Do You Need A Real Estate Attorney?

Buying or selling your home is a huge financial decision that requires advice from an expert. Despite hiring real estate agents to help you close the deals, many people find that getting an attorney helps with much more. However, you might feel like getting one is adding unnecessary cost to the other hundred costs already incurred. Investopedia states that although it costs a lot of money to hire a real estate attorney, it helps you evade many perils in the end.

Since purchasing a house means doing a legal exchange with the previous homeowner, a lawyer plays a pivotal role in the transaction. Real estate lawyers will help you settle disputes and inspect the particularities of the home with their knowledge of realty legal matters (via Investopedia). If you want to experience a smooth process then getting an attorney could be the right option for you, especially if you're a first-time homebuyer. They keep in mind what is best for you and your family when buying or selling your home. 

What does a real estate attorney do?

A real estate lawyer is licensed to practice real estate law and has the knowledge and experience to deal with realty transactions such as closing homes (via Rocket Mortgage). Since they are familiar with the purchase of homes, they aim to negotiate in a way that pleases both parties buying and selling. According to Rocket Mortgage, a real estate lawyer can exclusively represent your interests, and in some cases even make a close on your house sale.

You can decide to hire a real estate attorney early in the purchase process to oversee issues like brokerage contract reviews with a real estate agent. Another option is getting one after the agents have established the terms and signed the contract to handle the inspections and close the sale. Your attorney can also represent you if you are buying a home on a loan mortgage. While many states have regulations guiding the involvement of real estate attorneys, some allow buyers and sellers to decide if they want an attorney or not (per Nerdwallet).

Why buyers need real estate attorneys

Homeowners have different reasons for hiring real estate lawyers. Perhaps you want one to represent your mortgage loan or it's your state's requirement. Investopedia explains that you might need a lawyer in different stages of the buying process. Firstly, real estate attorneys negotiate in your favor to ensure the contract complies with the terms and conditions of the law. Some real estate contracts are more complex and require a lawyer to draft and review them for any required changes and favorable contingencies.

On other occasions when the buying process involves more parties such as partnerships or corporations, the contract preparation can prove complicated. An attorney knows the path to take in such situations and they will ensure the contact adheres to the law. The attorney will also conduct a title search to ensure there are no liens or judgments on the home and that the seller is the rightful owner (via Investopedia). Because of their connections with title search companies, real estate attorneys do the title search effortlessly. 

Why sellers need real estate attorneys

Unlike purchasing a property, selling one doesn't require an attorney in most counties. Yet, as Investopedia states, having one present is also necessary for sellers to be on the safer side with the other party. Keep in mind that the lawyer does the inspections and discloses the significant information to the buyer. If the purchase involves complex issues that affect the selling process, the lawyer can help you maneuver through the contractual issues faster.

Another reason why you might need a good real estate attorney is when you're the successor of a house whose owner is dead when you have unresolved liens and judgments on the property, or if the partner you are selling with is not cooperating (via The cost of hiring a real estate attorney depends on the job they do whether it is closing a home or doing a title search. While some attorneys will charge you for the service they offer, others charge hourly rates.

Why you should hire a real estate attorney

Other than the legal representation, you can choose to hire a real estate attorney because of some other reasons. Forbes explains that when closing a deal on property both the real estate agents and lenders have their interests except your attorney. Without a lawyer, you can find yourself in trouble with the law and pay hugely for the mistakes. Hiring an attorney is the best decision since they protect you from any risks and help you solve any issues uncovered during inspections. They will assure you of making the right steps and direct you on any legal issues.

However, it doesn't mean real estate agents won't suffice if you do not have enough money to hire a lawyer. You can still hire an agent to represent you in clearing any contingencies, closing the home, and getting the help of a title search company. As much as having a real estate attorney is an added advantage, you can still successfully close a deal on the property if you follow all the appropriate steps.

How to get a good real estate attorney

Buying or selling a home is a big step and a huge investment. Therefore, you want to ensure that the lawyer representing you is the right candidate. According to Rocket Mortgage, you can get a good real estate attorney through referrals from friends or family. It could be that they recently bought or sold a house and if the services of their attorney were good, you could consider them when recommended.

You can utilize online review sites to get information on the lawyer you wish to hire. The review site will include the cost which the attorney charges and the reviews the previous clients left. You can use the lawyer you worked with when buying the house and ask for recommendations from real estate agents for the attorneys they have previously used. Your state bar association's site can also help you locate lawyers around you who are licensed to practice real estate law.