A real estate purchase and sale contract outlines the terms of the buyer’s offer and the seller’s acceptance of the material conditions of the transaction. It includes the selling price, the date of closing, the timing and means of transmitting payment, and the amount of the associated deposit. It additionally guards both buyer and seller against sudden and unauthorized changes.
Buyers usually have two sets of contracts to review and sign: the first consists of the note and mortgage documents from the financial lending institution, and the second the closing documents for purchase and sale of the property.
Most contracts offer a number of “outs” before finally taking effect. The contingencies often include results of an independent appraisal of the seller’s property, bank approval of the buyer’s loan, inspection by a qualified property inspector, review of the seller’s disclosure documents, the preliminary title report, and any locally specific geological surveys or natural disaster hazard reports.
Buyers should request that any contract also be contingent on their attorney’s review inside of three business days. Because real estate agents are not the buyers’ attorneys and are not legally trained, they may fill out prepared forms incorrectly. An attorney experienced with real estate law is the best person to answer questions about the regulations and procedures in a specific community.
As a buyer, you should ask as many questions as necessary before you sign a contract. If for any reason you think you may not be able to fulfill any of the terms of the contract, the time to act is before you sign. A buyer should also review the closing statement containing final financial numbers in advance. Ask for it early in the closing process to avoid surprises at the last moment.
Gerald Netzky, a graduate of Georgetown University’s Law Center in Washington, D.C., serves as Senior Corporate Counsel with JGK Development in Las Vegas. Gerald Netzky is experienced in multiple aspects of contracts and real estate law.
Less familiar than other professional degrees such as the Master of Business Administration, the Juris Doctor (JD) degree remains something of a mystery to many outside the legal profession. To get more information about the JD, we recently spoke to Gerald Netzky, a practicing corporate lawyer and current legal counsel for the real estate development company JGK Development. Mr. Netzky earned his Juris Doctor with honors from Georgetown University Law Center. We spoke to Gerald Netzky in his hometown of Las Vegas.
Q: What, exactly, is the Juris Doctor degree?
A: The Juris Doctor, or Doctor of Jurisprudence, is a degree that is typically conferred upon graduates of most law schools. Except for California, all US states presently require law students wishing to gain admission to the bar to have a JD.
Q: What is the difference between the JD degree and the LLM degree?
A: The Juris Doctor is regarded as the first professional degree in the legal field. The Master of Laws, or LLM, is an advanced designation geared toward individuals interested in practicing internationally. Prior to the 1960s, the majority of law schools and universities offered the LLM degree.
Q: What does earning a JD entail?
A: Most JD programs require applicants to have a Bachelor’s degree and solid scores on the standardized LSAT exam. After gaining admittance to a law school, full-time students can expect to complete the JD program in an average of three years.
As Senior Corporate Counsel for real estate company JGK Development, Gerald Netzky applies an extensive knowledge of the legal issues surrounding real estate development and transactions. Here, he gives a brief introduction to the historical background of real estate laws.
American real estate law stems primarily from the British system, which can ultimately be traced back to early feudalism. Feudalism began with a primarily lawless form of land ownership, in which one could take possession of land by attacking and defeating the original owners. In 1066, William the Conqueror became England’s sovereign ruler and took possession of all of its land. He then formed agreements with local lords to manage and work the land, and these lords would then sub-contract the actual working of the land to tenants.
Tenant law underwent a number of changes after this time, including the introduction of laws that allowed tenants to sell or pass on their claim on the land. However, even in these cases, the crown was the ultimate owner. This quickly changed when the British settled America; however, the ownership of many of the nation’s oldest land parcels can in fact be traced back to early rulers.
The Necessity of Law: Arguments For and Against By Gerald Netzky, Senior Corporate Counsel, JGK Development, Las Vegas
Gerald Netzky, a corporate attorney with experience in many facets of law, has frequently examined the question of the function of law in society. Here, he presents a few of the arguments that have historically been put forth on the subject.
Those who argue for the necessity of law often claim that people need the legal system to curb their baser instincts. These people define the law as a statement of acceptable behaviors within civilized society. Some believe that without this clear definition and the enumeration of consequences when acceptable behaviors are not met, society would devolve into chaos because individuals would fail to control themselves.
Litigation, then, serves as a case-by-case examination of those parameters. In a litigated court case, counselors, judges, and often jurors examine the specifics of an act to determine its acceptability. The decision made on the issue in question then becomes a precedent, or a determination on that particular behavior, to be used in the future to judge a similar behavior.
Gerald Netzky, a real estate attorney and Senior Corporate Counsel for JGK Development in Las Vegas, is a numismatic enthusiast—that is, a coin collector. Below, he offers an introduction to numismatics in the United States.
Beyond mere collectable objects, coins can offer a wealth of information about the era, region, and cultures that produced them. Academics have relied on coins to increase their understanding of commerce, politics, and societal advancements throughout the last 2,500 years of human history.
Coin collecting in the United States began with the opening of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1792. At first, the mint produced only 2 coins: a half penny and a large cent (named such because it is larger than even today’s quarter). The largest denomination coin the U.S. government has ever struck is the $50 gold piece, minted once during the California Gold Rush and again for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915. The most-collected American coins of all time are the Statehood Quarters, a series of 50 quarters with specially designed backs that honor the heritage of each state, released over the course of 10 years.
To learn more about coin collecting, I recommend visiting American Numismatics Society at numismatics.org and The American Numismatics Association at www.money.org.