Navigating the "Minefield" of Real Estate, an Interview with Mark Duffie. Mark, Broker and Lawyer for Lawyers Realty, took a few moments to talk about his experience as a real estate attorney and the complicated challenges that can arise in buying or selling real estate.
What is it that appeals to you about the law, especially as it pertains to real estate?
With respect to the practice of law in general, the sense of problem solving and assisting others with legal matters is what drives me.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
The sense of accomplishment is rewarding especially when it is done on someone's behalf. In the real estate field, you become a facilitator of transactions. The structuring of the deal and the documentation often make or break the deal.
What do you like the most about working with the law and real estate?
Real estate really provides an opportunity for attorneys to become very creative to meet the demands of the client. The challenges involved with every transaction are unique as are the solutions. The closing on a complicated well-structured deal is what we real estate attorneys work for. That is what makes real estate law so rewarding.
What are some of the legal "pickles" buyers and sellers get into by not having a lawyer involved in the real estate transaction?
Legal pickles. That is an open can of worms. Most real estate agents and clients are not educated on fundamental contractual principles including breach and remedies.
Buyers and sellers enter into agreements often times not knowing the implications given the circumstances. When the transaction warrants, standard agreements need to be amended. That is often times when the "pickles" occur.
When a buyer acquires property, they do not just acquire bricks and sticks. They acquire a bundle of legal rights of which they must become aware. They need to be educated on restrictions, easements, clean and green as well as other acquired rights.
The problems arise when these agreements are improperly drafted and these rights are not reviewed or improperly reviewed. Specifically, I have seen sellers try to sell a property that was already subject to an option or buyers attempting to buy a property under a fictitious name.
If you had to describe the real estate transaction in one word or one phrase, what would that word or phrase be?
Mark C. Duffie is an attorney and Broker for Lawyers Realty, LLC. Mark focuses the majority of his legal practice in both residential and commercial real estate transactions. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Akron. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors of the West Shore Chamber of Commerce and the Mechanicsburg Area High School Alumni Association. Mark lives in Lewisberry with his wife and two children.