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Get Help with Common Real Estate Disputes: An Interview with Bryan Thompson of Surratt & Thompson, PLLC

By Bryan Thompson

Tell us a little bit about your firm and the areas of law that you practice?

Surratt & Thompson, PLLC, has been a presence, in one form or another, in Winston-Salem and the Piedmont Triad region for over seventy-five years. Conveniently located in The Wells Fargo Center in downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the firm is a just short walk from the Forsyth County Courthouse, City Hall and a number of other important locations. Our attorneys handle both transactional and litigation matters in a variety of practice areas including, but not limited to, real estate, guardianship, estate planning, probate, tax, corporate, domestic, personal injury, disability, commercial disputes, criminal defense and traffic matters.

What are the most common real estate disputes that you handle regarding the purchase and sale of homes in North Carolina?

Real estate disputes are very difference and vary greatly by case. Often disagreements exist based on the Contract terms prior to closing, improper representation by agents, Sellers or builders after closing or in Lease obligations between landlords and tenants.

Can you briefly describe what a nondisclosure case is?

North Carolina law has developed to require certain material disclosures by Sellers of real property to prospective buyers. Failure to make disclosures of material facts results in liability to the non-disclosing party. In addition to material fact disclosures are property disclosures required by N.C. law. These can include "no representation" by the Seller. If a representation is made, such representations survive closing and can result in liability if disclosed improperly or if the party reasonably should have none of a defect.

How does an attorney help home buyers when the seller failed to disclose a defect in the house or property that was sold?

Any party can bring a suit in North Carolina without a lawyer, however attorneys are trained and licensed to properly handle a claim such as non-disclosure claims. Non-lawyers are expected to conduct themselves properly if they opt to proceed without assistance of counsel. Often the greatest value a lawyer can add to any case, beyond his or her ability to properly establish a claim, is that of non-emotional level headed advice and guidance during very stressful times for a client.

What would you recommend that a home buyer should do before hiring a lawyer to help settle a real estate dispute?

Common courtesy and fair dealing can resolve a lot of problems. While sometimes lawyers "get in the way" or working out solutions, a lawyer can also be a great resource for good information. It is perfectly fine to ask an attorney to provide you with information about the law and advice you can use in trying to resolve your disagreement with another person.

What's the best way for people to reach your firm?

336-725-8323 or

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About The Author

Bryan Thompson became a Juris Doctor in 1999. He studied at Campbell University and...

Phone: 336-725-8323

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