Real Estate Law

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Jacobs & Associates is a completely independent, experienced, law firm, licensed to practice law in Maryland, New York, and The District of Columbia. Our principal, Harvey S. Jacobs, Esq. is licensed to sell title insurance in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia. We are affiliate members of the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors (GCAAR), our real estate attorneys have been active members of the District of Columbia and Maryland Land Title Associations and have held leadership positions in the DC Bar Section on Real Estate, Housing and Land Use. Mr. Jacobs is past chair of the Real Property Transactions committee of that section of the DC Bar. Mr. Jacobs is also past editor of the real estate settlements section of the DC Bar Practice Manual, published by the DC Bar.

Mr. Jacobs is The House Lawyer columnist for the Washington Post.

We provide the following real estate legal services:

  • For individuals:
    • We conduct Stress-Free Settlements© in DC, MD & VA for those buying, selling or refinancing their home
    • We issue owners’ and lenders’ title insurance
    • We prepare purchase and sale contracts when there are no Realtors involved in the transaction
    • We analyze, explain, and advise on the appropriate manner of holding title, i.e., Tenancies by the Entirety, Tenants in Common, Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship, Life Estates, and Transfer on Death Deeds
    • We evaluate the impact of life-changing events such as marriage, divorce, death, births on the real estate portfolio
    • We advocate and when necessary aggressively litigate for those involved in real estate-related disputes such as:
      • breach of contract
      • partition
      • adverse possession
      • easements-rights of way
      • landlord/tenant matters
      • offensive neighbors
      • barking/biting dogs
      • boundary line disputes
      • public/private nuisances
      • property management complaints
      • real estate agent disputes
      • real estate fraud
  • For Real Estate Investors:
    • Legal analysis and advisory services, including:
      • explanation of applicable tax laws
      • evaluation of various asset protection strategies such as:
        • use of limited liability entities
        • liability insurance
        • installment sales
        • land trusts
        • 1031 like-kind exchanges
        • and other tax-savings analyses
    • Drafting of Real Estate contracts including:
      • purchase and sale contracts
      • lease option contracts
      • joint venture agreements
      • formation of limited liability entities
      • construction services contracts
      • deeds
      • promissory notes
      • deeds of trust
      • releases
      • powers of attorney
      • leases
  • For Real Estate Professionals:
    • Advice regarding purchase and sale contract formation and clause interpretation
    • Analysis and resolution of disputes regarding:
      • commissions
      • procuring cause
      • agency
      • earnest money deposits
      • financing contingencies
      • home inspection contingencies
      • radon testing appraisals
      • real estate commission complaints
    • Prosecution and defense of mechanic’s liens
  • For Commercial Landlords/Tenants
    • Leasing, drafting, reviewing, negotiating, and enforcing of commercial leases
    • Commercial Landlord/tenant dispute resolution

Since 1989 Jacobs & Associates has been conducting Stress-Free Settlements© in the District of Columbia and Maryland. We have conducted 1000s of residential and commercial real estate settlements in Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland. We offer cost-efficient, independent, real estate  settlements and other legal advice to home buyers, home sellers, mortgage brokers, lenders, Realtors© and real estate investors. Why risk your deal to a title company that may not be  around tomorrow.  Whether you are buying your first home, your fifth home or just refinancing, we can handle all your settlement needs. Tell your Realtor© you want a Stress-Free Settlement ©.

By law, the buyer/borrower has the legal right to select ALL their settlement service providers. That means you have the legal right to shop around and select the settlement attorney of your choosing. Before entrusting your largest financial transaction to just anyone, ask how many years they have been in continuous local real estate practice? Ask if they are licensed to practice law? You may be surprised to learn that Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia do not require that the person conducting your settlement be a licensed attorney. Ask if they are licensed to sell title insurance? Most important, ask if they are truly independent, meaning ask if they have an affiliated business relationship with a real estate broker? A bank? Or worse, ask if they are owned by one or more of these entities? If so, they must disclose this affiliation.