31 Mar Working With a Real Estate Attorney: Legal Tips for Buying a House
So, you’ve finally taken the leap and decided to purchase a home. It’s an exhilarating feeling–the thought of getting yourself a new home–whether it’s your first or your fifth.
But a question often comes up when you begin to think about buying a house: do I need a real estate attorney?
The simple answer is yes.
While you do not necessarily need a real estate attorney to do a real estate transaction, consider it in different terms. No, you don’t necessarily need a pilot to fly a plane, you might be able to figure it out! But, the odds of you surviving your flight go up drastically if you have a pilot.
The same is true of a real estate attorney. While you may conduct a real estate transaction on your own, you also run the risk of making a mistake in the process.
Here, learn all about what to look for in a quality real estate attorney.
Here Is Why You Need a Real Estate Attorney
Buying a home, no matter how many times you have done it, is a huge investment in yourself and your future.
Part of buying any home necessarily involves some legal work, such as contracting and execution, in addition to making sure everything in the sale is done according to the letter of the law. If you aren’t sweating by now, it gets even hairier. Most of these contracts are not what you would call layman’s terms.
Due to the complex nature of these writings, real estate sales aren’t anything to try to do yourself unless you are already an expert in real estate.
This is why having a reputable, seasoned real estate lawyer looking out for you can make a huge difference when dealing with the purchase of your prospective home.
So what is a real estate attorney anyways, and how can they help exactly?
What Is a Real Estate Lawyer?
Real estate attorneys are considered experts in the realm of law known as property and real estate law. It is a subject that is covered generally on most state bar exams.
But, a good real estate lawyer will likely be a licensed broker as well, so that is something to look for when comparing attorneys.
Real estate law involves the rules and guidelines surrounding both the selling and buying of homes in addition to property in general.
A real estate attorney is a lawyer whose sole function is to support you on whatever side of the real estate transaction you are on.
Whether buyer or seller, these lawyers will advocate for you in all the legal dealings regarding your real estate transaction. It is literally their job to know the law in this respect and to guide you through the process of buying your home.
What About a Real Estate Agent? Isn’t That the Same Thing?
No. Real estate agents and real estate attorneys are easily and often misunderstood to be the same thing.
Let it be clear—they are not the same.
While their respective fields and jobs align in a number of ways, there are significant differences. A real estate agent will normally be there for more of the negotiation aspect of the transaction.
On the other hand, a real estate lawyer is able and qualified to handle legal documents. At the end of the day, a real estate agent often has to turn to a lawyer for any legal issues or the execution of a contract.
So bearing this in mind, wouldn’t it simply make sense to get a real estate attorney who was also a licensed real estate agent?
A real estate attorney will look into the particulars of a transaction far more in-depth than any title company or real estate agent ever could or would.
Here’s What Real Estate Lawyers Do for You
A real estate attorney has a variety of tasks and responsibilities to undertake once they are enlisted in your service.
Advice and Counsel
First and foremost, they will provide you with sound legal advice regarding any potential home that catches your interest.
As mentioned before, the legal mumbo jumbo that real estate language often looks like is impossible for a normal person to decipher. Your lawyer will be an expert in this jargon.
He or she will break down the legal consequences of any decision you make in terms you can understand, so you can make informed decisions as to what you’re doing in the real estate arena.
In essence, real estate attorneys help you translate all that legal jargon so you know what’s going on.
Draft, Review, and Execute Relevant Documents
Real estate lawyers also often assist in managing the legal documents associated with buying a home.
Your lawyer will have the power, though your consent, to draft these documents related to the sale.
Resolve Any Issues That Arise During or After The Sale
If something goes wrong during the sale of your home, on either your part or the other party, you don’t want to be left explaining the situation to some lawyer new to the situation.
This is another reason to enlist a quality real estate attorney upfront when you embark on your home buying journey.
The Fernald & Zaffos: Here for Your Real Estate Needs
The benefit of having a real estate attorney by your side during the buying or selling of a home is obvious—it makes the process easier for you.
Contact the Fernald & Zaffos today to discuss your property transaction.