Buying a home isn’t just a simple purchase; it’s also a legal transfer of property from one entity to another. Because the legal side of this transaction can be so complex, sometimes it makes sense for home buyers or sellers to enlist an attorney who can look out for their best interests. While you’ll likely already be dealing with a myriad of costs as you work to close on your house, and probably aren’t keen to add another, having a lawyer on your side can be an expense that ends up paying for itself. So, what is a real estate attorney? In this article, we will examine what real estate attorneys do and if you need one.
What is a real estate attorney?
A real estate attorney is someone who is licensed to practice real estate law. This means they have the knowledge and experience to advise parties involved in real estate transactions, such as a home sale or short sale.
What does a real estate attorney do?
Real estate attorneys know how to, and are legally authorised to, prepare and review documents and contracts related to the sale and purchase of a home. In some cases, a real estate attorney is also the person who’ll be in charge of your closing.
In a home purchase transaction, both the buyer and seller can hire an attorney to represent their interests during the process. Or, in the case where an attorney is overseeing a closing where the home is being purchased with a mortgage loan, the attorney may represent the mortgage lender.
When do you need a real estate attorney?
Depending on your locality, state laws and the exact nature of the transaction, you may need to enlist the services of a real estate attorney. If you end up needing an attorney, whether you’ve decided you want one or your state or lender requires it, there are a few different points during the home buying process where they can come in and provide assistance. This can include drafting and finalising purchase contracts, writing amendments to a standard contract utilised by your real estate agent, completing a title search or conducting the closing.
Here are a few reasons you might need or want an attorney to be part of your home buying team:
Every area has slightly different laws regarding real estate transactions. Some areas consider certain actions that are part of the process to be “practising law.” These regulations are often meant to prevent real estate agents from acting in a legal capacity that they aren’t trained or licensed for.
2. Contractual issues
Does your home purchase involve any out-of-the-ordinary elements that could complicate your purchase contract? A good real estate attorney can make sure that all your contracts take into account the complexity of your situation. Moreover, a real estate attorney can also help you out of contractual issues that arise during the process.
Peace of mind
Having a real estate lawyer on your side can be very beneficial. It helps ensure all your bases are covered. With a good legal professional comes confidence. Even if the transaction does go awry, you have someone who is looking out for your best interests. Moreover, a real estate lawyer can help you work through a tricky situation.