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Real Estate Attorney – Guide to Know!

by Uneeb Khan
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Hiring a real estate attorney is never a bad idea. Buying or selling a home can be your most significant investment, and you don’t want to risk it. Having a professional real estate agent work with you is a plus point in such a deal. Your agent will help you negotiate the sale and guide you through the legal process.

Hiring a real estate attorney is usually a good idea. Buying a home can be your biggest investment. In addition to hiring a real estate agent to help negotiate a deal, you might consider hiring a real estate attorney to guide you through the legal process. Real estate attorneys specialize in property-related matters, from transactions to disputes between parties.

Who is a real estate attorney?

Real estate attorneys are field professionals who counsel their clients on diverse property-related matters. The attorney is nothing like a real estate agent. They carry out the essential and legal aspects of your real estate transaction. 

Real estate lawyers do everything from title searches to dispute resolution entirely. They also examine pending mortgages and lawsuits on properties and find an appropriate solution for the same. 

They keep on advising you from simple to simple matters when it comes to real estate deals. A real estate attorney represents their client from the start of the agreement to the closing. From draft memorandums of understanding to license agreements and closing, the real estate lawyer takes care of everything. 

Why do you need a real estate attorney? 

The presence of a real estate lawyer is not mandatory in some states of the United States of America. However, in the city of New York and some other states, the rules and regulations are different. 

Per the New York real estate local custom, buyers and sellers should be represented by their respective attorneys. A real estate transaction is not limited to a home buyer or seller. Many different personalities enter the sector and invest. 

Suppose you’re developers or promoters wanting to acquire land. In such a case, a developer or a promoter will have to take the help of a real estate attorney to scrutinize the owning of land and other legal matters. 

How much does a real estate attorney charge? 

A real estate attorney will be responsible for representing your interests till the closing. Before coming to the end result, an attorney cross-checks every detail and advises on any issues or omissions in the documents. 

For putting up his best professional learnings and skills, most real estate attorneys charge an hourly fee for their services, although some attorneys charge a flat rate. 

Note: the attorney will share their charges or a flat fee with you in advance. The per-hour costs range from $150 to $350 per hour or a flat rate of $500 to $1,500. We recommend you opt for a flat fee as it’s generally the highest and best offer. 

What Does a Real Estate Attorney Do for a Seller?

Whenever a real estate attorney works for either side, they represent the party entirely. For a seller, attorney’s usually draft or review real estate contracts, and provide general advice. 

Though you’ve hired an attorney, you still have the complete hold of your real estate deal. An attorney will always ask for your opinion before making any move. 

Whereas, if a buyer’s attorney brings up some problem or extension in the middle of a contract, the seller’s attorney will likewise make a considerable negotiation with buyers’ sellers and find a suitable solution to it.

The seller’s lawyer additionally resolves title issues and deals with transaction terms and document review. Sometimes, the attorney prepares the deed and closes the deal for a seller. 

What does a Real Estate Attorney do for a buyer?

The buyer’s attorney follows the identical job as a seller’s lawyer, but the paperwork is a bit different here. The first job of a seller’s lawyer is to review the title documents and confirm the legal ownership of the seller’s asset or property. 

They will also ensure that the property gets sold without issues. The situations involve judgment or lien on the property. The attorney further prepares the sales and purchase agreement. The transaction is given utmost importance as it contains vital documents required by law. 

Scrutinizing the mortgage documents and filling out other processes are carried out by a seller’s lawyer. The different filling process includes the property transfer process, title insurance, and, lastly, the closing. 

However, if the buyer wishes to cancel the contract due to failure to disclose a material defect, breach of contract, or for any reason, the buyer’s attorney can act on the buyer’s behalf. They can cancel the contract of sale or sue the seller if the buyer suffers losses due to a breach of contract.

Apart from buyers and seller attorneys, closing attorneys also exist. Basically, they are settlement agents and are managed in areas where real estate attorney closes the deal. 

What Does a Closing Attorney Do?

The closing attorney prepares a settlement statement where they study whether a buyer has taken out a loan for the property before or if any credits are due. The next task this professional performs is reviewing a closing disclosure form. The closing disclosure is a traditional refinancing mortgage document. The lender provides the paper to borrowers with refinancing mortgages.

The attorney also conducts title search & title transfer. Under this, the professional verify that the seller is the owner through public records and is not involved in legal matters.

Real estate transaction lawyers also perform the enforcement of title deeds. This is the final step in closing a real estate transaction.

Final Words

Because the real estate transactions are complicated and hefty, having legal counsel makes good business sense. At the same time, a highly qualified and experienced real estate attorney can assist you in protecting your interests and bargain a good deal for you. 

Indeed, hiring one is definitely worth considering if you’re trying to deal with a particularly shady or complicated situation, such as a foreclosure or a short sale. The property attorney will ensure they get their client the highest and best offer under any circumstances.

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