The Safe Harbor

For Your Legal Needs

Experienced Real Estate Attorneys

Hoffmeyer & Semmelman’s real estate attorneys handle matters involving purchase, sale and refinancing of residential, commercial, industrial and investment properties. Our legal team is available to help our clients with all phases of the purchase and sale of real property.

Attorney William F. Hoffmeyer is so well-respected in the legal community that he frequently serves as an expert witness in disputes throughout Pennsylvania.

Bill literally wrote the book on title searching, now in its 4th Edition, sold through Amazon. Due to William Hoffmeyer’s more than 50 years’ experience in real estate practice, our firm is especially well-known for handling complex matters.

We handle real property matters for both individuals and businesses throughout Pennsylvania. Contact us for help with all of your real estate needs.

Why You Need A Real Estate Attorney

Many people do not believe that they need an attorney to help them purchase a property. These days, with the complexity and number of documents involved in any real estate transaction, failure to have experienced legal representation is a serious mistake.

Our legal team offers representation that is recognized for its high quality. In our real estate practice we represent:

  • Homebuyers and sellers
  • Condominium and planned unit developments
  • Homeowners associations
  • Tenants and landlords
  • Lending institutions
  • Real estate developers
  • Title insurers of real estate

In the constantly changing real estate industry, it is crucial that you have strong, knowledgeable lawyers on your side to protect your rights.

Legal Real Estate Services We Provide

Our practice also involves litigation of all real estate matters. Our litigation experience means that we are always prepared to try your case when necessary. Matters we frequently handle in court include:

  • Denial of permits
  • Actions to quiet title
  • Ejectments
  • Evictions – residential and commercial
  • Defective construction matters

How we can help:

Real estate contracts: Whether you need a real estate contract drafted or reviewed, we have the experience to know what your contract should and should not contain. Real estate property contracts in Pennsylvania are lengthy and complicated. You should never sign any contract without first having an attorney review it. In addition to the contract, you definitely need an attorney to review the seller’s disclosure statement whether you are the seller or the buyer.

Deeds: The deed is the document that transfers title from the seller to the buyer. An improperly written deed can lead to nightmares years after you purchase your property. There are numerous types of deeds, including warranty, quitclaim and special purpose. Your lawyer must know both the appropriate type of deed and how it should be worded to make certain you are protected. All deeds have certain, very basic requirements:

  1. Deeds must be in writing.
  2. The person selling the property (the grantor) must have the legal right to sell the property. He or she also must be competent.
  3. Both the grantor and the grantee (the buyer) must be properly identified.
  4. The property must be properly described and defined.
  5. Certain language must be included in the deed to properly convey (transfer) the title.
  6. The deed must be signed by all people who own the property. If it isn’t, you will have a very serious problem. Sometimes new owners find themselves stuck in the middle of a divorce or estate dispute. It is critical that you make sure, with the help of your lawyer, that you truly have a proper and complete transfer of the property in question.
  7. The deed must be properly delivered. In other words, either the person receiving the document or someone with the proper power of attorney must receive the deed. Sometimes you will want an attorney to take on this role for you.
  8. If the grantee rejects the delivery of the deed, this can cause problems for the grantor. It is critical to make certain that the deed is accepted.

Mortgages: As the mortgage crisis showed us, mortgage documents are frequently complex and unclear. These long documents can have all sorts of gotcha language contained within them. A lawyer can make certain that you understand what you are signing so you can avoid trouble down the line with unclear terms. We also assist in foreclosure matters.

Security agreements: Security agreements are part of what is called a secured transaction. A secured transaction is normally required when one person lends money to another but requires more than a signature on a piece of paper to secure that loan. In such cases, the grantor requires that the grantee have collateral. This collateral is often your home or another real estate. Making certain that the agreement provides proper protection for the loan is critical, as is making sure that the recipient of the loan is not giving away too much. Having a lawyer write or review your security agreement is very important.

Title searches: Bill Hoffmeyer has been a Pennsylvania licensed title insurance agent for many years. With the experience of Attorney Hoffmeyer and his in-house title abstractors, Hoffmeyer & Semmelman, L.L.C., is in a position to have an excellent knowledge with regard to the problems disclosed by a title search, and elimination of those problems as well as the issuance of an appropriate title insurance policy for the protection of both the buyer and the lender. Attorney Hoffmeyer’s title insurance agency issues insurance only through First American Title Insurance Company, the nation’s largest title insurance underwriter.

Securing of title insurance: Title insurance is a critical part of a real estate transaction. The title insurance protects you if it turns out that there is a problem with your title. Purchasing the correct title insurance is extremely important.

Settlements: The day of settlement is very exciting for everyone, regardless of whether you are purchasing property for personal use, investment purposes or your business. It is very easy to allow your excitement to overwhelm your ability to focus on what is happening. You will be presented with numerous documents to sign. It is best to have a lawyer by your side to protect your interests on this important day.

Mineral, oil and gas rights: Pennsylvania has valuable mineral, oil and gas in many parts of the Commonwealth. It is important that you understand your rights in the financially valuable items that can be obtained by businesses seeking to take advantage. If you are approached by a business that wants to buy your mineral, oil and gas rights, make certain you are properly represented by knowledgeable counsel. We can help you make certain that all of your rights are protected.

Contact Us For Help With Real Estate Matters

In any matter you might encounter with real property, the real estate lawyers at Hoffmeyer & Semmelman, L.L.C., are here to help. Contact us today at 717-846-8846. We have offices in York, Shrewsbury and Mount Wolf.