Should You Hire a Real Estate Attorney?

The purchase of real estate is one of the most important investments you can make. It can also be one of the most complicated. A good real estate attorney can protect your interests and help you avoid costly mistakes. The right lawyer can guide you through the entire process and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the transaction.

Whether or not you hire a real estate attorney depends on the type of real estate transaction and state law. Some states require a lawyer for certain parts of the real estate process, such as a title opinion or closing documents. A real estate attorney can help you with a variety of issues that can arise in a transaction, including zoning laws, easements, and title insurance.

A real estate attorney is often invaluable when you are purchasing a home. They can explain the terms of the contract and advise you about the intricacies of real estate law, such as transfer of ownership limitations and covenants. They can also help you negotiate the contract price and address inspection or appraisal contingencies. They can also help you determine the fair market value of the property and assist with financing arrangements.

Real estate attorneys can also be useful when you are selling a home or business. They can assist with the sale by preparing and reviewing all required documents, including deeds, easements, contracts, liens, and title insurance policies. They can also guide you through the tax consequences of the transaction. They can also advise you on zoning and environmental issues.

When hiring a real estate attorney, you should ask how much of their practice involves real estate. You should also find out whether they are licensed in your state and if they have any reported disciplinary actions. You should also be sure that the attorney you hire is experienced in your particular area of real estate. If you are buying a co-op or condo in New York, for example, an attorney with experience in these types of transactions is essential.

You should also check the attorney’s website to see what services they offer and what their fees are. It is important to know whether the fee is charged by the hour or based on a flat rate. It is also a good idea to ask the attorney about their experience with foreclosures and other distressed properties.

You should also be sure that the attorney you choose does not have a dual license in real estate and as a lawyer. This is a conflict of interest and can be illegal. You should also avoid attorneys who accept referral fees from a mortgage broker/banker, appraiser, surveyor, inspector, stager, or title insurer. These conflicts of interest can lead to problems in the future. You should also check the attorney’s record with your local bar association for any disciplinary issues. You can do this by searching for the attorney’s name in the bar’s online database. You can also find out if their license is active, inactive, or expired.

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