In some states, you are required to have a real estate attorney in order to buy or sell a house. And while in other states having an attorney is optional, it can actually be a real benefit. Spending money on legal fees can help you avoid breaking the law unintentionally or having your closing delayed. If you’re unsure what a real estate attorney does and how it can help you, then read on.
They prepare documents
One of the most important things that real estate lawyers do is prepare documents. The real estate process can generate tons of paperwork, and having an attorney available to deal with that avalanche can be a real stress-reliever. They will draw up purchase contracts, financing agreements, and lease agreements. While your real estate agent can help you fill out this paperwork, only a lawyer can actually draft and revise them.
They review transactions
Another service that real estate attorneys can provide is to review transactions and give advice about them. They will look at title issues and examine any documents or contracts that are part of the closing process. A lawyer can help you spot potential problems that may otherwise go unnoticed to an untrained eye. This can help you avoid any unforeseen legal problems down the line.
They help you negotiate a better deal
Negotiating skills are another reason that real estate attorneys can be so helpful. They have expert experience with all types of transactions. A buyer or seller can ask a real estate attorney to negotiate terms for a deal, which often involves working with brokers, developers, or other lawyers. If you feel unsure of your negotiating skills, then having a licensed attorney on your side can be your ace in the hole.
They handle foreclosures
Dealing with a foreclosure can be a daunting experience. That’s why some real estate attorneys specialize in foreclosures. They can represent either the lender or the borrower in a foreclosure. Those that assist lenders will make sure that they proceed with the process correctly. They also may file a lawsuit on the lender’s behalf. When a lawyer represents a borrower, however, they can challenge mistakes made by the lender. This can make it more difficult for the lender to foreclose. They can also negotiate on your behalf with the lender to try to avoid foreclosure by making a settlement.
They represent you in a lawsuit
Finally, although it may seem obvious, real estate attorneys can represent you in a lawsuit. Unfortunately, not all real estate transactions happen smoothly. Some can end up in court. If you find yourself in this situation, then hiring a real estate attorney is advisable. They will draft legal pleadings that will be filed with the judge. They will also be present at hearings and at trial in front of the judge. Attorneys can also file an appeal on your behalf if necessary. Their negotiating skills also come in handy when they bargain with the other side to try to work out a settlement agreement.
As you can see, while you may not be required to hire a real estate attorney, having one on your side can ease stress. Having someone on your team who understands all the legal ramifications of your real estate transaction can go a long way toward a successful outcome.