Do You Need a Real Estate Lawyer?


Apr 30, 2018

Most of the time real estate transactions go smoothly for both the seller and the buyer, but some may be more complex and require some legal expertise.

Real estate lawyers can help guide a homebuyer or seller through a transaction. It is a real estate lawyer's job to protect the interest of clients by ensuring that their rights are preserved. Unlike other forms of law, real estate law is the primary focus of this specialized professional. Real estate lawyers may be involved in other areas of the law, but their expertise lies in commercial and residential real estate matters. The duties of a real estate lawyer include reviewing and analyzing contracts in all types of real estate transactions.

They usually do not negotiate their client's deals, but get involved after a contract is signed. It is then that they begin to examine all documents, which is referred to in real estate as "due diligence." Many people do not completely understand the legal aspects of buying or selling properties and need some expert help to navigate through the process. A real estate lawyer is experienced in walking both buyers and sellers through the transfer of property ownership. It is the lawyer's job to represent and protect clients in the legalities of real estate transactions.

Benefits of Hiring a Real Estate Lawyer

Real estate is an ever-changing industry where documents, regulations, and procedures must be kept up-to-date. Even though brokers and realtors are knowledgeable in these areas, they are not lawyers. It is important for anyone engaging in a real estate transaction to seek the expertise of a real estate lawyer who functions as a legal advocate for both buyers and sellers. Because most real estate transactions involve a substantial amount of money, hiring a real estate lawyer is a good idea. A lawyer that is familiar with real estate law can offer valuable advice that helps protect a client's interests. A professional real estate lawyer can conduct a title search to determine that the property being sold does not have any encumbrances or liens against it. The real estate lawyer takes care of filing of documents, which must be recorded. Real estate lawyers are trained to review all documents with a careful eye that allows them to find any possible errors or omissions that clients may not recognize. A lawyer thoroughly examines all legal documents and searches for legal title issues that could arise with the transaction. Only a real estate lawyer has the training and expertise to handle complicated or risky transactions with professionalism. All important documents involved in the selling or purchasing of property should receive intense scrutiny to prevent major problems after the sale is complete. Even insignificant errors such as a misspelled name in a legal document must be corrected to prevent any future problems. A real estate lawyer is necessary to spot any anomalies that may be overlooked by an untrained client. Buyers and sellers benefit from a lawyer who can find proof that all liens and judgments against a property have been resolved and the sale can legally proceed. Hiring a real estate lawyer may not be necessary for every state but is advisable to forestall current or future legal issues associated with a property sale.

Questions and Answers:

Here are a few commonly asked questions regarding real estate transactions:

Q. Is a real estate lawyer required in all states for closings?

A. Some states mandate that lawyers be involved in residential sales. These states include Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Kansas, New Hampshire, and Mississippi. It is a good idea to check for this requirement in the state of the sale.

Q. What happens if there are problems with the transaction and there is no real estate lawyer involved?

A. It is possible that the opposing side in the transaction can sue for certain undisclosed information. All known defects or problems must be disclosed prior to closing. Lawsuits often occur when there is no legal representation.

Q. How can a real estate lawyer prevent some of these problems?

A. The real estate lawyer is responsible for reviewing and informing the buyer regarding all important facts discovered about the property. A seller's lawyer will advise the client to disclose any information regarding any known judgement or defects on the property to prospective buyers.

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