If you’re in the market to buy a home, or are selling a home, there are a number of circumstances in which you might want to consider hiring a real estate attorney to represent you. Keep in mind that buying and selling a house or property is often a very complex transaction, and there is usually a great deal of money involved in the transaction.
As a buyer, if you’re purchasing a property under special circumstances – such as a short sale or foreclosure, or if the property is part of an estate, there may be an advantage to having an attorney represent you in the purchase. Also if there are problems with the property that have been identified either by disclosure or from an inspection such as radon, existing pollution, tornado-prone area, flood zone or structural issues, hiring an attorney to represent you in the purchase may be prudent. Also, if you’re purchasing a commercial property, or you’re an out-of-town buyer, you should also consider hiring an attorney.
As a seller, if you’re selling a property as an heir or executor after the owner is deceased, legal representation may be a good investment. If the property you are selling is in any sort of distress either structurally or legally, think about hiring a real estate attorney. Are you trying to sell a property, but your co-owner is not cooperating? You’ll want to hire a real estate attorney. If there are judgments or liens against you or your property, consider hiring an attorney. Based on your knowledge of the property, do you have a sense that something could go wrong? Hire an attorney.
If you don’t have any of these circumstances in your sale or purchase, then you are likely to be fine relying on the expertise and knowledge of your realtor. A licensed realtor has education on state-specific real estate laws and contracts.
It is smart to hire a real estate attorney when you need one, especially in any of the circumstances noted above. A good real estate attorney will help make sure the transaction comes together well, and that any difficulties are ironed out before closing. The real estate attorney comes into the process after the seller and buyer have agreed to terms of the sale and signed a contract.
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