What Does a Real Estate Attorney Do?

A real estate attorney assists homeowners with specific aspects of the home buying process, and in some cases, they also pursue litigation on behalf of their clients. They may draft and review real estate contracts, prepare transfer documents for mortgages, and conduct closing with the buyer and seller. They will ensure that the property transfer is legal, binding, and in the client’s best interest.

They will work with both the lender and the buyer to schedule the closing date, ensuring all parties are available at that time. At closing, the attorney will verify that all checks have been properly accounted for and sign all required documents. They will then complete a federal HUD-1 Form and related transfer of funds documentation for the lender. In addition, they will write the deed and validate that the breakdown of settlement funds is correct.

It is important to hire a qualified attorney with significant experience handling real estate transactions, especially when they are complex. Inexperienced attorneys may not understand the legal nuances of real estate law and could lead to mistakes that can cost the homeowner a lot of money. When interviewing attorneys, it is a good idea to ask them how much they charge for their services and what type of experience they have with particular types of real estate transactions.

In some states, it is mandatory to have an attorney present at a real estate transaction’s closing. In others, the decision to use an attorney is entirely up to the seller or buyer. A lawyer is highly recommended for any unusual or complicated transaction, such as a short sale, foreclosure, buying a co-op, investment properties, or dealing with zoning laws.

Generally, real estate attorneys are paid on an hourly basis for their services. The fee will typically be split between the buyer and seller, depending on what is agreed upon in the contract. A good real estate attorney will be able to provide clear and concise explanations of the legal ramifications of various real estate transactions.

A good real estate attorney will have a diverse background with significant experience working on a variety of real estate transactions. They will have strong interpersonal communication skills and a comprehensive understanding of all facets of real estate law. They will be familiar with zoning regulations, land development, title insurance, and lending laws. They will also be experienced in negotiating real estate sales and drafting agreements for both commercial and residential properties. In addition, they will have a broad knowledge of the local market, including the supply and demand for real estate and how that influences prices. They will be able to spot potential problems with real estate purchases and offer solutions that protect the clients’ interests. These are all qualities that any client would want in a real estate attorney.

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