Using an attorney for “for sale by owner” sales in Minnesota

John Braun
August 28, 2013

As a real estate attorney and a former real estate broker, I do a lot of work for people in the industry.  Realtors®, title professionals, and mortgage people are all among my clients.  So I understand the value that a real estate professional brings to the marketing and sale of your home.  But what if you have already located the buyer (or the house), and you just want someone to oversee the transaction? Paying a 5% or 6% fee for […]

Foundation problems and Minnesota law

John Braun
August 16, 2013

Nothing frightens a homeowner, or home-buyer, like a problem with the home’s foundation.  While almost any defect in a house can be repaired, troubles with foundations often require drastic – and costly – measures to correct.  If you have a sinking or crumbling foundation, who gets to pay for the problem, and how do you get them to open their checkbook? The answer depends upon how recently construction was completed.  Minnesota law imposes a ten year warranty on major construction […]

Tricky eviction after cancellation of a contract for deed

John Braun
April 19, 2013

A client recently hired me to cancel a contract for deed where the buyer had quit making the payments.  These are relatively easy to do, but this one came with a couple of twists: The buyer had purchased as a trust, and the buyer refused to move out when she failed to redeem.  What began as a simple ‘paper case’ soon turned into the client’s nightmare. Contract-for-deed evictions are governed by the same statute that governs regular rental evictions: Minnesota […]

Canceling a contract for deed in Minnesota

John Braun
February 22, 2013

  The recent uptick in the use of the Contract-for-Deed to finance real estate purchases (see my blog post here)  has an inevitable corollary: a future uptick in the need to cancel some of those contracts and recover the properties by the owners.  While not particularly complicated as legal processes go, getting your property back from a deadbeat buyer does require making certain good choices early on: Set a goal.  The Notice of Cancellation, which is the document that gets served […]

What you need to know about the Contract for Deed in Minnesota

John Braun
February 15, 2013

The implosion of the sub-prime mortgage market, while generally considered a “correction” of a marketplace run amok, had the secondary effect of slamming the door on a sector of the real-estate buying public whom, for reasons of poor credit or poor condition of the property being purchased, did not qualify  for traditional mortgage financing.   Likewise, there was an effect on sellers who, absent a pool of readily-financed buyers, found themselves unable to move property in less-than-perfect shape or at less-than-perfect […]

Easy evictions in Minnesota

John Braun
January 2, 2013

Okay, that headline is a little bit of a tease – there really are no easy evictions – anywhere.   But some counties in Minnesota have established special courts to deal just with housing cases, and believe it or not, these courts make getting a non-paying tenant out a lot easier.   If you have a deadbeat tenant, here are a few things that you need to know: #1. An eviction solely for failure to pay rent won’t necessarily rid you of […]

Minnesota Commercial Landlords Beware – licensees are required to place security deposits for their own properties in trust.

John Braun
December 16, 2012

  I spend a lot of time working with real estate agents and brokers in Minnesota, and I have noticed that a large number of them also have an investment property or two.   When I ask what they do with security deposits on their own properties, I cringe when I learn that they deposit them in their personal or business checking accounts.   That works fine for residential property – but it can get you into trouble if the property has […]

Where are my trees? Timber trespass and Minnesota law.

John Braun
October 23, 2012

A homeowner approached me recently with a problem; a tree company had submitted a bid to do some trimming work earlier in the month, but the homeowner hadn’t contracted with the company to do the work. Nonetheless, with a little extra time on their hands, the tree company spent a day at the homeowner’s property, slicing up and cutting down trees. When the homeowner realized what had happened, it was too late to save his trees. Many had been trimmed […]

Getting out: Egress windows and city code.

John Braun
July 23, 2012

Last week’s Court of Appeals decision is another blow to Minneapolis’ policy of requiring replacement of bedroom windows on rental property. Imagine that you remodeled a house in 2009 in the city of Minneapolis. For energy-efficiency, you sprung for high-end replacement windows; wanting to preserve the look of the house, you kept the window sizes exactly as they were. All work was done with permits and in compliance with the state building code, and the City of Minneapolis’ own inspectors […]


John Braun
John BraunAttorney