If you’ve ever owned real estate, considered owning real estate or are looking to purchase or sell real estate, you have or will be involved in some form of a real estate transaction. Time and time again, people wonder if it is really necessary to hire a real estate attorney. The answer to this question depends highly on not only where you live, as some states mandate that a real estate attorney be involved in real estate transactions and others simply leave it up to the buyer or seller as an option.
Whether or not it is required by your particular state, here are five good reasons why you should considering hiring a real estate attorney for your next real estate transaction.
Reason #1. Agents cannot advise you about the law. Most real estate transactions are going to involve some kind of real estate agent; however, a real estate agent is different than a real estate attorney. A real estate attorney is a lawyer who is legally authorized to counsel you on the legal questions and issues that may arise related to your particular real estate transaction. While agents may be experienced in certain legal matters, that cannot provide you legal advice and attorneys are held to a certain standard and liability in providing you their expert advice in the area of real estate transactions and real estate law.
Reason #2. A real estate attorney is looking out for your best interest. When you hire a real estate attorney to provide you legal advice about your real estate transaction, you are effectively putting someone in the driver’s seat with your safety, protection and best interests in mind. Even if you hire a real estate agent, who is the real estate agent looking out for? How does the real estate agent make his or her money? They get paid when the real estate transaction is completed, so they have an incentive to move the property and complete the transaction as quickly as possible. Obviously, the more money that is exchanged, the better they make out, but it doesn’t mean that the agent will necessarily have your best interests at heart.
Reason #3. Inheriting property or administering property from a deceased owner has special issues to keep in mind. Many people become owners and/or executors of real estate at the death of another real estate owners through the passing down of an inheritance. If you come into real estate as a result of the passing of the original owner, you may need to seek out a real estate attorney who is skilled and experienced in the law. There may be special circumstances and procedures to follow when selling real estate as a part of another’s estate.
Reason #4. Buying property in areas with known adverse conditions (such as flooding, tornados, hurricanes, etc.) might have special legal issues. If you are looking to purchase real estate in a geographic area that is known to have adverse conditions, you might have some special legal issues and considerations to make when purchasing any kind of real estate. And, again, working with an experienced and qualified real estate attorney, you will get the kind of legal advice that you need in such a situation.
Reason #5. Special circumstances should not be overlooked or handled without care. If you have any kind of special circumstance, where you find you (or your agent or the other party’s agent) drafting up special language to handle a particular matter, you need to hire a real estate attorney. You might think that something seems pretty straight-forward or simple, but a real estate attorney is going to know about the laws, what works and doesn’t work (in a given state) and can advise you properly on the transaction you’re about to make. Not just any kind of attorney, but one experienced in real estate law and real estate transactions. If your transaction involves the potential eviction of an existing tenant, the co-ownership of other third parties or anything that seems a bit out of the ordinary, take the time to properly transact business and take care of your real estate transaction with a real estate attorney on your side.
Real estate transactions create legal contracts and thus was born the area of real estate law, followed by (appropriately) the existence of real estate attorneys. The purchase of real estate is probably one of the biggest investments that people make in a lifetime and the process of purchasing (or selling) real estate should not be handled lightly. In the end, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
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