What Buyers and Sellers Should Know About Real Estate Attorneys

If you’re thinking about buying a house, considering the pros and cons of renting vs buying, or if you’re getting ready to sell a house or a property, you’ll need an experienced team of people by your side to ensure a smooth transaction. One key player in the world of home buying and selling is a real estate attorney, but do you always need one for every transaction? These legal professionals are here to make sure that your best interests are in mind when purchasing or selling a home. Read on to learn more about what real estate attorneys do, when you may need one, and when you might not.What Buyers and Sellers Should Know About Real Estate Attorneys

What a Real Estate Attorney Does

Real estate attorneys, or real estate lawyers, are licensed to practice law in your state, and they specialize in handling specific real estate transactions. These pros are familiar with the ins and outs of home buying, and they can represent you as a buyer, a seller, or they may even represent your lender. Some states require attorneys to be present at closing. In most cases, the real estate attorney is there to represent the buyer’s lender and not the individuals involved in the transaction. However, if you need someone to represent your interests in a more specific situation, you’ll want to hire one yourself. Certain states require these lawyers to be present while others don’t, so check with your real estate agent or lender to confirm. Most real estate attorneys charge by the hour, and rates can vary between $200 to $300 per hour or more, while others may charge a flat fee due at closing.

When You Will Need a Real Estate Attorney

There are several reasons why you’d want to hire a real estate attorney, the most important being that they’ll provide you with exclusive representation. The lawyer you hire will be there to protect your interests and represent you throughout the transaction so that you can buy or sell your home confidently. Another reason to hire a real estate attorney is that they typically provide their services at a fair and reasonable cost. It’s a smart way to protect yourself without having to spend a lot of extra cash. Finally, when you hire a lawyer for your real estate transaction, you’ll have peace of mind. These professionals are there to ensure that you’re making the right choices every step of the way so you can invest your hard-earned money in complete confidence.

Purchase contract review. Real estate contracts are filled with legal jargon that can be confusing for buyers. While real estate agents are there to help you complete a purchase contract, an attorney can help review the terms more closely to ensure that everything looks correct. Make sure you let your attorney know when you’re closing so they have plenty of time to prepare and review the contract before it’s finalized. This will help you avoid possible problems later and will help to ensure that the contract terms are favorable to you.

Closing disclosure review. Closing a real estate transaction involves a ton of legal paperwork. A real estate lawyer can help buyers and sellers go over this information to make things clearer to all parties. For example, your attorney can help to negotiate repairs, examine financing terms, or review the title to confirm that everything looks the way it should before both buyers and sellers sign on the dotted line.

More: Top Questions for Buyers and Sellers

Other Less Common Reasons Why You’d Need an Attorney

What Buyers and Sellers Should Know About Real Estate Attorneys Most people use real estate attorneys to help with closing, but here are a few other less common reasons why you may need their help.

Buying or selling in another state. You might need to hire an attorney if the state you’re buying or selling a home in requires it, even if your current state does not.

Divorce settlement. A real estate lawyer can review divorce documentation regarding the spousal home to ensure that the proper transfer is done during a divorce settlement.

Property with liens. If you’re buying a home with a lien on the property, an attorney can ensure that your title will be legally transferred and cleared once the transaction is complete.

Auction. Purchasing a home at auction requires a professional to help make sure you’re getting a fair deal and that you’re legally protected per the current laws.

Purchase from a bank. Buying property from a bank (like a short sale or foreclosure) is a special type of sale that should involve the help of an experienced real estate attorney.

Reasons to Not Hire a Real Estate Attorney

You don’t always have to hire a real estate attorney, especially if your state does not require you to. If you don’t have the extra money and your home purchase is fairly straightforward, it’s not a must that you have a real estate attorney involved in the process. You can save the money you’d spend on a lawyer and put it toward your down payment or an emergency fund instead. Sometimes lawyers may nitpick a real estate contract to the point where it jeopardizes the sale. You don’t want to get involved in a long legal battle when you’re moving to a new house, so weigh the pros and cons before you decide if hiring one is the right move for you.

Questions to Ask a Real Estate Attorney Before Hiring

Before you hire a real estate attorney, be sure to ask the following questions.

What are your rates and fees? Always make sure that you get attorney rates and fees in writing. Shop around to find a lawyer that offers the best services at the lowest cost whenever possible.

What is your availability? In a busy real estate market, attorneys might not have time in their busy schedules to attend your closing. Make sure that your attorney is available for your closing date, and that they’re reasonably accessible whenever you have questions or concerns.

What type of experience do you have? Don’t be afraid to ask the attorney how many transactions they advise clients on each year. This will give you a better idea of how experienced your attorney is and how popular they are with other clients.

What is your process like, and how will you be involved? Find out exactly how your attorney will help you and what they do to protect your interests. Ask them what the process is like and if they’re going to be able to give you the amount of help you need to proceed with confidence.

Main Differences in State Laws Regarding Real Estate AttorneysWhat Buyers and Sellers Should Know About Real Estate Attorneys

Every state has its own unique real estate laws regarding whether or not an attorney is required. In most states, real estate agents are licensed to help you with things like the purchase contract, but they cannot give you any official legal advice. For example, New York state and Massachusetts only allow lawyers to prepare home purchase documents, perform title searches, and close on transactions, so you’ll need to hire one there. In other states, it’s completely up to you whether or not you’d like to enlist the help of an attorney. Check with your agent or lender to find out if a real estate attorney is required and when.

What You Should Know About Real Estate and How it Works

Attorneys and real estate agents are there to guide you during the home buying or selling process, but ultimately, it’s up to you to understand how to buy a house and how real estate transactions work. Do some research and get to know the market in your area to help you make a sound decision. Remember, any time you buy or sell a property, the financial repercussions will always fall back on you. The more you know about how real estate works, the more confident you’ll be when it’s time to move forward.

Real Estate Agent vs Real Estate Attorney

Here are some important differences between a real estate agent and a real estate attorney that you should know.

How real estate agents are paid. Real estate agents get paid by commission, which means that they’ll get a certain percentage of the profits once a home sells. Your agent doesn’t get paid until the transaction closes, so it’s in their interest to make things go as smoothly as possible, however, they cannot represent you legally when it comes to contract signing or negotiations.

Conflict of Interests. A real estate agent has a financial interest in making sure that the deal is completed. An experienced agent should not let their commission interfere with giving you good advice. However, some agents may urge you to buy a home now and bid high, even if you’re not sure about making the purchase. They could also recommend home inspectors that pass homes without looking for real problems and could compromise your interest in other ways if they’re dishonest.

Why you should not use the seller’s agent. It’s always best to use your own buyer’s agent in a real estate transaction to make sure that your interests are protected. An agent that represents both parties likely won’t keep your best interests in mind, since their main goal is to ensure that the deal goes through. Always choose your own agent when buying a house to be sure that you have a professional who’s on your side.

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, a real estate attorney can be an important asset in the transaction. Make sure you research several local attorneys and get referrals from family or friends whenever possible. With the right experienced lawyer by your side, you can sign your closing paperwork and feel great about your new home.

Originally posted on Inspectionsupport.com

Search all Boston Real Estate and all Metro West Area

858 Properties
Page 1 of 72
Open 2/11
126 Neponset Ave Boston,  MA 02122
9
Beds
3
Baths
4,013
Sq.Ft.
1905
Year Built
1
Day on Site
73076564
MLS
Excellent investment opportunity located in the highly desirable Neponset area of Dorchester. Convenient commuting location with access to highways, buses, and train stations. The building comes...
$1,745,000
Condo: Ritz Carlton Residences Boston
2
Beds
2
Baths
1,257
Sq.Ft.
2000
Year Built
1
Day on Site
73076608
MLS
LUXURY, FIVE-STAR LIVING AWAITS YOU at the highly-coveted Ritz South Tower! Panoramic Views of The Charles River, Public Garden, Boston Common, Midtown Skyline, Boston Harbor, and Harbor Islands....
2
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
1,714
Sq.Ft.
2009
Year Built
1
Day on Site
73076619
MLS
Introducing Residence 26E, a scarce opportunity at the renowned W Hotel Residences. The spacious 2 Bedroom + Office floor plan offers a highly desirable, well executed layout with no wasted space,...
Open 2/8
1 Franklin St #4110 Boston,  MA 02110
$3,549,000
Condo: Millennium Tower
2
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
1,745
Sq.Ft.
2016
Year Built
1
Day on Site
73046819
MLS
Welcome to unit 4110, a stunning 2 bed/2.5 bath with 1 valet parking spot at the prestigious Millennium Tower. This beautiful home has fresh paint throughout. With an open concept living/dining area...
4
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
2,289
Sq.Ft.
1910
Year Built
1
Day on Site
73076637
MLS
ICONIC OVER 2,500 SQUARE FOOT PENTHOUSE WITH TWO DEEDED PARKING SPACES AND 1,150 SQUARE FEET OF OUTDOOR SPACE SPREAD OVER THREE DECKS INCLUDING PUTTING GREEN AND PRIVATE PATIO AREA! 2022 GUT...
3
Beds
2
Baths
1,400
Sq.Ft.
1935
Year Built
1
Day on Site
73076638
MLS
This custom designed condo is located along the orange line corridor. If you're looking for a home in JP, this is the place! Walking distance to the local shops restaurants and markets, essentially...
1
Baths
410
Sq.Ft.
1900
Year Built
1
Day on Site
73076643
MLS
Exquisite parlor-level studio with sleeping loft, featuring updated kitchen, marble fireplace, oversized windows and towering 13ft ceilings! This front-facing corner studio is located on the coveted...
2
Beds
3F11/2
Baths
1,910
Sq.Ft.
1910
Year Built
1
Day on Site
73076663
MLS
Classic charm in this 2+ Beds & 3.5 Baths PH Triplex with private deck off of the kitchen; tucked away in one of Boston's recently rediscovered 19th century historic neighborhoods, Bay Village is...
2
Beds
2
Baths
1,150
Sq.Ft.
2018
Year Built
1
Day on Site
73076716
MLS
PENTHOUSE duplex with 180 degree views of Boston's skyline and two PRIVATE decks including large roof deck with head house + wet bar! This stunning 2 Bed/2 Bath, built in 2018, has it all. Large main...
1
Beds
1
Baths
725
Sq.Ft.
2004
Year Built
1
Day on Site
73076723
MLS
Prime opportunity to own this perfectly arranged one bedroom condominium at the coveted One Charles. Well defined living space with proper entry foyer with large walk in closet. Abundant storage...
$399,900
Condo: Bradford Estates
3
Beds
1F11/2
Baths
1,631
Sq.Ft.
1988
Year Built
1
Day on Site
73076721
MLS
Come check out this newly refurbished townhome with lots of space! First floor has open living dining room, half bath and kitchen with small eat in area and pantry. 2nd floor has 2 bedrooms and a...
Open 2/9
2 Clarendon Street #601 Boston,  MA 02116
$940,000
Condo: Two Clarendon Square
2
Beds
1
Baths
843
Sq.Ft.
1988
Year Built
1
Day on Site
73076742
MLS
Rarely available 2 bedroom residence in the iconic elevator building, The Church, in a prime South End location featuring a magnificent common roof deck with stellar skyline views. This corner unit...
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Post a Comment