7 Reasons Why You Need A Real Estate Attorney

Buying or selling a home is a complicated process involving significant sums of money, complicated negotiations, and legally binding contracts. Depending on the nature of the type of real estate transaction, you may be required to negotiate with lenders, state agencies, title companies and others with a vested interest in the outcome of the sale. A real estate attorney is a licensed legal professional who specializes in real estate transaction law and is able to use that expertise to ensure your interests are represented at every stage of the home buying or selling process.

7 Reasons Why You Need A Real Estate Attorney

Here are the top seven reasons why you should consider hiring a real estate attorney to assist you in your next real estate transaction.

1. Financial Protection

Purchasing a home is a significant, and often long-term, investment. A real estate attorney can help to protect your financial investment by ensuring that the real estate contract contains provisions for undisclosed problems with the home that could cost you thousands in repair costs if discovered after the sale is finalized.

2. Clarity

Like most legally binding contracts, the real estate contract is typically filled with industry jargon and legalese. A real estate attorney will assist you in understanding exactly what is being stated in the real estate contract and what the implications of each statement may be. Having a thorough an accurate understanding of this important contract is crucial to ensure that the contract is fair and that your interests are adequately protected before signing on the dotted line.

3. Expertise

Even the most straight-forward of real estate transactions can be incredibly complicated for someone without a background in real estate to understand. A real estate attorney can help to bridge that gap in understanding. In addition to being schooled and licensed to practice law, a real estate attorney will have specialized expertise in the area of real estate transactions and contracts.

4. Advocacy

Legal review may be required, or voluntarily provided, at certain phases of the real estate transaction. However, it is important to note that the required, or provided, legal counsel may not be acting in your best interests. Often, legal counsel is present to protect the lender’s interests or the specific interests of either the buyer or the seller. Basic legal review, as required by law in certain states, is general in nature and does not represent the specific interests of any party. Hiring a real estate attorney to represent you as an individual ensures that you have an advocate in your corner fighting exclusively for your interests.

5. Closing

The closing process is one of the most important moments of any real estate transaction. This is the moment when the transaction is finalized and the ownership of the home and property is officially transferred from seller to buyer.

The real estate transaction closing process involves reviewing and signing multiple pages of complicated contracts, disclosures, and financial agreements. Due to the nature of the transaction, emotions can run high. A real estate attorney can help you review each of the important documents and explain any terms or statements that you may not understand before you finalize the transaction.

Many states require the presence of a real estate attorney at closing to oversee the transfer of final closing costs and ownership documents.

6. Complicated Real Estate Transactions

While a real estate attorney can be a useful ally in a standard real estate transaction, there are more complex real estate transactions where the assistance of a real estate attorney is crucial to protect your interests. Though not exhaustive, the list below represents some of the most common types of complex real estate transactions where a real estate attorney may be required.

  • Out-of-state real estate transactions
  • Buying or selling a property that has major issues, such as structural damage, zoning disputes, or property restrictions
  • Certain types of real estate sales such as a foreclosure short sale, an auction, or a purchase of a bank owned property
  • Real estate transactions involving a home that is being sold as part of a divorce settlement or asset liquidation
  • Selling a property with liens attached as part of an attempt to resolve major financial hardship
  • A real estate transaction involving the sale of a family member’s home as part of the estate settlement process

7. Peace Of Mind

Real estate transactions, especially those involving first-time home buyers, or the sale of the family home, are frequently filled with excitement, nostalgia, and more than a bit of anxiety. Having a real estate attorney in your corner throughout the real estate transaction will provide you with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your interests are protected by an experienced professional. This knowledge allows you to experience all the excitement and nostalgia of buying or selling a home while saving yourself from needless anxiety.

Buying or selling real estate involves significant amounts of money, time, and emotion. Hiring a real estate attorney to protect your interests throughout this complicated process is a wise investment that is frequently well worth the cost.