Buying Southeast Michigan Real Estate and the Right of Conquest – A History

Posted in Southeast Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 26th, 2010

Before Southeast Michigan real estate – or real estate anywhere, for that matter – was bought and sold, it was just… owned. “Possession is nine-tenths of the law.” If you wanted some land, you found it, fought for it and kept it. Legal rights weren’t even a thought.

Buying the Right Southeast Michigan real estate Call Lee Morof 248-514-2640 today!

A long, long time ago…
William, Duke of Normandy, felt he had a claim to the throne of England. King Harold Godwinson, crowned king in January 1066, didn’t much agree. While it took until October, William and Harold met on the battlefield at Hastings; Harold was killed, William moved on to storm London.

Upon his coronation, William became King William I of England. He then made a proclamation that went something like, “I came. I conquered. Give it.” William I claimed the complete ownership of all land in England based on right of conquest. He won the battle, so it only made good sense to claim the spoils, and possession equaled ownership.

English aristocracy and the feudal system began. Lords could bargain with the King, who then might make them tenants-in-chief through tenure, or estate. The most extensive and complete estate was called the Fee Simple Estate (also known as an estate of inheritance, fee simple absolute or fee ownership), the basis of our real estate laws now, in America.

When our British ancestors spread across the pond to American soil, they brought Fee Simple Estate with them. And, they claimed America by King William’s idea of “right of conquest.” However, they also developed the concept of an informal association of agents in the 1880s.

Inception of National Association of Realtors®
In 1908, they formed the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). At that time, the NAR had a whole 19 Real Estate Boards and one state association!

While the history of real estate associations probably isn’t that exciting, unless you’re trying to pass a test, modern real estate laws are based off that history.

Although things have changed in terms of law, they really haven’t changed that much in terms of conquest. Okay, so maybe now the army is real estate agents and the weapons are contracts, but you still have to fight for the land you want.

If you’re looking for Southeast Michigan real estate to buy and you’re feeling tentative, it’s time to buck up a little. Buying and selling is still a matter of conquest, and it can still get rough. Negotiations, for instance, aren’t usually quiet discussions over Earl Grey tea. Before you go house hunting, do yourself a favor and make sure you’re armed… with a good real estate agent.

If you’re looking for a great piece of land to call your own, I can help. Call me at 248-514-2640 or email me at for more information.

Lee Morof sells North Woodward Homes in Oakland County Michigan RE/MAX Showcase Homes

Lee Morof
Associate Broker/Attorney
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640

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