Sarasota Real Estate is Hot! | Experienced Sarasota Real Estate Lawyer

February 3, 2017 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Oh my! If you are like I am – outside enjoying the amazing weather and all of the culture and beauty of Sarasota, then you know why Sarasota real estate is so hot! With all of the people clamoring over homes for sale, multiple offers being made and all of the other emotions and excitement buzzing around real estate sales and purchases, it is especially important to have a qualified, experienced real estate lawyer representing your interest. Yes, real estate agents play an important role in real estate transactions, however, make no mistake about it, in nearly all cases they do NOT owe a fiduciary duty to you.  Nearly all real estate agents will have you sign a transaction broker disclosure or agreement. In fact, unless agreed to in writing otherwise, your realtor is acting as a transaction broker. A transaction broker does NOT have a fiduciary duty to you, rather, they work as a facilitator between both the seller and the buyer to close the transaction.

If you are like most people, the sale or purchase of a home is one of the biggest financial transactions you will ever undertake. Thus, it makes good sense to hire a lawyer, don’t you agree? It is always advisable to hire an experienced lawyer before signing a legally binding contract. In contrast to a realtor’s non-fiduciary relationship with the seller or buyer, a Sarasota real estate lawyer DOES have a fiduciary duty to his or her client, whether it be the seller or the buyer. This duty requires that the lawyer act in his client’s best interest, not in the other party to the transaction’s best interest.

So, if you are considering entering into a sale or purchase transaction, please call our offices at 941-955-5500. We look forward to the opportunity to assist you.

Michael D. Wyckoff, Esq. – Real Estate Lawyer Sarasota
Wyckoff Law Firm, P.A.
Your Sarasota Real Estate Attorney




Real Estate Lawyer Sarasota | Sarasota Real Estate Attorney


Hello everyone!  I have been practicing real estate law in the Sarasota, Florida area for over 20 years. From time-to-time, I feel compelled to write articles such as this one in a sincere effort to try to reach out to and help Sarasota real estate buyers avoid making the biggest mistake I have seen home buyers in Sarasota make over the years – entering into a sale and purchase contract to purchase a home without a lawyer! You may say to yourself – “He’s just saying that because that is what he does for a living.”  True, it is what I do for a living and because I have been practicing real estate law in the Sarasota area for over 20 years, I have learned a thing or 2 (one would hope so right?!). Let me put my extensive experience and knowledge to work for you. Let me help you avoid making mistakes that can cost you a lot of money, emotional turmoil and headache! If you had 2 doors to choose from: Door #1) go it alone without a lawyer thereby exposing yourself to a high likelihood of making costly financial and emotional mistakes or Door #2) hire a lawyer to drastically reduce the chances of making a costly financial and emotional mistake, which door would you choose? I hope the answer is obvious. If you are in the process of buying Sarasota real estate, please call our offices today and ask to speak with me – Michael Wyckoff, your Sarasota real estate attorney – 941-955-5500. I look forward to working with you.

Wyckoff Law Firm, P.A.
Michael Wyckoff, Esquire – Real Estate Lawyer Sarasota
Your Sarasota Real Estate Attorney

Real Estate Attorney Sarasota | Real Estate Lawyer Sarasota

A Sarasota Real Estate Law Firm and Title Company Meeting Your Needs.

It is no surprise that your real estate transaction may be one of the most important financial events of your life. As such, you deserve to have an experienced real estate attorney in your corner during the entire process. When you choose Wyckoff Law Firm, P.A. as the title and closing agent to handle your real estate transaction, you not only get a title company but you get a local real estate lawyer with more than 20 years of experience to provide you with expert counsel and guidance.

We provide a level of experience and professionalism you can count on and a level of service and a client experience you will remember. As an authorized agent for Old Republic National Title Insurance Company, we will assist with residential and commercial real estate closings, short sales and the full array of mortgage loan financing closings.

As you know, over the past few years the Sarasota real estate market and industry have been in a state of constant fluctuation and change making it very hard to follow and keep up with. Thus, it is more important than ever to have access to a real estate attorney on your side who is familiar with local real estate matters. To speak with an experienced real estate attorney Sarasota, please call 941-795-6565 today. You will be glad you did.

Michael D. Wyckoff, Esq. – Real estate lawyer Sarasota

For Sale By Owner | Sarasota Real Estate Lawyer | Real Estate Contract

For Sale By Owner

In today’s hot Sarasota real estate market, more and more people are choosing to sell their home without a real estate agent. Because there are more buyers searching for a home to purchase than there are homes for sale, more and more sellers are simply putting a for sale by owner sign in their front yard and finding many buyers who are interested in buying their home.

When handling a real estate sale and purchase transaction without a realtor, there are many important things to keep in mind during the for sale by owner process. There are many steps and considerations that need to be addressed beginning from the time prior to entering into a real estate contract to after the time the closing of the sale and purchase of the home occurs. The most important step in the process is the preparation of a comprehensive and binding real estate contract for sale and purchase that covers all of the matters that pertain to the transaction. Many people go to their local office supplies store to pick up a real estate contract. Based upon my twenty (20) years of experience as a real estate lawyer, this is a huge mistake. I would strongly advise against this practice if you think it is wise to take one of the biggest financial and personal transactions of your lifetime seriously. It is important that you have an experienced Sarasota real estate lawyer prepare a contract that protects you against lawsuits in case something does not go quite as planned. In addition, title companies are not allowed by law to prepare a real estate contract for sale and purchase. Thus, I would strongly recommend that you hire an experienced Sarasota real estate lawyer to represent you beginning from the time prior to the preparation of the real estate contract through closing and even after closing to handle important post-closing matters.

Other important considerations in a for sale by owner transaction include, just to name a few:
Who is paying for documentary stamp taxes on the deed?
Who is paying for the owner’s title insurance policy?
Who will serve as the closing agent?
Who will perform the title search?
Who is paying for the tile search?
Who will select the Sarasota real estate lawyer who will handle the transaction?
Who will hold the earnest money deposit in escrow?
Who is responsible for paying for the cost of any repairs that a home inspection reveals need to be made?
Who is responsible for paying for a termite inspection and any repairs for any damage?
Who is responsible for ordering a survey? Who pays for it?
What happens if the value as determined by an appraisal is higher than the sales price? What happens if it is lower?

If you hire an experienced Sarasota real estate lawyer, he or she will handle all of the above matters and more for you. It is very important that you understand a little known fact – title companies in Florida do NOT represent either the buyer OR the seller. If you do not hire an experienced Sarasota real estate lawyer, you do not have anyone protecting your interest. Please, do not go it alone. I have seen too many people suffer emotionally and financially because they did not hire a real estate lawyer to protect their interests. I recommend consulting with a Sarasota real estate lawyer prior to entering into negotiations. You will be happy you did.

Wishing you success in your for sale by owner transaction,

With kind regards,
Michael D. Wyckoff, Esq.

Legal disclaimer: This communication is not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. To the extent that anything herein contained may be construed or interpreted by the reader as legal advice, the reader should seek the advice of legal counsel before relying on any information contained herein.

Buying a Home in Sarasota, FL? | Why Hire A Real Estate Lawyer?

Why Hire a Real Estate Lawyer?

As the temperatures approach perfection this Fall in Sarasota, Florida, as I do every year, I have noticed the streets becoming busier with cars displaying out of State license plates. Inevitably, some of these visitors will realize that they want to make this paradise in which we live their home too.  Who can blame them? Certainly not those of us who are fortunate enough to call Sarasota our home.

If you are buying a home in Sarasota, FL, or buying real estate in Sarasota, FL, as you know, you are considering making an important decision; perhaps one of the biggest decisions you will make in your lifetime. As such, it is important that you surround yourself with good advisors from the very beginning of the process. One of the most important advisors you should hire to assist you in the process of buying a home or purchasing real estate is a real estate lawyer. This is particularly true if you are from out of state and not familiar with Florida laws. 

During the process, you will work with a host of service providers, namely, lawyers, title companies, real estate agents, surveyors, insurance agents, termite inspectors, home inspectors, lenders and others. It is critically important that you recognize that the only one of the aforementioned service providers whose sole duty is to represent you and your best interests and to be your advocate is your lawyer. Please do not make the mistake of thinking that your real estate agent wants the burden of such an obligation. In fact, most realtors will strongly recommend that you hire a real property lawyer to represent you and to review the real estate sale and purchase contract before you sign it. It is very important that you understand that once you sign the purchase and sale contract, you are bound by its terms and provisions. Stated another way, you must comply with whatever the contract says, else, you may place yourself in jeopardy of defaulting under the contract and possibly be liable for damages. Furthermore, after you sign the contract, you may have lost many important rights without understanding that you have done so. You will also have lost a majority of your bargaining power.

If you are told that it is a standard contract and that you have nothing to worry about, do not accept this explanation. Yes, it is true that the FORM of contract may be standard, but EVERY real property transaction is unique and inherently comes with its own unique history, location, set of circumstances, surrounding properties and property owners, sellers, chain of former owners and potential concerns and issues. All of these things can be evaluated and discussed with you by an experienced and competent local real estate lawyer in Sarasota.   

Thus, when making one of the biggest financial and personal decisions of your life, please do yourself a favor and seek the advice of a local real estate lawyer in Sarasota, Florida, BEFORE you sign a contract to buy a home or to purchase real estate. Doing so should increase the chances that the process of purchasing your home in paradise is less stressful, more pleasant and enjoyable, and a cause for celebration as it should be!

Happy house hunting! Welcome to paradise!

Michael D. Wyckoff, Esq.
1700 S Osprey Ave
Sarasota, FL 34239
e-mail –

This communication is not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. To the extent that anything contained herein may be construed or interpreted by the reader as legal advice, you should seek the advice of your own legal counsel before relying on any information contained herein.

ATTENTION Struggling Homeowners – Mortgage Debt Relief Act extended for another year!

Great news for struggling homeowners who owe more on their primary residence home mortgage loan than their home is worth. The law that exempts from being taxed as income the amount of debt forgiven by their lender that would otherwise be deemed taxable income but for the exemption has been extended by Congress.

Thus, if you are 1) facing foreclosure, 2) considering granting to the lender a deed in lieu of foreclosure, 3) considering a short sale, 4) considering a loan modification, or 5) one of the fortunate small percentage of homeowners who have been granted a principal reduction, but have not completed any of the preceding as of December 31, 2012, you are in luck! The law, known as the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007, that grants homeowners an exemption from being taxed on the amount of certain forgiven debt, remains exempt from taxation through the end of 2013.

LEGAL – THIS POST IS NOT INTENDED TO BE NOR SHALL IT BE DEEMED TAX ADVICE – I am a real estate and business lawyer that handles short sales, loss mitigation, asset protection, foreclosure defense and other work-out solutions as well as many other matters related to real estate, business and other areas of the law. I AM NOT A TAX LAWYER, CPA, or ACCOUNTANT. As such, you should always consult with a CPA when seeking advice on tax matters.

Michael D. Wyckoff, Attorney, Sarasota, Florida
Wyckoff Law Firm, P.A.

If you are seeking a real estate lawyer in Sarasota or a real estate lawyer in Bradenton to help you through the legal process and to help guide you to find your way back to a less stressful, healthier and happier life again, please call our offices at 941-795-6565 to schedule an appointment with a lawyer. Wyckoff Law Firm, P.A. Your short sale lawyer in Sarasota, short sale lawyer in Bradenton, offering foreclosure defense, foreclosure help, short sale help, helping you stop foreclosure in Sarasota, stop foreclosure in Bradenton, avoid foreclosure in Sarasota, avoid foreclosure in Bradenton, and much more.

Stop Foreclosure | Avoid a Deficiency | Try a Short Sale


I am getting more and more calls from people who let their house go to a foreclosure sale and now the bank is coming after them to collect on the deficiency. They all thought that by “walking away” from their house and their debt their problems would just go away. Well, unfortunately for many, this is the farthest thing from the truth. DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU! AVOID A DEFICIENCY!

By now, chances are that you have some idea of what a short sale is. I have covered in other blogs what a short sale is and what the benefits of a short sale are. One of the most important benefits of a short sale is that during the short sale process your lawyer is in a position to try to negotiate away the lender’s right to a deficiency against you. As I have said before, in Florida, after a foreclosure sale the lender has the right to pursue a borrower for the difference between the amount owed on the home and the value of the home at the time of the foreclosure sale.  This amount may be tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars! If the homeowner just “let the home go” to be sold at a foreclosure sale, the lender has this right automatically under Florida law. DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU! AVOID A DEFICIENCY!

AND HERE IS THE WORST PART – Once a lender gets a deficiency judgment against a homeowner, the lender has the right to collect it by attempting to garnish wages, seize bank accounts and levy on vehicles and other personal property that has value. What’s more, in Florida they have this right for twenty (20) years! And the lender can chase the borrower and the borrower’s assets wherever they are located in any State around the County. AGAIN, DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!  AVOID A DEFICIENCY!

THE GOOD NEWS – Even if you have been served with a foreclosure complaint, it is not too late to get help. But you must act right away. You have only 20 calendar days from the time you are served to respond. We are here to help. To schedule an appointment with an attorney, call 941-795-6565 – do yourself a huge favor and call now!

Wyckoff Law Firm, P.A., is a short sale lawyer in Sarasota Florida, a short sale lawyer in Bradenton Florida, helping clients stop foreclosure in Sarasota Florida, stop foreclosure in Bradenton Florida, avoid foreclosure in Sarasota Florida and avoid foreclosure in Bradenton Florida. We are real property lawyers in Sarasota Florida, real property lawyers in Bradenton Florida, real estate lawyers in Sarasota Florida and real estate lawyers in Bradenton Florida and the surrounding area.

DISCLAIMER FOR ALL CONTENT CONTAINED ON THIS WEBSITE: For general information and educational purposes only; shall not be deemed to constitute specific legal advise nor does it create an attorney-client relationship; shall not be used as a subsititute for competent legal advice from an attorney you do establish an attorney-client relationship with who is licensed in your State; shall not be deemed to be tax advice.

Avoid Foreclosure – It Pays To Short Sell, LITERALLY


If you are one of many homeowners who owe more than your home is worth you will definitely want to read this article.  As I have written in previous blogs in an effort to create awareness in my community of the many benefits of a short sale, it really makes absolutely no sense to allow your home to go to foreclosure. We can help you stop foreclosure. By allowing your home to go to foreclosure, you are making a terrible mistake and you are missing a great opportunity to make the best of the bad situation you are facing.

Recently, it has gotten even better for a homeowner. Certain lenders are now offering $5,000.00 to qualified homeowners that participate in a short sale program rather than letting their home go to foreclosure.  Yes, that’s right, the lender will pay you $5,000 at the sale of your home as payment for cooperating with the short sale. Stated another way, many lenders are offering their borrowers money to stop foreclosure. Why would my lender do such a thing you may ask? The answer is actually quite simple and it makes a lot of sense – lenders have finally figured out that cooperating with the borrower on a short sale will net them more money than if the property were to go to foreclosure in which case they become the owners of the property and are thereby straddled with the substantial expenses of managing, maintaining, marketing and selling the home. 

How do you take advantage of this opportunity? It’s easy – by calling our firm. Using our professional skills, expertise, training and experience, we have helped many homeowners navigate the short sale process and reap the substantial rewards that come with accomplishing a short sale and thereby avoiding a foreclosure.

To schedule an appointment with an attorney, please call 941-795-6565 or send us an e-mail by clicking on the “Contact Us” tab above. We look forward to helping you stop foreclosure and helping you find a path to a brighter future more quickly. We also offer foreclosure defense services.

Wyckoff Law Firm, P.A., is your Sarasota short sale lawyer, your Bradenton short sale lawyer and your short sale lawyer in the surrounding area. Let us help you avoid foreclosure, stop foreclosure, by serving as your short sale lawyer in Sarasota Florida and your short sale lawyer in Bradenton Florida.

Property Lawyer | Real Estate Lawyer | Sarasota, FL and Bradenton, FL area


If you are seriously considering buying or selling real property in Florida, whatever you do, do not go it alone. And when I say alone, alone means without a real estate lawyer; because when you buy or sell real estate without a real estate lawyer, you are doing so without the aid of anyone who is legally obligated to represent your best interests. The unfortunate thing is that people have no idea that this is the case.

Yes, it is true that there are many players important to the process of buying and selling real estate including real estate agents, loan officers, mortgage brokers, lenders, appraisers, surveyors, pest inspectors, home inspectors and many more. Each of these service providers do play a very important role in the process, HOWEVER, NONE OF THEM ARE EDUCATED, TRAINED OR EXPERIENCED IN REAL ESTATE LAW! Further, none of them owe you the fiduciary duty, the duty of loyalty, or the duty of confidentiality that your lawyer owes you – not your realtor, not your lender or mortgage professional. In other words, your lawyer is the ONLY professional whose sole goal and purpose is to represent your best best interest and who is truly your advocate.  Thus, you should not rely on any information or representations that are made to you that have any legal significance that come from a non-lawyer.

Let me give you an example of one critical mistake people often make – it is to sign a sale and purchase contract BEFORE THEIR LAWYER REVIEWS IT FOR THEM. I cannot stress the importance of this enough. A contract is a legally binding instrument. Once you sign it, you are bound by it! If you give it to a lawyer after you sign it, there is very little, if anything, he or she can do for you. If your realtor tells you that it is a standard contract and you have nothing to be concerned about, do not accept that answer – remember, your lawyer is your only advocate!

It is also important that you do not seek the counsel of just any lawyer, but that of a lawyer with substantial experience in real property law transactions. Lawyers, much like doctors, have their areas of expertise and experience. For example, it is not a good idea to have a personal injury lawyer, bankruptcy lawyer, or family lawyer represent you in a real estate transaction. It truly does take an experienced real estate lawyer that knows Florida law and the local marketplace to understand the myriad of legal issues and practical concerns involved and to provide sound advise and good legal counsel to you.

Whether you are a buyer, seller, lender, or realtor, we can help you. We combine our experience and knowledge with our determination and dedication to your matter to provide a high level of service to you. In short, we are committed to helping you obtain results. To schedule an appointment with a real estate lawyer please call us at 941-795-6565 or send us an e-mail.

If you are looking for a real property lawyer in Sarasota FL, a real property lawyer in Bradenton FL, a real estate lawyer in Sarasota FL, or a real estate lawyer in Bradenton FL area, please give us a call or e-mail us.

Commercial lease lawyer in Sarasota, FL and Bradenton, FL

Representing the Tenant in a Commercial Lease – At Wyckoff Law Firm, P.A., we represent both landlord and tenant clients in commercial lease negotiations. We understand that the terms and provisions contained in a commercial lease can sometimes be the difference between whether a business fails or succeeds. Generally, it is in both the landlord’s and the tenant’s best interest that the tenant’s business succeeds. The importance of a commercial lease properly negotiated to put the tenant on a fair and level playing field with the landlord cannot be overemphasized in accomplishing a successful and long lasting landlord-tenant relationship.

Too often, tenants do not adequately negotiate the terms and provisions of their lease. It is an unfortunate and common misperception that tenants must sign the lease that the landlord gives them. Tenants should be aware that leases drafted by the landlord are almost always very one-sided in favor of the landlord.   As a result, a tenant in a non-negotiated lease may find themselves exposed to personal liability, large sums of additional rent, substantial costs that the tenant was not aware of including unforseen costs for maintenance and repairs andor unforseen increases in common area maintenance charges, a tenant who is a direct competitor moving in to the space next door, parking issues, and perhaps even costly litigation.  We have the legal education, experience and skills to help our clients negotiate lease provisions designed to provide protection against making the above costly mistakes which should provide our clients with a better opportunity for success in their business.

To schedule and appointment with an attorney, please call 941-795-6565 today.Landlord-Tenant Law in Sarasota FL, Landlord-Tenant Law in Bradenton FL, Commercial lease lawyer in Sarasota FL, Commercial lease lawyer in Bradenton FL, landlord-tenant lawyer in Sarasota FL, landlord-tenant lawyer in Bradenton FL