Why Hire A Real Estate Attorney?
A real estate attorney is capable of all the services you would receive from a title company, with the added value of having the legal skills required to handle any issues that may emerge. When a real estate attorney works as your title agent and closing agent, providing title insurance as well as preparing settlement services, the price is usually no more than a title agency without a lawyer. While the fees are often times comparable, the value is substantially different. A real estate attorney is trained in the complexities of real estate law, can examine your title, and issue your title policy as well as:
- Negotiate contracts on your behalf
- Give you legal advice
- Resolve title issues
- Explain the meaning of the documents you will be asked to sign at closing
– More protection for you or your client (if you are a realtor) throughout the transaction
– Expedited and smoother transactions
– More peace of mind for yourself and less worry
– If you are a realtor, a greater number of satisfied clients willing to work with you again and finally, all of that plus a cost that is no greater than that of a non-lawyer title company.
– Why do I need title insurance?
– What do I need to know about the property’s taxes, zoning, or special assessments?
– How will I handle probate issues?
– Is the property’s recorded legal description accurate?
– How can I simplify a future sale?
– Are there any legalities stopping me from using the property as I wish?
– Will the title to the property be marketable if I decide to sell or refinance later on?
– What is the seller’s liability after the sale?
– What kind of property taxes can I expect?
– Where do I file for homestead exemption?
– What is the status of my title? Is it free of defects?
– What is “seller disclosure”?
– What sort of things do I have to disclose to the buyer?
– Am I at risk for a lawsuit if don’t disclose my home’s defects to a buyer?
– How can I respond to a buyer’s contract contingencies?
– What if the buyer’s offer is contingent upon the sale of his own home?
– If the buyer takes over my mortgage payments, what is my liability should the buyer default on the loan?
As soon as possible, for your benefit! It is suggested that you should NEVER sign a contract without your attorney looking over it first. At the very least, you should write in a contingency clause saying the contract is valid only with my attorney’s approval.
Some may mention to you that the contract is a standard form and that actions arising from it are customary. This is a misnomer since no two properties are exactly the same, and no two buyers and sellers are the same as well. “Standard” and “customary” in reality truly don’t exist when dealing with a real estate contract.
– Unnecessary taxes or expenses because purchase contract terms were not negotiated in your favor;
– A contract that is not enforceable, complete, or consistent with your original intent;
– Breach of contract caused by a lack of full understanding of the terms and its contingencies;
– Lawsuits that can result from not understanding responsibilities for the seller disclosure;
– Finding out someone else has, or is claiming to have, rights to your property; And problems with the title that make it difficult for you to sell the property in the future.
– Review the contract, and explain all the provisions and contingencies in detail
– Add contingencies needed to protect your interests, in the appropriate legal language
– Inform you of your rights and obligations
– Obtain a title search, evaluate the status of title, and require appropriate legal remedies to clear any defects on the land
– Check for unrecorded municipal liens
– Advise you on what the title policy does not protect you against, so you understand any issues with the marketability of title
– Prepare or review the closing statement and other closing documents
– Interpret and counsel you on all legal documents pertaining to the title and transaction, including mortgages, deeds, and closing statements
– Advising you on how you should take title to your home or property if you’re buying, and how this affects your estate
– Prepare a bill of sale to cover personal property such as curtains and appliances that you or the other party agree shall remain in the home
– Inform you about the income, estate, and gift tax consequences to your estate
– Review the property survey and discuss with you any potential problems