Real estate law varies by state. Some states require that an attorney be involved in real estate transactions while others allow agents, title companies, private escrow companies, and lenders to perform various tasks involved in the buying and selling of property while others require that both parties be represented by a professional real estate lawyer. Even if your state doesn't have this requirement, there may be circumstances where the services of a real estate lawyer will be in your best interests. Following are five situations where a real estate lawyer can be instrumental in smoothing transactions.
You're Buying a Home in Another State
These transactions can be tricky because laws that are specific to your current state of residence may not be applicable to the state in which you are buying property. Depending on the state, you may be legally required to have an attorney for the transaction even if the laws in your current state don't have that stipulation.
You're Buying a Home Directly From the Seller
Because you won't have an agent or title company working with you on this type of transaction, it's advisable to hire a good real estate attorney to help ensure that the title is clear, that the proper inspections have been performed and that they have either been passed or the price of the property has been adjusted accordingly
You're Selling Your Own Home
Selling your home without the assistance of a licensed real estate agent may save you substantial sums in commissions and fees, but it could also be more hassle than its worth if you don't hire a real estate lawyer to help with some of the paperwork. For instance, a lawyer can write up a binding purchase agreement, arrange for transfer of title, receive the initial trust payment and hold it in a private escrow account, receive the final payment, and transfer the keys.
You're Buying a Foreclosed Property
You can frequently get amazing deals on foreclosed properties, but navigating the requirements involved in their purchase is frustrating and time consuming. Availing yourself of the services of a legal expert can mean the difference between a seamless transaction and an anxiety-producing tangle of red tape.
You're Buying Commercial Property
Purchasing commercial property is generally more complex than buying a residential home. A competent real estate attorney with significant experience in handling commercial transactions works with customers throughout the entire process -- from the initial negotiations to the final closing.