Recent News

Lessons From A Failed Land Development Deal

Washington State Litigation Lawyer Andrew M. McKenzie | 5/17/2024
Developing land is often complicated.  The would-be developer must take into account a host of considerations, not the least of which are: (a) property acquisition; (b) financing; (c) zoning; (d) presence of environmentally critical areas; (d) local development codes; (e) subdividability; (f) bureaucracy and politics of local jurisdictions; (g) market forces; (h) title issues; (i)… Read More

2024 Housing Reform Progress Report

Washington State Business and Real Estate Law Lawyer Babak Shamsi | 5/14/2024
Washington State has recently undergone significant changes in housing legislation. My previous blog posts here, here, and here, outlined some of the most substantial reforms pertaining to housing density adopted in 2023, which specifically related to multiplexes and accessory dwelling units. While 2024 has seen additional housing reform stall by comparison, as outlined in my blog post here, the legislature did pass… Read More

More On Private Condemnation To Access Landlocked Property

Washington State Litigation Lawyer Andrew M. McKenzie | 5/3/2024
About three years ago, I posted on private condemnation generally, here:, explaining how private condemnation can be the solution to getting access to landlocked property.  A recent case from Division II of the Washington State Court of Appeals has further illustrated how private condemnation can apply in the face of arguments over feasibility of… Read More

Rights and Responsibilities Pertaining to Encroaching Trees and Boundary Trees

Washington State Business and Real Estate Law Lawyer Babak Shamsi | 4/1/2024
Us residents of Washington State often consider ourselves lucky to live in an area with an abundance of beautiful trees. Naturally, however, the ubiquity of beautiful trees throughout our state has led to the growth of a significant body of law relating to the ownership and maintenance of trees as between neighboring property owners. Indeed, my colleagues… Read More

Does a Real Estate Contract Affect Your Property?

Washington State Business and Real Estate Law Lawyer Per E. Oscarsson | 3/27/2024
Real estate contracts were a common form of providing for the purchase and sale and financing of real estate. Under real estate contracts, the buyer purchased the property from the seller and agreed to pay the seller the balance of the purchase price in installments.  (Real estate contracts are to be distinguished from the now… Read More

Housing Reform Stalls in 2024

Washington State Business and Real Estate Law Lawyer Babak Shamsi | 3/25/2024
In 2023, the Washington State legislature passed multiple statutes in an effort to tackle the housing issues facing the public, chief among them, HB 1110 discussed here and here, and HB 1337 discussed here and here (the latter discussing HB 1110 as well). The passing of these laws will have a significant impact on housing in Washington… Read More

Do I Have To Use A Realtor/Real Estate Agent To Buy Or Sell?

Washington State Litigation Lawyer Andrew M. McKenzie | 3/18/2024
Real estate sales usually involve professional realtors who earn commissions when a sale closes.  But buyers and sellers have no obligation to use a realtor.  Generally speaking, parties to a real estate transaction have three options: (1) realtor representation; (2) self-representation; and (3) lawyer representation.  You should give consideration to all three options before deciding… Read More

Can I Get My Earnest Money Back?

Washington State Litigation Lawyer Andrew M. McKenzie | 3/11/2024
Most people have heard the phrase “earnest money,” which generally refers to money deposited (usually with an escrow holder) to show a good faith intention of a buyer to consummate a purchase of property (usually real estate).  Buyers often do not understand how earnest money operates and what determines its fate when a real estate… Read More

The Forgotten LLC Protection: Your Sale

Washington State Business & Real Estate Lawyer William O. Kessler | 3/8/2024
Clients sometimes tell me, “I would deed my property into a LLC, but I’m about to sell, so what’s the point?” The sale IS the point! If you own an investment property or vacation property, the most likely plaintiff you will face is your eventual buyer. The recent Washington Court of Appeals case Orvold vs.… Read More