14 Aug 7 Impressive Benefits of Working With Real Estate Attorneys
Most people don’t think about hiring a lawyer when something good is about to happen. For example, say you’re one of the 84% of Americans who aspire to own a home. If you’re on the cusp of making that dream come true, hiring real estate attorneys probably isn’t top of mind.
Yet, there are many benefits to bringing in real estate attorneys early in your property buying journey. Keep reading for seven of the biggest advantages.
The vast majority of people don’t spend much time negotiating. Maybe you negotiated the price of your last car or negotiated for a better salary, but that’s the extent of most people’s negotiation experience.
Real estate attorneys spent a lot of time negotiating. That means they’re far better positioned to get you a deal that is at least equitable, if not in your favor.
2. Drafting and Reviewing Contracts
There is a lot of paperwork involved in any real estate purchase or sale. A few of the common documents include:
- Sales contracts
- HOA documents
- Home inspection Reports
While your mortgage lender or real estate agent can prove helpful in setting the terms of the deal, they aren’t experts in real estate law or contract law. Most of them will suggest a basic, pre-written contract with a few deal-specific fill-in-the-blank spots.
A real estate lawyer can draft a deal-specific contract that covers all aspects of the sale. Just as importantly, they can do it without including boilerplate clauses that may not benefit anyone.
By the same token, they can review any contract presented to you and point out problems in the language.
3. Interpreting or Drafting Complex Real Estate Contracts
Real estate purchases between individuals aren’t a simple affair but generally follow a predictable pattern. Real estate sales that involve a corporation, trust, or other large legal entity often prove dramatically more complex. That means the contract will prove much more complex.
You want a real estate lawyer who can interpret or draft a contract that deals with those legal stumbling blocks. That protects everyone involved and helps ensure that the purchase goes through.
4. Liens and Title Searches
Before any real estate purchase closes, a lien and title search must happen. This process helps guarantee that no one has a financial claim on the property. It also ensures that the seller has the legal right to actually sell the property.
A good real estate attorney can assist you in several ways during the process. At a minimum, they can execute the lien and title searches. If everyone is in order, the purchase moves forward.
If they discover an outstanding lien on the property, they can help you try to resolve the matter so the deal can move forward. If a problem with the title turns up, they often help you clear that matter up or negotiate a resolution.
Even if they can’t resolve the issue, they can advise you when it’s time to kill a potential sale or purchase. This can save you a lot of time, money, and hassle.
5. Proper Filings
Any time that property changes owners, you must file a new deed with the county. Your bank or mortgage lender can often handle this but a deed is a legal document. You don’t want a mistake at the bank to cause you headaches down the road.
Real estate attorneys make sure the deed meets all the legal requirements. Beyond that, they can often complete the process faster. Using a lawyer for this stage of the process is mostly about giving yourself peace of mind.
6. Reviewing Home Inspection Documents or Disclosures
Most property deals happen with good faith on both sides. Neither the buyer nor the seller is looking to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t engage in due diligence with every property purchase.
This is part of the reason why property sales come with mandatory disclosures and home inspections. Of course, disclosures and inspections can get written in a lot of ways. Someone looking for a quick way to offload a problem property might encourage a buddy to bury problems in lingo.
A good real estate lawyer will recognize the signs of a shady disclosure document or home inspection. They’ll also possess the experience to tease out the actual meaning behind a jargon-riddled report.
The actual closing on a property is a multi-step process. Filing the deed is one part of the process. Resolving any last-minute disputes is another element of closing.
For example, let’s say the home inspection revealed a problem with the roof. Your lawyer can negotiate a discount on the price to cover the costs for a new roof installation.
Your lawyer can also prepare a closing document. In essence, the document serves as an accounting of all the financial transactions that happened during the sales process.
For example, it might include:
- when and how much the buyer paid out in earnest money
- when the escrow account was funded
- when the seller received the final payment
If your lawyer prepares this document, you know it will meet all the necessary legal requirements in place at the time of sale.
Real Estate Attorneys Provide Protection and Advice
Some people balk at the idea of hiring real estate attorneys because of the additional cost. Yet, the benefits far outweigh the costs.
Your attorney can negotiate on your behalf. They can draft or review deal-specific contracts. They can also make sure that the paperwork is in proper order and filed correctly.
In essence, you hire a real estate lawyer to protect your interests and offer you sound legal guidance throughout the process.
Fernald & Zaffos specializes in real estate transactions. If you’re in the market for a new property, contact Fernald & Zaffos today.