6814 Greenwood Avenue N.
Seattle, WA 98103

206.367.1065

Real Estate

Real estate is an expensive, major investment — something meant to last. Whether you're buying, selling, or leasing, and whether the real estate property you are dealing with is your home, your place of business, development property, or an investment, you want the transaction to go smoothly, you want to get what you pay for, and you want to be protected.

Working with an experienced real estate attorney is a good investment, to protect what may be your biggest investment. Whether you are involved in a purchase and sale, a loan, a lease, or other real estate transaction, a real estate attorney can prepare or review all the necessary documents to make sure your interests are protected. A real estate lawyer can also help with real estate disputes, resolve problems with the chain of title, and assist you with problem tenants including, when necessary, through eviction.

Washington Real Estate Lawyer

Joyce Schwensen is a knowledgeable Seattle real estate attorney who enjoys taking on tough issues with real property. When you have an issue with something as expensive and valuable as real estate, it's in your best interest to be advised and represented by experienced counsel. Joyce Schwensen has practiced real estate law in Washington for almost 30 years, and has experience advocating and guiding owners, buyers, sellers, landlords, and commercial tenants on everything from complicated title issues to evictions. Call the Law Offices of Joyce S. Schwensen today at (206) 367-1065 to schedule a consultation.

Joyce Schwensen is based in Seattle, and represents clients around the King County area, including Renton, Kent and Bellevue, and Snohomish County, including Everett. She may also take cases throughout Washington State.


Washington Real Estate Information Center


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Real Estate Transactions in Washington

Real estate, whether developed or undeveloped, is a major investment, both for individuals and for business or corporate entities. There are many complicated factors that can cause a transaction to go wrong or cause an unintended result, both for residential property transactions and for commercial property transactions.

Ideally, whether you are the buyer or the seller, a landlord, or a commercial tenant, you'll have an experienced real estate attorney on your side, working on the transaction from the beginning. Joyce Schwensen can review the structure of your deal, advise you on the legal requirements that apply to your situation, the potential pitfalls, and how the deal may be improved to give you greater benefit and protection from liability. She can negotiate on your behalf to reach the best possible agreement, and she can help you bring your transaction from an on-paper transaction to an on-the-ground reality.


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Title Issues for Washington Real Property

An interesting aspect of dealing in real property is that it has been in existence forever, and many people have had interests in it before you. However, this is also what makes real property transactions complicated. How can you be certain that the real property you are dealing with is not affected by the claims of prior owners, lenders, tenants, or neighbors? Even governments, railroads, or Native American tribes have been found to have interests in real property that can have major impacts on buyers, sellers, landlords, and tenants.

These types of title issues can complicate how you can use and enjoy your property, and even affect whether you are the legitimate owner. An error or omission in the chain of title could leave you with unmarketable title, or prevent you from using the property in the way you have planned. The property may be subject to covenants that are binding on you even if you never actually knew about them. Or the property could be smaller than you believed when you purchased it, or be encumbered by easements, encroachments, or adverse possession claims.

With many years of experience as a real estate lawyer, Joyce Schwensen works to make sure her clients are protected against title defects. When title issues do arise, they can be very technical and difficult to resolve. Joyce Schwensen will applies great care and diligence to get to the root of any title defects that are encountered and work out the best possible solutions for her clients.


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Representing Landlords in Washington

When you rent out a building, suite, apartment, home or other real estate, you are relinquishing control over a major investment. A non-compliant tenant can quickly cause you great harm. You need to protect your investment by always using a well-constructed lease that is crafted specifically for your property and your tenant. What is more, the law places significant burdens on landlords, especially residential landlords, to provide information and protection to tenants. If you do not comply with all these requirements your efforts to re-gain control of your property from problem tenants may be delayed, or you may be prevented from retaining security or damage deposits.

One of the best investments you can make is to employ the services of an experienced real estate attorney to prepare a proper lease which will protect you from a wide range of issues, and prevent problem tenants from taking advantage of you.

Under a normal contract for services where you are the service provider, when the customer stops payments, you have the option of ceasing services. That's not true, however, if you are providing a place to live or do business. In Washington, landlords are forbidden from resorting to “self help”, such as changing locks, turning off utilities, removing personal property, or taking other action to remove a tenant from your property yourself.

If a tenant isn't paying rent or is otherwise breaching a lease, the landlord is required to seek court intervention, and obtain a court order instructing the county Sheriff to remove the tenant from the property. This legal process is complicated, technical, and time consuming. And any doubts as to whether the proper procedures have been followed are always resolved in the tenant’s favor.

Every month — indeed, every day — that a tenant occupies your real property without paying rent costs you money. The advice and representation of a knowledgeable attorney can make a big difference for a landlord. Joyce Schwensen aggressively fights for the rights of landlords to reclaim their property after a tenant fails to pay rent, or otherwise violates the terms of a lease.


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Law Offices of Joyce S. Schwensen | Washington Real Property Attorney

If you are buying, selling or leasing real estate, having issues with chain of title or problems, or with tenants, you should seek the advice of qualified counsel. Joyce Schwensen is an experienced Washington real estate lawyer who can help clients with a broad range of real property issues. Call today at (206) 367-1065 to set up a consultation.

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