What Does A Real Estate Lawyer Do For A Buyer?

Attorneys Real Estate Group

We Handle Real Estate Contracts, Builder Disputes, Failure To Disclose & More..

“The purchase and sale of a home are both significant financial transactions. Many people are unfamiliar with mortgage terms or their obligations when they engage in a real estate transaction, so their real estate agent can assist. However, there may be limits to their expertise.”

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What Does A Real Estate Lawyer Do For A Buyer?

Are you buying or selling a home? Here’s how to decide if a real estate lawyer is right for you, and what does a real estate lawyer do for a buyer?

 

Who Are Real Estate Attorneys?

It is common for real estate attorneys to hold a law degree and pass the state bar exam. They prepare and review contracts for the sale or purchase of real estate, prepare and review documents, and advise buyers, sellers, and lenders in all real estate transactions as a real estate specialist.

Real estate attorneys don’t need certification in real estate law but can take elective courses. They can also work as interns in real estate law firms. A real estate transaction can involve multiple legal professionals. They differ in the following ways:

  • Those who represent prospective buyers and sellers are known as real estate attorneys. Their job is to advise clients so that their interests reflect in the best possible way.
  • Mortgage lawyers or lending attorneys represent lenders in real estate transactions.
  • Those who only handle closings on real estate transactions are as famous as closing attorneys. Closing attorneys do not represent either buyers or sellers, even if they receive payment from one of them. Closing attorneys are typically also lenders’ mortgage lawyers.

 

An Attorney’s Role in the Purchase or Sale of a Home?

Real estate lawyers work on a variety of matters. Some concentrate on transactions associated with commercial buildings, such as office space; others focus on developing, selling, and buying residential properties; and others are more generalists with expertise in all kinds of property. An attorney can perform the following tasks in a real estate transaction.

 

Deal with real estate negotiations

Real estate attorneys perform due diligence to protect your interests by ensuring fair contract terms. The real estate attorney also provides advice so that the transaction meets federal and state laws.

 

Contract drafting and review

During the contract negotiation phase, the attorney ensures that every legal term and requirement is included, such as the purchase agreement, mortgage loan agreement, or rental agreement.

 

Conduct title searches

The role of real estate attorneys in conducting title searches is essential for many reasons. A title search assures that:

  • Sellers have the right to transfer property to buyers.
  • The property is free from liens.
  • No issues are hampering the buyer’s ability to take possession.
  • Zoning ordinances and restrictive covenants do not limit land use.
  • Policy drafts for title insurance

A title insurance policy covers any third-party claim that occurs on the property after the real estate transaction closes but does not appear during the initial title search. A real estate attorney can review title insurance policies for exclusions and exceptions not covered by the policy in addition to writing them.

 

Prepare the closing documents.

Lawyers can assist with the loan closing process and ensure he files the necessary documents, such as the deed and closing statement.

 

Disputes and litigation in real estate

In a real estate dispute, the attorney will help you reach an agreement or represent you at trial if the case proceeds to the courtroom.

 

Represent foreclosed properties

Those specializing in judicial foreclosure must also have real estate attorneys when lenders file foreclosure lawsuits to seize properties whose owners haven’t paid their mortgages.

 

Land Use and Zoning Issues

Local governments regulate land use. There are zones for single-family homes, apartment buildings, commercial buildings, or mixed-use communities. Property owners or prospective buyers can use a real estate attorney to petition to change the use of their property or to fight rezoning.

 

Take Quiet Title Actions

The real estate attorney must file a quiet title action if a title issue arises during the title search that cannot be fixed by correcting the public records. All parties who might have a claim to the property appear in this lawsuit, and they are put on notice to reply, or they will lose their rights.

 

Lease and sublease drafting and review

Attorneys specialize in the drafting of residential and commercial leases. They can also review leases on your behalf to ensure they are free from potential pitfalls.

 

Contracts and loans for construction

Real estate lawyers can help with drafting and negotiating construction contracts and closing construction loans. Construction loans can be more complex than residential mortgages, covering costs, deadlines, and liability, among other things.

 

Dispute resolution and negotiation

To protect your interests, you’ll need the help of an experienced real estate lawyer if there is a dispute over a fence, building encroachment, or the use of the property.

 

Covenant preparation and review

It is possible to work with a real estate attorney to draft covenants for homeowner associations and review covenants before purchasing to identify restrictions that limit your ability to enhance the property or make significant improvements.

 

Unusual Scenarios

You may also need an attorney’s help in situations that rarely occur. For instance, you might buy or sell property at an estate sale, short sale, or foreclosure auction, move to a new state, sell as part of a divorce settlement, or pay off debts by selling a property.

 

What Is The Role Of A Real Estate Lawyer In The Buying Process?

You will make one of the most significant transactions in your life when you buy a home and need professionals to ensure that every step of the process goes as specified.

What Is The Role Of A Real Estate Lawyer In The Buying Process?

Real estate lawyers do the tying, crossing, and dotting on every document related to your home purchase. But if you’re new to the process, you should learn precisely what they do for you.

In the buyer’s case, a lawyer ensures the transfer of ownership, outlines the terms of your purchase agreement, and ensures a clear title to the property. We’ll start with their role on the buyer’s side. At their simplest, they are responsible for ensuring that ownership transfers go smoothly. However, their role extends far beyond that, including:

  • You should review the Agreement of Purchase and all other legal documents.
  • Please verify that the property does not have any claims against it.
  • Obtain title insurance
  • Make sure you close with a valid title.
  • Maintain up-to-date property taxes.
  • Calculate the closing land transfer tax.
  • Preparation of mortgage documents
  • Complete the transaction and meet all legal and financial requirements
  • Obtain legal documents and keys from the seller’s lawyer.

 

Why Do Sellers Need Real Estate Lawyers?

As well as ensuring that the transaction goes smoothly and all legal aspects are covered, the real estate lawyer’s role on the seller’s side is also essential. In the same way that real estate lawyers perform critical tasks on the buyer’s side, they focus on a smooth mortgage payment and transfer of the property’s title.

  • Before signing the Agreement of Sale, review all legal documents.
  • During the contract negotiation process, our team will assist you.
  • Get your house’s deed ready.
  • When title issues arise, deal with them and remedy them.
  • Complete the transaction
  • Be sure to comply with all legal and financial requirements.
  • Exchange keys and legal documents with the lawyer for the buyer

 

Negotiation Help and Assistance In Coming Up With A Solution

You can hire a lawyer if you are considering purchasing or selling a business. They’ll negotiate terms and assist you in coming up with a solution that works for everyone.

It is true that real estate agents can be significant assets and know a lot since they have studied for and passed the real estate licensing exam, but remember that they are independent contractors who stand to enjoy whenever real estate is bought or sold, no matter what price or conditions. The additional security provided by a real estate lawyer can be invaluable.

 

Help You Understand Different Types Of Joint Ownership.

When you own a property with someone else, a lawyer with real estate experience can help you understand different types of joint ownership that can apply. One example is the joint tenancy with rights survivorship; the surviving tenant receives the ownership share when one owner dies.

The property does not go through the deceased owner’s estate, so no probate fees will be charged when the estate settles.

 

Real Estate Attorneys: When Do We Need Them?

It’s your choice whether a real estate attorney is necessary for most services, but they may be necessary in some situations.

 

Regulatory Requirements

There are laws in many states that require the involvement of an attorney at closing on real estate transactions. In addition to California, there are others as well, including:

  • Alabama,
  • Connecticut,
  • New Jersey,
  • New York,
  • North Dakota,
  • Pennsylvania,
  • Rhode Island,
  • South Carolina,
  • Vermont,
  • Delaware,
  • Florida,
  • Georgia,
  • Kansas,
  • Kentucky,
  • Maine,
  • Maryland,
  • Massachusetts,
  • Mississippi,
  • New Hampshire,
  • Virginia,
  • And West Virginia.

However, you should confirm the laws in the state where you plan to buy or sell a home because the exact requirements will vary by state.

 

Requirements of the lender

It is also mandatory for some lenders to have a real estate lawyer present at closing in compliance with state law. If the property lies in Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, South Carolina, or West Virginia, Attorney Real Estate Group requires that you have an attorney handle the closing.

 

What Is The Cost Of Hiring A Real Estate Lawyer?

Several factors will influence how much you pay for your real estate attorney (or attorneys), including how much they charge per hour or how much they charge per hour. You will spend more on legal counsel if you hire one early in the home buying or selling process than if you hire one only at closing.

Real estate lawyers typically charge between $150 to $350 an hour for billable time. If you are a buyer, and your lender requires an attorney at closing, you must pay for that attorney and your attorney.

You need to decide whether hiring an attorney makes sense if you do not live in a state where an attorney must be involved.

 

Real Estate Attorneys: Why You Should Hire One

The following situations warrant the assistance of a real estate lawyer:

  • A third party who represents your best interests throughout the transaction should review the contract on your behalf.
  • Depending on their fee, a lawyer could be a worthwhile investment to avoid liability for legal issues.

When deciding how to proceed with a real estate transaction, having an expert guide you through all the complicated legal matters is helpful. There are times when you should wait to hire a real estate attorney. The following reasons may also make getting a real estate lawyer, not a good idea:

  • It can cost a lot, especially if you don’t need an attorney and your transaction is straightforward.
  • A real estate attorney can unintentionally complicate things more than required by adding lawyers to the transaction.
  • A title company will suffice when buying a simple home, especially if you do not need legal advice.

 

Choosing a Real Estate Attorney

The best way to find a lawyer is to ask your friends, family, or colleagues for recommendations, ask your real estate agent, or contact your state bar association. Doing a simple Google search (albeit with proper vetting) is best if you are looking online.

Examine at least a few real estate attorneys carefully using the following questions:

  • Do you have experience with this type of real estate transaction?
  • Last year, how many real estate deals did you close?
  • Does your local bar association have a real estate section?
  • Do you represent any title insurance companies?
  • Is your name on several large banks’ approved attorney lists?
  • What is your rate, and is it a flat fee or hourly?
  • What is the difference between all cash and finance transactions?
  • If the buyer is house-hunting on weekends, are you available?

 

Bottom Line

Attorney Real Estate Group offers free consultations for buyers and sellers of commercial real estate. Hence, you understand the process, expectations, and what we can do to save money when selling your home.

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