If you’ve put off buying or selling a home because you’re intimidated and confused by the entire process, you’re not alone. Many Americans are unfamiliar with the complexities of real estate transactions and, therefore, unaware of the various options available to them during the entire process. No matter if buying or selling, hiring a real estate lawyer to help you is a smart investment. A lawyer is an asset during any real estate deal: they’re knowledgeable and experienced, and they work to protect your interests, unlike the Realtor and agent who are only interested in making a fat commission and padding their bank accounts. With a lawyer on your side, you can rest assured that they’ll work hard to safeguard your rights and complete the transaction as smoothly as possible.
Where to Find a Real Estate Lawyer
You might be thinking, “Where can I find the best real estate lawyer near me?” The first step is to do some research. Ask friends and family for recommendations. Go online to find the best real estate lawyers in your area, or utilize the Bar Association directory. Look for a firm with comprehensive real estate experience and a talented team of lawyers to assist you during the complicated process.
Typically, it would be a good idea to visit a prospective firm’s office and meet the whole team, but Covid-19 has changed the way things happen in the business world. Instead of visiting, schedule a video conference interview to meet the team, learn about the firm, and see how they can help you. It’s a contact-free way that allows you to meet the people you will be working so closely with during the buying or selling process.
What is a Real Estate Lawyer and How Can They Help You?
Whether you’re a buyer or seller, you can hire a real estate lawyer to help you. They have many responsibilities that come along with the legal side of real estate transactions. They prepare and review documents, contracts, and any other associated paperwork. A real estate lawyer advocates on your behalf to get fair and agreeable terms for all parties involved and oversee the transfers of the deeds and titles. After all the terms are agreed upon and the final contracts signed, a lawyer will come in to take over the closing process, making it as efficient and streamlined as possible.
What Makes a Great Real Estate Lawyer?
A lawyer should be very familiar with all the rules, regulations, and guidelines concerning real estate transactions, such as zoning issues or permits. Look for a lawyer with excellent communication skills, which is very important due to all the negotiations that occur between both parties. The difference between a good lawyer and a great lawyer is that a great lawyer is punctual, truthful, and always reachable by phone or email. A great lawyer will also have exceptional judgment and analytical skills and knows how to apply those skills to best help you.
When Should You Hire a Lawyer?
Typically, if you’re going through any legal process involving real estate, you should hire a lawyer. Whether you’re facing foreclosure, purchasing a property owned by the bank, or buying a home for the first time, a real estate lawyer gives you peace of mind that you have a partner and advocate working for you throughout the entire process. They’re not just for residential transactions, either. Having a lawyer on your side if you’re trying to buy or sell a commercial property is a huge advantage. The legal process with commercial properties is much more complicated than typical residential properties, so hiring a lawyer to help you navigate the process is extremely beneficial.
Hiring a Lawyer vs. Hiring an Agent
Most people aren’t familiar with the difference between a real estate lawyer and a real estate agent. The most significant difference between the two is that hiring a lawyer is required by law in some states. However, hiring an agent is not required by law in any state. An agent also cannot give legal advice, whereas a lawyer can.
Another difference between the two professions is their specific roles during the buying or selling process. A real estate agent helps with everything that comes before you sign the final contract. They will show you potential homes, spend time exploring other properties you may be interested in, and help during the closing process. A lawyer enters when all parties have settled on final terms and selling price, once the contracts are all signed. They are knowledgeable about all the legal guidelines that must be followed during a real estate transaction, making them a tremendous asset to any homeowner.
What Are Some of the Legal Documents Involved with Real Estate Deals?
If you’re in doubt about whether you need a real estate lawyer to help you, it’s better to err on the side of caution and hire one anyway. Part of the job description for a real estate lawyer is to draft all the essential documents and contracts. A lawyer is mandatory for the completion of all legal documents, some of which include:
- Sales contracts
- Purchase agreements
- Title documents
- Deed transfers
- Mortgage contracts
A lawyer is also a valuable asset for any other legal services you may require, such as litigation or disputes. In fact, if you have any disputes or conflicts during the process, having a lawyer to fight on your behalf is vital for solving any issues quickly and without spending a lot of money.
How Much Does a Real Estate Lawyer Cost?
Typically, when people hear the word “lawyer,” they automatically think of every movie they’ve seen where all the lawyers get rich off their clients. As everybody knows, movies don’t always translate to real life. A real estate lawyer can be surprisingly affordable. The size of your bill is going to depend on what type of services they provide for you, though. Some charge by a fixed hourly rate, which varies depending on the region they practice law in and their experience level. Others charge fixed rates for specific services, and in some cases, a flat fee.
Real Estate Lawyers Are a Valuable Asset Buying or selling a home can be very confusing and intimidating, even for those experienced with the process. To make that complex process as easy and straightforward as possible, hire a reputable lawyer with expertise in the real estate field. After all, buying a home isn’t just a financial transaction. There’s also a legal aspect since there is a transfer of property from one party to another. Drafting up the necessary legal documents is only one small aspect, so the help a lawyer provides during the rest of the process is invaluable. Find a knowledgeable, trusted real estate attorney to lend their expertise and advocate for your interests during the buying or selling process. You’ll be surprised at how simple and uncomplicated they make the entire transaction.