A real estate lawyer is a professional who you may have to work with for various reasons. In some states, you can’t complete a real estate transaction, including buying or selling without a real estate lawyer being present.
If you don’t live in one of those states, there are still different reasons you might end up needing to work with an attorney who specializes in real estate law.
Real estate lawyers know regulations, laws, and rules related to real estate transactions, and they can help their clients understand legal documents and contracts. They can negotiate on behalf of their clients in some cases, and they work with individuals and corporations.
The following are six reasons you might need or want to work with a real estate lawyer.
1. You’re From Out of Town
In many cases, a real estate lawyer can help iron out the details of a real estate transaction and make it smoother for you as the client. Real estate lawyers can work with you throughout different steps of your property search, and they can collaborate with brokers. If you’re an out-of-town buyer, you might hire a real estate lawyer to serve as your representative. You can buy a property from out-of-town without a lawyer, but if you want to make sure everything is done correctly in accordance with local laws and ordinances, a lawyer can be a valuable resource.
2. This Is Your First Time Buying or Selling
Buying or selling property is a contractual agreement, and before you enter into a formal written contract, you might want to have a lawyer go over it, make sure everything looks the way you expect it would and perhaps explain anything to you that you’re unclear on. A real estate lawyer reads the fine print so that you aren’t taken advantage of and you go into everything knowing what to expect.
3. There Are Possible Title Issues
You may need to work with an experienced attorney if there are potential title issues. If there’s even the potential of a title issue or any uncertainty, it’s advisable to talk to a lawyer. A title search will show you the state of a seller’s title if you’re a buyer, and an attorney can help go over a title search and let you know more details about what is insured versus not if you need title insurance.
4. You’re Going Through a Divorce
Going through a divorce is emotionally and financially stressful. It can be complicated as it pertains to asset division as well. If you’re going through a divorce and need to sell a house, you may need to talk to a real estate attorney, especially when there’s equity in the home if both spouses are on the mortgage. A real estate lawyer is going to be able to approach the situation with rational, objective third-party thinking in a time when otherwise emotions are running high.
5. You Need Guidance with a Purchase Agreement
A purchase agreement is one of the most important documents in the entirety of a real estate transaction. Issues often arise in a purchase agreement that may need to deciphered and analyzed by a legal professional. For example, have changes to the property that are already completed been done lawfully? What if the property has something dangerous such as lead-based paint or asbestos? What will the legal consequences be if the closing doesn’t take place, and what will happen to your down payment?
6. It’s a Commercial Transaction
Buying, selling, or leasing commercial space or property tends to offer everyone involved fewer protections. A real estate attorney can go through leases and purchase agreements to make sure that you’re clear on what your obligations are and what your rights are versus what they aren’t.
These aren’t an exhaustive list of reasons you might hire a real estate lawyer, but it gives you a good idea of some different scenarios these professionals could be helpful. If you’re ready to add a top-selling Realtor to your home buying or selling team, contact Effective Agents to learn what your next steps should be.