How Buyers and Sellers Can Prepare for an Appraisal




Robert Lattas, who has practiced real estate law in Chicago for more than 10 years, has helped thousands of clients complete successful property transactions. At his firm, the Law Office of Robert D. Lattas, he advises investors, developers, buyers, and sellers on a range of issues, including lending and appraisal matters.

Sometimes an unexpected home appraisal figure can throw a wrench into a sale contract. A few tips can help ensure that both buyers and sellers are prepared for the appraisal stage. First, buyers should make sure that their contract includes a contingency clause that returns the down payment to them if the appraisal value is below the offer amount. From there, the buyer can choose to renegotiate the offer or walk away without penalty.

Sellers should prepare for the appraisal by researching county records. While the county may over- or underestimate the home’s value, appraisers do generally take the county’s assessment into account. Also, sellers should keep in mind that customized upgrades do not always add value to the home. In fact, highly specialized modifications can lower the appraisal value.

The Differences Between C and S Corporations

Through the Law Office of Robert D. Lattas, attorney Robert Lattas serves clients in a number of areas, including real estate and tax planning. He and his team also offer individuals guidance in the formation of a corporation.

All corporations are formed as C corporations. They only become S corporations if the members of the entity decide to file for S status. These two different statuses relate to the taxation of the business. C corporations face double taxation: the entity pays taxes on net income and then shareholders pay taxes on distributions. S corporations, on the other hand, only face taxation on the shareholder level.

To be eligible for S status, corporations must have no more than 100 shareholders who are all resident aliens or citizens of the United States. In addition, the corporation must adopt a calendar fiscal year.

The paperwork involved with obtaining S status can prove daunting. However, the benefits for companies that are small enough achieve S status are great.