20 Reasons You Need a Real Estate Lawyer

February 9, 2021by Brandon Banks

For most people, buying or selling a home will be the highest dollar transaction they are ever involved in. It makes sense to be cautious. There is nothing routine about a deal that is worth six or seven figures. One of the best ways to protect yourself is to hire a real estate attorney. You would be surprised to learn all of the ways a real estate lawyer can help you.

1. Something About the Transaction Makes You Uncomfortable

Buying and selling a house are significant transactions. If anything about the deal makes you uncomfortable, you should trust your instincts. A real estate lawyer can look over all the details of a transaction and alert you to any potential problems.

2. Reviewing and Modifying Real Estate Related Contracts

Buying and selling, or leasing for that matter, real estate involves signing a lot of documents. Having a real estate attorney review the contracts and look over the other documents ensures you aren’t signing anything you shouldn’t. Your attorney can also modify the contract.

3. Avoid Unnecessary Delays

Having a real estate lawyer guide you through a real estate transaction makes the entire process smoother. You can avoid any unnecessary delays while still ensuring that no critical details are overlooked.

4. Peace of Mind

Real estate transactions are complex. Even if you’ve been involved in several deals before, each real estate sale has its own twists and turns. Retaining a real estate attorney gives you peace of mind. You know that the details of the deal have been scrutinized, and your interests have been protected.

5. Extra Set of Eyes on the Process

There are a lot of moving parts in a real estate transaction. Having an extra set of eyes look over everything helps ensure that nothing is missed. Your lawyer can also make sure all of the deadlines are properly met.

6. Understand Your Options When Things go Wrong

While most real estate deals work out, sometimes things go wrong. When a sale hits a roadblock, your attorney can explain your options. There might be a way to save the deal or walking away might be your best choice.

7. The Property is Part of an Estate or is Held in Trust

When a piece of real estate is part of an estate or is held in trust, there is an extra layer of complexity to contend with. The transaction may need to be approved by a probate court. There will be additional precautions you need to take. An experienced real estate lawyer will be able to guide you through these issues much more efficiently than a real estate agent.

8. The Property Has Questionable Additions or Improvements

While no property is perfect, some properties have more issues than others. If real estate has possibly illegal additions or improvements, you need to understand your options. You may need to negotiate more than just a price adjustment. You will want to understand your legal obligations if you buy property with questionable improvements.

9. Worried About Chain of Title Issues

Sometimes property has a confusing title history. When buying or selling real estate, the last thing you want are questions about who the rightful titleholder is. If you have any concerns about the chain of title, you need the help of an experienced real estate attorney right away.

10. Buying a Home in New Area

Florida real estate is governed by a patchwork of federal, state, county, and city laws and regulations. If you are buying property in a new area, you may not be familiar with local laws that will affect how you can use it. You need legal advice to ensure that the sale goes according to plan.

11. Property May Have Structural Issues

There’s nothing wrong with buying property that needs some maintenance. However, if the property may have structural issues, you need to proceed with caution. You want to protect your rights and shield yourself from future legal risks.

12. Property is a Foreclosure or is Owned by the Bank

Real estate owned by the bank or that has been the subject of a foreclosure action may be listed at a bargain price, but there could be legal complications. If you are buying a short sale or foreclosure property, you need a lawyer to make sure everything is completed correctly.

13. Knowing What the Documents You Sign Actually Mean

When you take part in a real estate deal, you sign pages and pages of documents. Do you know what you are signing? An attorney will explain what you are signing in plain language.

14. Avoiding Surprise Documents at Closing

What do you do if the title company or the other party brings new documents to the real estate closing and insists that you have to sign them? Your lawyer will deter most people from trying to spring unnecessary surprise documents. If there are surprise documents, your lawyer will help you understand what they mean and if they are true deal-breakers or not.

15. Protecting Your Earnest Money Deposit

What happens to your earnest money if you have to walk away from a real estate deal? Hiring an attorney to represent you throughout the transaction makes it more likely that you can legally get your earnest money returned.

16. Concerns About the Inspection Report

What happens if the inspection report raises more questions than it answers? What are your rights? Your lawyer can help you navigate inspection issues.

17. Issues with the Appraisal

If the property is appraised for significantly higher or lower than you were expecting, it can cause a lot of issues. Real estate attorneys understand how to deal with appraisal issues and protect your interests.

18. Avoid Hidden Fees

How much is it costing you to buy or sell the property? Sometimes, hidden fees are buried deep in the stack of documents you are expected to sign at closing. Your lawyer will help ensure you are only paying what you agreed to.

19. Uncooperative Co-Owners

If you are trying to buy property from a couple in the middle of a divorce or where one of the owners is no cooperating with the sales process, you need an attorney to help you enforce your rights and complete the transaction.

20. Get All of Your Questions Answered

Your real estate agent is an excellent source of information about the details of the property. However, they are not qualified to answer any of your questions about the legalities of a real estate transaction. A real estate lawyer can answer all of your questions and explain every step in easy to understand language.

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