law Real Estate Attorneys for assistance.