Five Questions You Need to Ask Your Real Estate Attorney

If you find yourself in need of an attorney, no matter how big or small your transaction is, there are some different things during the actual real estate transaction where they may come in and help. This may include writing final agreements, drafting and signing purchase contracts, completing a title or sales agreement, conducting legal research, collecting rents or mortgage payments, and many more. Whether you are buying or selling a home, having a real estate attorney on hand can be extremely helpful.

Closing Costs – One of the most common parts of the real estate transaction is the closing costs. Lawyers are great at handling these costs and can even get them significantly less than you might pay on your own. These can include hiring an agent to represent you at closing, preparing all the documents needed at closing, and more. Even if you aren’t represented by a lawyer, a real estate attorney can help with this aspect of the transaction. In fact, many people hire one before the transaction even gets off the ground and will be grateful for their assistance in the future. It’s always important to keep in mind that the more representation you have, the lower your overall closing costs will be.

Attorney Fees – Some lawyers will offer their services for free, while others will require an up front fee. There are also times when lawyers will charge a small contingency fee when they take on a specific case. While it’s generally considered part of the transaction and is included with the mortgage payment, these fees are only ever a percentage of the total cost of a transaction. Whether you choose to hire a real estate attorney strictly for legal matters or only for certain legal matters, it’s important that you know what you’re getting.

Closing Contract Signing – A contract signing represents a major step in the selling process. It’s where the buyer officially signs the sales contract (or agreement) with the seller. Most buyers sign these documents without having any questions asked, but there may be instances where a buyer has concerns or issues with a purchase agreement. This is where a real estate attorney really comes in handy. Many lawyers provide the same services as a mortgage broker, so by utilizing a lawyer, you’ll ensure you get quality service at an affordable price.

Property Transfer – Sometimes there may be additional steps that need to be taken when selling a home. If the seller is unwilling to transfer the property, a real estate attorney may need to be contacted to review the details. This includes understanding any possible contingencies (such as who is responsible for the deposit if the buyer wants to retract the contract signing). A professional lawyer will be well versed in local and federal laws, which can make the difference between success and failure.

Co-ops & cooperative mortgages – Even though they are not real estate transactions in the conventional sense, they do require certain legal aspects. If a co-op board is approving a short sale and the buyers have already agreed to purchase the house, an experienced real estate attorney can make sure this doesn’t create a future liability for the buyer. He or she can also prevent the buyers from entering into a default agreement, should the deal fall through. There are many variables involved in short sales and it’s essential to understand them. An attorney can help guide the buyer along the way, preventing him or her from entering into a contract that could jeopardize the entire transaction.

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