Whether you are buying your first home, or investing in your fifth investment property, you may be wondering if you need a real estate lawyer. First off, keep in mind that most real estate transactions cost at least $100,000.00 if not more, meaning they can easily be the largest investment of your lifetime.
A realtor will be able to handle most parts of a real estate transaction on their own; however, they are not qualified to answer any questions or advise you on legal issues that arise. If you feel uncomfortable at any point in the process, or if you feel as if the person at the other end of the contract is avoiding your questions, it’s a good time to get a real estate attorney involved.
An attorney will be able to perform a number of different functions, all of which will give you the confidence you need to either halt the estate transaction or proceed forward. Either way, with an attorney’s advice, you can proceed knowing that you are fully informed and your entire bases are covered. If you are a buyer an attorney can help you understand the purchase contract, including how title works.
They can also check to make sure there aren’t any easements, liens or covenants registered against the property. They can prepare all legal documents, clarify the term of the mortgage and work with the bank where necessary, an attorney can arrange title insurance and they can attend the closing while closely reviewing any papers before you sign them.
As a seller, your lawyer can review the binder and review the purchase or sale agreement, they can deal with any title issues as they arise and act fast to correct them, they can attend the closing and review any papers before you sign them, and they can arrange for transfer of security deposits among other functions.
With intimate knowledge of the law, your attorney will be able to review your contracts and thoroughly examine every aspect of the transaction. Your attorney will be looking for any red flags that could potentially cost you money after the deal has closed. Truthfully, when you are dealing with such a large investment, having an attorney review the deal can save you a fortune in the long run by preventing any legal troubles before they begin. This is especially true if there are any IRS liens on the property or any other defects that you could be made financially liable for.
by Al Beaudreau