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Negotiating for real property with uncertain ownership

Many people in Pennsylvania think of owning a home as part of the American dream. For those who already own a home, they may wish to own other types of real estate property to provide passive or retirement income. Buyers often become so caught up in the excitement of this next chapter of their lives that they skip some of the due diligence or miss opportunities for negotiation.

One surprise that often comes up is uncertainty regarding who owns a specific property. If the property is listed as “for sale by owner,” the seller may disclose other potential owners that they no longer have contact with or cannot verify. Another instance where buyers may face uncertainty regarding ownership is when they find real estate property not listed for sale but wish to purchase it anyway.

For some people, this is a red flag. For others, they are willing to tackle the quiet title process to ensure they become the sole owners. Cornell Law School explains that a quiet title helps people to determine who owns real property. One person with a partial claim may file a suit against anyone else with a potential claim. If they are successful, then no one else may be able to challenge their claim in the future.

Entrepreneur.com points out that there are other important aspects no buyer should overlook. These include thorough property inspections, the fairness of the price and any assessments or HOA fees for condos and townhomes. If there are repairs or any inconveniences presented by the property, buyers may wish to consider these as viable negotiation points to get a better deal.

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