Real Estate Law

Real estate law can present a complicated mix of legal issues, whether you’re a developer, home buyer or seller, a commercial developer, a construction contractor, lender, a real estate broker, a condominium association, a commercial property owner, a property management company, a landlord, or a tenant.

At Orlebeke Mackraz, our real estate practice areas include:

  • Development, including all zoning, special use, variance and other matters involving approval by governmental entities
  • Financing and syndication of single-and multi-family and mixed-use projects
  • Lender representation
  • Land use regulation
  • Construction law
  • Real estate brokerage law
  • Use of local, state, and federal development incentives
  • Condominium formation and development
  • Representation of condominium or other community associations
  • Residential and commercial purchase and lease transactions
  • Real estate litigation
  • Property tax exemptions
  • Tax tribunal advocacy
  • Quiet title actions
  • Landlord-tenant matters including the negotiation and drafting of commercial and residential leases, and litigation of lease-related disputes
  • Negotiation and documentation of real-estate related transactions of all sorts.
  • Formation and development of Community Land Trusts


Orlebeke Mackraz PC has an unmatched record of success in defending claims against real estate brokers and salespersons, and remains as counsel for brokers who trust our skills and experience. We practice in all state and federal courts, and have represented clients throughout Michigan.

Other real estate practice litigation areas include:

  • Construction defects
  • Actions to quiet or otherwise determine interests in title, easements
  • Actions for or against condominium associations
  • Landlord/tenant disputes
  • Fraud and misrepresentation
  • Foreclosure and forfeiture
  • Breach of contract
  • Specific performance
  • Construction lien
  • Commission suits
  • Michigan Tax Tribunal representation


Our decades of experience include assisting developers, lenders, investors, buyers and sellers to successful conclusion of residential and commercial transactions.

Whatever your project—from constructing a large multi-family development or renovating an historic building, to building a condominium community or creating a residential subdivision—the development process is complex and sometimes prolonged. We can help you through the analysis of whether your development is achievable, through the process of identifying and acquiring the right property at the right price.

We can help you understand and work through the questions and problems that arise in every real estate acquisition. We’ve helped countless clients work through survey, zoning, environmental, title, land use, regulatory, permit, construction, and nearly every other issue presented in the context of real estate development.

We also specialize in developments that employ one, or sometimes several incentives that are available only through local, state and federal programs. Our attorneys have assisted clients whose mission is to provide high quality affordable single- and multiple-family housing throughout West Michigan.

We have helped structure several hundred million dollars of transactions employing one or several of the following financing sources:

  • Tax credits under Section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code
  • Historic tax credits
  • Brownfield tax credits
  • Tax-exempt, taxable, and pass-through bonds
  • AHP financing from the Federal Home Loan Bank
  • New Markets tax credits
  • Section 8, Sections 221, 236, and 811
  • The Mark to Market program
  • And many community–specific, and various MSHDA lending programs.

These complex transactions involve the formation and structuring of corporate, LLC, and/or limited partnership entities and the syndication of each development.

We also negotiate and draft agreements with architects, contractors, environmental consultants, surveyors and other outside contractors as needed. We work with banks and investors to document and balance their respective interests. On behalf of lenders, we employ our expertise in this area to properly document and secure the lender’s position.


Understanding the complexities and nuances of land use regulations is one of Orlebeke Mackraz PC’s specialties. We have extensive knowledge and experience in handling all permitting and compliance issues for clients seeking to locate and develop new sites, relocate, or expand their operation. We work closely with local government officials to make sure that the land for your real estate or development project has the appropriate zoning and has obtained necessary permits and approvals.


For decades, our attorneys have counseled, trained, and advocated for hundreds of real estate licensees throughout the state. Our clients have included residential and commercial real estate brokerages of all sizes, and we have also served real estate associations, real estate educators, and individual licensees.

In addition, we offer our clients regular agent training, document drafting, updates in emerging areas of real estate law, and real-time telephone access, which helps our clients provide the highest quality professional services by providing advice at the time it is needed—when a transaction is underway—not after it has failed because a problem was not addressed that could have been solved earlier. Specific additional practice areas include RESPA, Occupational Code complaints, ethics and business disputes, commission claims, licensing, entity formation, and document drafting.