Would like to sell a piece of property to a relative and complete the legal transaction ourselves. Can we legally do it?

Our properties are adjoining and they want enough more to be able to construct an outbuilding. We have agreed upon the price and the survey is complete.I see where I can purchase forms for a Quitclaim Deed and am confident I could successfully fill out the form since I have the legal description from the survey. I don’t recall if there are other legal documents that I need to complete the transaction and it it legal for an individual to do it?

Asked on May 20, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Indiana


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It's legal, but it isn't necessarily just a matter of filling out a form. There might be more to this than just the quitclaim deed, there might actually be a lot more involved, and you should at least talk to an attorney before you go ahead with this.  One place you can find a real estate lawyer in your area is our website, http://attorneypages.com

First, if you have a mortgage, your mortgage will still be on the piece of property you're selling;  technically, you might be breaking your mortgage agreement by doing this, because you're reducing the value of the land you own.  I wouldn't do this without the mortgage lender's permission in writing -- and doing whatever else they require.

Second, there might be a zoning problem.  Most places have regulations that set up minimum lot sizes, frontage and side yards, and if moving the property line would create a violation of any of those (for example, you are supposed to have a 40-foot side yard between your house and the property line, and this deal would take you from 43 feet down to 38), you can't do it without permission.

There may well be other issues.  You need to talk to a lawyer who is familiar with all the local laws that might affect you, as well as the mortgage problem, and anything else that might crop up based on the unique facts of your situation.

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