RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SALES
(Private / FSBO / For Sale By Owner / Unrepresented Buyer or Seller)
DEEDS, DEED TRANSFERS, TAX-BASE TRANSFERS , PROPOSITION 19
REAL ESTATE, TIC, EASEMENT AGREEMENTS & ADVICE
REAL ESTATE DISPUTES, MEDIATION SERVICES & PRE-LITIGATION
LANDLORD - TENANT ISSUES
EVICTIONS & UNLAWFUL DETAINERS
(Covering all Rent Controlled East Bay Cities)
PRIVATE PROPERTY SALES
PRIVATE PROPERTY REAL ESTATE LEGAL SERVICES WE PROVIDE: Shrem Law represents companies and individuals with their private residential and commercial real estate sales and purchases. We assist individuals that are buying a property without an agent and/or selling a property without an agent (For Sale By Owner or "FSBO").
WHAT DOES IT COST: We offer four different rates for real estate transaction legal services. All fees / payments are due upfront and necessary to commence the engagement. What if the transaction terminates early on? Please see "CAN I CONVERT WHICH RATE I CHOOSE" below.
Option A - $500/hour. Hourly Rate - We offer an hourly rate which is typically utilized by very experienced buyers and sellers who can mostly handle the transaction themselves but need some low level assistance or buyers that do not have a property, a seller that does not have a buyer, individuals that have not finalized purchase terms or for those that just need a few hours of our time. We require an advanced fee payment of $2500 to cover the first 5 hours of our time. Any unused time is fully refundable.
Option B - $6000. Flat Fee - For a single party (buyer or seller) that would like legal assistance, guidance and advocacy for the entire process of purchasing or selling commercial property, private vacant land or residential property, or a FSBO home or property, where all terms have been negotiated.
Option C - $10,000. Flat Fee - This is much like Opton B above, but representation is for both parties, the buyer and the seller. However, in this instance, our role changes and we are much more neutral, merely facilitating the real estate transaction. We cannot zealously advocate for or strategize with either party. We can certainly answer questions though and offer guidance and suggestions but we do not advocate for any one party.
Option D - $12,000. Flat Fee - For those parties that would like dual representation but need additional help beyond a typical transaction, such as due to a private loan, lease, TIC or tenant in common agreement, not utilizing the services of a title company, partial transfers, parent to child transfers and other additional tasks, we offer a flat fee of $10,000, as a Transaction Plus option.
Unlike a real estate agent's commission, rates are not a percent of the purchase price amount and are not linked to the transaction closing.
CAN I CONVERT WHICH RATE I CHOOSE:
Yes and no. The flat fee takes into account some time savings that comes along with not keeping track of our billable hours and it therefore usually has a little extra time built in for the client (10 hours for a single party, 16 hours for both parties and 20 hours for Transaction Plus). Once we are hired on an hourly basis, that time savings is lost. Conversely, since the flat fee assumes that we will save time by not having to keep track of our billing and hours, any conversion to an hourly rate then creates more time that was not contemplated by the flat fee.
However there is an exception, if a buyer or seller is not quite sure if an offer will be accepted, and we only spend a small amount of time, such as an hour or 2 helping that buyer or seller, then we are happy to convert the engagement to a flat fee should the offer be found acceptable. On the other hand, if a client thinks that a purchase offer will be accepted and after a very brief period of time, such as 3 hours or less of our time, it is discovered that the real estate transaction will not be moving forward, we charge for the few hours actually spent and refund the flat fee balance.
WHO WE REPRESENT: Our law firm has assisted landlords and tenants, trustees and beneficiaries, parents and children, brothers and sisters, neighbors, friends and strangers, LLCs, companies, partnerships and corporations, in buying and selling residential and commercial property privately, throughout the Bay Area and State of California.
INCLUDED SERVICES: Our flat fee service includes the entire real estate purchase and sale process, from start to finish for residential real estate, vacant land and commercial properties. On occasion we have reviewed seller marketing materials prior to posting real estate for sale on sites like Craigslist, although in most instances the buyer and seller have already been introduced. We help buyers and sellers put a real estate purchase contract together, we can help prepare a promissory note and deed of trust if there is seller financing, recommend top notch local inspectors, help manage the inspection, loan and appraisal processes, negotiations and contingency removals. We help sellers thoroughly prepare their real estate disclosures, necessary forms, paperwork and real estate reports to ensure that their risks are minimized and that they are legally protected. We provide guidance and assistance with timelines and strategies to investors who are buying or selling their real estate in a 1031 tax deferred exchange. We also work with the title company to review the preliminary title report and assist with minor title issues. If a title company's services are not used, then we do also prepare and record the new grant deed. In short, we assist in every aspect of the transaction, but it is all done from our desk.
WHAT WE DO NOT DO: We do not come to the property. We do not help with staging or home preparation and are not present for appraisals, inspections, or the like. We do not market the property on the MLS or hold open houses, but we can refer you to sites that will post it on the MLS for you and give you advice about holding homes open. Our services do not replace those of a title company, although there are occasionally certain circumstances in which a title company's services are not required. Our flat fee services also do not include any ancillary legal issues to the real estate transaction, such as estate planning, eviction services, title issues, buyer loan or credit issues, seller lien issues or the like.
OUR SERVICE LIMITATIONS: For buyers, our services work best for private sales. Typically buyers find private sales through friends, family, rentals, etc. There are also listings on For Sale By Owner type sites and Craigslist, next door, etc. Alternatively, our services can work if there is a motivated seller / agent, perhaps if a home has been on the market for a bit and is not selling or yours is the only offer. Our services do not work well for competitive buyer situations. We do not show you homes, we are not available for inspections, appraisals, etc. This leaves a buyer needing to figure out access. Regardless, we are always happy to discuss your needs and our services or we can provide you with a referral to a solid realtor if that makes more sense.
DEEDS, DEED TRANSFERS & TAX-BASE TRANSFERS
For individuals that do not need representation for an entire private sale and are merely seeking a simple change to real estate property title via a change in a deed, we can give legal advice and prepare and record a deed on an hourly basis. We also provide counsel to many parents that are interested in transferring their property and tax base to their children or to children that are interested in receiving property and the tax base from their parents. We also advise individuals who are over the age of 55 and want to take advantage of Propositions 60 and 90 (soon to be Proposition 19). We assist homeowners that have an easement or want to create one or buyers who are looking to purchase a home with an easement or other property encumbrance.
REAL ESTATE AGREEMENTS, EASEMENTS & ADVICE
We draft all sorts of agreements for individuals, couples and groups. Most agreements involve the joint purchase of real estate, such as a TIC agreement, a separation of joint property owners or deal with property boundaries and permissions, such as an easement or prescriptive easement.
REAL ESTATE MEDIATION, DISPUTES & PRE-LITIGATION
We assist parties with all types of real estate mediations, disputes and pre-litigation matters. We represent real estate buyers, sellers, realtors, neighbors, family members, homeowners and contractors. We can help answer your questions regarding a quiet title matter, partition action, adverse possession claim or legal dispute. Whether it is a claim based on a seller failure to disclose issue, a neighborhood nuisance claim, a tree or water issue, a non-performing contractor or homeowner, a change of heart, deposit return or a breach of contract claim, our goal is to attempt resolution in the most cost effective manner. We can assist with real estate mediation or pre-litigation. We also provide legal advice to buyers who are looking to purchase a property from a developer, trust or conservatorship or a short sale or REO (bank owned property).
LEASES, LANDLORD -TENANT ISSUES, EVICTIONS
We primarily represent residential landlords and commercial tenants that are in need of general advice, need legal help dealing with a dispute, evicting a tenant, lease drafting, review or negotiations. We have experience dealing with rent control issues and advice regarding rent control ordinances in all East Bay Cities, including Berkeley, Oakland, Richmond, Emeryville and Alameda, in addition to neighboring cities that do not currently have rent control or eviction control ordinances but are governed by State law. We also provide advice to landlords regarding COVID-19 / Coronavirus issues (typically failure to pay rent), eviction moratoriums, rent cap laws and Section 8 housing issues.
Shrem Law is a Bay Area based law firm with offices in El Cerrito. We provide legal services to Northern California residents, primarily in the East Bay (Alameda County and Contra Costa County), including Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Brentwood, Crockett, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Emeryville, Kensington, Lafayette, Martinez, Oakland, Orinda, Piedmont, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo, Walnut Creek and surrounding communities, as well as Marin county and San Francisco.
Copyright 2001 Jean Shrem & Shrem Law
Jean Shrem Esq. 510-882-9992. Jean@ShremLaw.com