A real estate attorney represents sellers in a variety of matters related to commercial and residential property. They review contracts, provide legal advice, draft documents, and resolve title issues. In addition, they assist with transactions and closings. They also help clients comply with local laws and requirements. They may also represent buyers in real estate transaction disputes.
Many states have laws mandating the involvement of a lawyer in real estate transactions, often requiring the attorney to attend the closing. However, these rules vary by state. In any event, it is wise to hire a real estate attorney for complex property transactions or for investment properties. These types of properties often involve complicated tax considerations that are best handled by a professional.
When Should You Hire a Real Estate Attorney?
The general rule is to engage a real estate attorney early in the process, as soon as you start looking at properties. This way, they can help you avoid common mistakes and ensure that your financial and legal rights are protected. However, there are some exceptions. For example, if you are buying a foreclosure, a short sale, or a co-op, then it is very important to have a real estate attorney on your team.
If you are selling a property, then it is important to have an attorney review the contract as soon as possible. This can help you avoid common mistakes and ensure that the document reflects your intentions. It is also a good idea to have an attorney review any unusual language in the contract or mortgage, as these can create problems down the road.
If you are unsure of when to hire a real estate attorney, then you should ask your realtor for recommendations. They are likely to have worked with a number of attorneys and will be able to refer you to a reputable one. Alternatively, you can search online for real estate attorneys in your area. When hiring a real estate attorney, it is important to consider their experience and specialization. Some real estate attorneys specialize in a specific geographic region, while others dabble in several different practice areas. A real estate attorney who specializes in your region has the granular expertise needed to best represent you. This is especially true if you are dealing with a unique regional real estate law. For example, New York real estate lawyers are often experienced in handling disputes that deal with zoning and building permits. They are also well-versed in landlord-tenant laws. This means that they can help you resolve tenant disputes and other real estate issues quickly and efficiently. This can prevent stalling the sales process. It can also minimize the risks of costly litigation in the future. A skilled attorney can help you get your transaction closed sooner and save you money in the long run.