The Case For Hiring A Real Estate Lawyer

“Why would I pay for something when I can do it myself – for free?” That’s the question most folks ask when someone suggests hiring a real estate lawyer. Here are five compelling reasons to rethink this inquiry.

1. Contracts Are Complex

There is absolutely nothing that prevents buyers and sellers from negotiating the terms of an agreement on their own. But to make it legally binding, they must memorialize their agreement in writing. In addition to transcribing the actual content of the contract, an experienced attorney will also ensure that it adheres to all state laws. While it is true that real estate agents can help with standard contracts, they may not have the legal knowledge or experience needed to catch serious errors before an agreement is finalized. As such, it is often a good idea to have the contract reviewed by an attorney before either party signs it.

2. Liens May Be An Issue

Anybody can put up a “for sale” sign, but not every owner has the right to sell. Because it is often a family’s largest asset, the home is an obvious target when creditors are owed money they cannot collect. Whether that creditor is a bank or the IRS, property and judgment liens may stand in the way of a sale. As they are a matter of public record, anyone can search for them. But since they work closely with title search companies, attorneys can provide this vital service much faster and at a much lower cost.

3. Paperwork Must Be Filed

Even the simplest land deal requires both parties to file paperwork at the state and/or county level. An experienced real estate lawyer will make sure all legal documents are submitted quickly and efficiently. Most importantly, he or she will ensure that the real estate deed is filed with the appropriate state agency, and that it is duly recorded. Failure to complete this crucial step could prevent a new owner from selling the property, taking out a home equity line of credit, or refinancing the mortgage.

4. Government Red Tape

When the transaction involves a commercial property, there are several additional steps a new owner must take. An experienced real estate lawyer can help in establishing a valid business entity, obtain a tax identification number, and secure an actual business license through the local municipality. All of these important actions can help the new owner focus on the grand opening, rather than wasting time on government red tape.

5. Emotion Clouds Judgment

Unlike the real estate agent who is motivated by commission to make a deal happen, a reputable attorney has no such conflict of interest. He or she simply dispenses advice based on the law, not on individual wants and needs. That kind of dispassionate, level-headed presence is often sorely needed during negotiations.

An experienced real estate lawyer can help save buyers and sellers time and money on property transactions.

Benefits of Hiring a Real Estate Lawyer

Are you planning to buy or sell a real estate property but do not have really enough knowledge when it comes to legal matters involving transaction? If so, you might want to consider hiring a real estate lawyer to do the job for you.

Actually, if you have had real estate transaction some time in the past you would know how important is the function a lawyer plays for the job. But if you are just new in business, the following can help you understand how a lawyer can help you in handling real estate transactions – whether you are into buying or selling a property.

If you are buying a property, a lawyer should:

  • Help you fully understand the purchase contract, including the process of taking the property title – or in other words, the process of title acquisition.
  • Also do the job of checking to see to it that there are no covenants, easements, liens, etc. registered against the property that could obstruct the use of such property.
  • Process the registration and all the legal documents for the property.
  • Help you understand the terms of the mortgage and work with your bank if there is a modification or adjustment required. He can scrutinize the adjustments, including taxes owing and other costs paid prior to transaction closing.
  • Also work on reviewing all the papers you will be required to sign.
  • Work for your property insurance so that you will get protected from losses that could be due to title defects.
  • See to it that you get a valid registered ownership subject only to the liabilities you have agreed.

In case you are selling a property, a lawyer who is expert in real estate law should:

  • Review and explain to you the binder aka ‘offer to purchase’ – a preliminary payment secured by cash payment between a buyer and seller as an offer to purchase a property. In addition, he can also review or prepare the buy-sell agreement, including its terms negotiation.
  • Also work or arrange for transfer of security deposits or the deposit of money to the landlord to ensure that the rent is paid and other responsibilities of the lease performed such as paying for damage caused by the tenant.
  • Also arrange for insurance certificates if necessary.
  • Prepare the deed and power of attorney when required.
  • Help you in addressing title issues that may arise and correct them accordingly.
  • Represent you in the closing and review all the documents you will need to sign.

A lawyer who is an expert in real estate law can help address the legal burdens you might be facing in any real estate transactions.