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N Cal Attorney
N Cal Attorney, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 9415
Experience:  Since 1983
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We have an old state road dividing our property from our

Customer Question

We have an old state road dividing our property from our neighbors property. When the new road was built many years ago, the old road was turned over to both property owners with the line in the middle of the road. There is one place on road where the neighbors property crosses the road completely and takes in a very small portion of land on our side of road. The same happens for us except on a larger scale. We own about 1/5 of a mile with land on both sides of road. There has never been a right of way registered. We have a buyer for our property and they want a signed right of way but the neighbors will not sign (they have decided that they want to buy our property). When we signed contract with buyers, we thought there was a legal right of way. They have already spent between 5 & 6 thousand dollars on property under the assumption there was a right of way. By law, do we have to obtain a right of way before we sell? This is holding up the sale and is it possible, if sale falls through, for the buyers to come back on us for the money they have already spent?
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: North Carolina
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: We have signed the contract. Other than that I would say no.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: We had sign right of way in 2001 but have found out that it was not registered. I have talked to lawyer who drew up the papers but he has nothing on it. He thinks the realtor picked up paperwork from him since we went to realtor to sign. The lady who owned realty passed away a few months after the signing and the real estate was closed down. That's been many years ago.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 month ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 month ago.

Please allow me some time to read your facts and type my response.

If you receive an email regarding a phone call for an extra price that comes directly from the website and not from me and I have no control over the sending of the email. I don't take part in the telephone program and only work through this format and under your facts this format should be sufficient.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 month ago.

I'm a little confused by your facts. Usually, when a person refers to a "right of way" they are referring to access but from the way your facts are worded it appears you are referring to ownership.

Are you asking if there is any way to force the neighbors to deed the land that was the road, plus the land on your side of the road, to you or are you asking if there is a way to get access across their portion of the land (for example, to build a driveway)?

Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 month ago.

Hello. Since you requested assistance from a different attorney, I will step in and see if I can assist you here. The right-of-way in favor of the state road must have been created when the land was originally platted. if that right-of-way has been abandoned, then the land over which it ran belongs to the fee simple owners whose land the right-of-way ran across. Your buyer can only buy the land that you now own, which be identified only by survey. The buyer wanting a signed right-of-way makes no sense. A signed easement would make sense, but an easement on whose land, and for what purpose? Your buyers should never have been given possession and the right to make modifications or improvements to the structure prior to closing. But that said, the risk of loss is on them, not you. You, your buyers, and perhaps even the people across the road are in a very technical area of real estate law and you all need good lawyers and surveys to get the situation straightened out.

I hope that this information has been helpful to you. If so, a 5 star rating is hoped for. Please let me know how I can further assist you. There is no additional charge to you for rating me. A bonus is not required, but is always appreciated.

Thanks again for using JUST ANSWER.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 month ago.

Apparently I was locked out of the question for a while but since IrwinLaw has stepped in I will go ahead and opt out.

Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 1 month ago.

New Expert here.

How long ago was the road turned over to you and your neighbor?

Was that done in writing? If do, what does the writing say?

Have you openly used the entire road since then?