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. We focus our practice on both residential real estate transactions and commercial real estate issues.

The real estate lawyers at Dagger Law are able to assist clients with drafting and document preparation, legal reviews, and planning for a wide variety of legal matters including :

  • Real estate investment opportunities for commercial and residential properties
  • Acquisitions, sales, contract review, and negotiation of real estate purchases
  • Real estate construction and development, 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 a zoning variance
  • Eminent domain
  • Financing or refinancing for properties
  • Liens; Release, creation, 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 Option Contracts for properties
  • Rights of First Refusal
  • Deed Restrictions
  • Easements and Shared Driveway Agreements
  • Preparation of Deeds
  • Transfer on Death Affidavits
  • Memorandum of Trust

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 the legal, or practical, considerations with your proposed plan by using our convenient Contact Form.

Dagger Law recommends that an experienced real estate attorney be consulted before entering into a real estate contract. Some minor issues can be resolved during a closing, but not everything can be fixed at the last second. 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, and has 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 which allows us to work closely throughout your real estate transaction. This allows us to catch issues early, and fix them before a 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 and is a policy insuring agent for Old Republic National Title Insurance Co. Hocking Valley Title Agency is conveniently located at 136 E. Main Street, directly adjacent to the Dagger Law offices. Though Dagger Law and Hocking Valley Title Agency are located in Lancaster, Ohio, we are able to provide real estate and title services in all 88 of Ohio’s counties. We go the extra mile to provide detail-oriented services and the very best in 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

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

Along with the quality legal services provided by the law firm, 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. The purchase of a title insurance policy will need to be negotiated 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, the insurance premium is slightly higher than the premium for a Standard Policy. Hocking Valley Title Agency, Inc., issues their Owner’s Policies through Old Republic National Title Insurance Company.

The Owner’s Policy is usually issued in an amount equal to the real estate’s purchase price. The premium for the policy is set by the Ohio Department of Insurance and 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 interest in the property and, 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 that was not listed as an exception during the title search. A title insurance policy will cover both claims arising out of title problems that could have been discovered in the public records, and those so-called “non-record” defects that could not be discovered in the record, even with the most complete search. 

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

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. Whether you have already identified a buyer, or want to sell your home through an alternate means (land contract, lease with option to purchase, or seller financing), the cost of using a Real Estate Lawyer can be a cheaper way to sell your home while ensuring that all the legal requirements are met. Real estate attorneys can provide all of the legal services you will need. This includes preparing the purchase contract, providing you with the real property disclosure forms that are required by law, conducting a title search, drafting and/or reviewing the closing documents, and conducting the closing. Real estate lawyers are particularly helpful if you choose to sell your home in a manner other than in an absolute sales transaction. All of legal representation and document preparation can typically be done at a fraction of the price you would pay a real estate agent which makes it very affordable and ensures 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, with respect to 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 an attorney travel to me, or do I need to come to your offices in either Lancaster or Canal Winchester? 

A; While some meetings with your real estate attorney will need to be held in our law offices, we do try to minimize your travel time by offering two convenient locations in both Lancaster and Canal Winchester, Ohio. It is our goal to minimize the disruption to your life caused by the process of buying or selling property. Many communications or meetings can be conducted through emails or phone calls for your convenience. In certain circumstances, we realize that it isn’t possible for clients to physically come to our office. In these cases a visit to your location may be required. If a Dagger Law attorney is retained to represent you, they will travel to all of the necessary court hearings and legal procedures in order 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. Whether 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; we have you covered. 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 property. This option obligates the seller to allow the buyer an option 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 for the contract to be upheld. 

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

A: Option contracts give the right for a potential buyer 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 is a document that provides a written promise for one party to pay another party. In real estate terms, these are a written promise to pay, but also includes details such as lender and borrower terms, how frequent payments will be made, and how much the payments will be. A secured promissory note means that the loan has been secured based on the value of an item such as a home or other collateral.  

Q: What is a foreclosure? 

A: This is a legal process that allows a lender to try and recover the balance of a loan 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. This causes the owner to lose their rights to the property if they can’t pay the debt that is owed. 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, and even particular to the county in which the real estate is located. For that reason, we recommend that any lawyer used to assist with real estate purchases be familiar with Ohio real estate law, and licensed to practice as an Ohio attorney. That is the minimum qualifications that any client should be looking for. Additionally, we believe that using an attorney who regularly practices in real estate law is important. As with many areas of law, what your attorney doesn’t know about the area of law tends to be more important than what they know. The details matter, and only experienced real estate attorneys have the proper understanding of the tricky little details that every client should be worried about. 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.