Did you know that there are over 63,700 real estate law firms in the US?
However, even with these numerous options, many people are unsure when to hire a real estate closing attorney. Many buyers and sellers make costly mistakes by undertaking transactions by themselves.
Luckily, you don’t have to make the same mistake. With proper guidance, you’ll know when to seek a professional’s help.
Read on for indications that you need a real estate attorney.
1. You Find the Closing Process Complicated
Have you ever gotten on a Ferris wheel only to realize you made a mistake when you’re already at the top? Well, real estate transactions are a lot like this.
The process appears straightforward at the beginning, but it’s pretty complex. You may come across properties with liens and easements, complicating the buying process. Hiring an attorney is your best option, as they understand the implications of such rights.
2. You Want a Professional to Tackle All the Legal Details
Many real estate buyers and sellers assume that realtors are all the help they need. While it’s true that realtors understand transactions, many don’t know real estate laws.
For this, you’ll need a professional real estate lawyer. Various federal and state laws govern property transactions. Remember, state laws differ from state to state.
You’ll need to handle things differently if you’re buying a property in a different state. Failure to follow these laws can deem a contract invalid, leading to huge losses. Hiring a real estate closing attorney is the surest way to protect yourself.
3. You Want to Negotiate
Let’s face it: negotiations are a significant part of the US real estate market. Often, sellers overprice their properties to leave room for negotiations.
If you’re not careful, you may end up paying more than a property is worth. Remember, your realtor works on commission, making high prices favorable for them. It’s normal for them not to exert themselves in negotiations when representing buyers.
However, with a closing attorney, you won’t have to worry about this. Because they are not paid on commission, their sole focus will be on getting you the best possible deal. You’d be surprised by the amount of money you can save by involving an attorney.
4. Mortgage Documents Are Involved
How many people in your family and friend groups have bought properties in cash? If you’re like many Americans, you probably don’t know anyone. That’s because the odds of selling or buying property for cash are only 23%.
Many transactions are fueled by mortgages, which can be difficult to understand. That’s where a real estate attorney comes into play. They’ll interpret all the jargon in mortgage agreements to ensure you know what’s at stake.
An attorney will also identify differences between final closing costs and the initial good faith estimate. You’ll need the best possible deal as you may have to make mortgage payments for a significant part of your life.
5. Your Contract is Unfavorable
Buyers and sellers look for the lowest and highest prices possible, respectively. So, it’s common for one party to find a property’s price unfavorable.
Besides, buyers are often disadvantaged in commercial real estate deals. If you’re buying commercial property, you need to ensure that zoning laws are suitable for you.
If not, you need to find ways to make your real estate deal more favorable for you. An attorney will help you with this by researching and explaining your options.
6. There are Disputes During the Closing Process
Real estate transactions are not always fair, as some realtors are self-serving. Disputes are common during the negotiation and closing process.
You may find realtors and sellers misrepresenting properties to hurry the selling process. Or, either of the parties involved may include unfavorable clauses in their contracts.
In such cases, you’ll need the expert guidance of a real estate attorney. They’ll assess and amend buying and selling agreements to protect your best interests.
7. You Need to Draft Contingencies
Real estate transactions are rarely as straightforward as going shopping at Walmart. Often, there are contingencies in place to protect buyers and sellers.
The most common contingencies involve inspections, funding, and appraisals. Agreements are not binding until all parties meet the contingencies by specific dates.
Like many other legal clauses, contingencies are complex and may lead to losses. That’s why it’d be best to consult a real estate attorney before signing any contract.
How Do You Choose the Right Real Estate Closing Attorney?
When hiring an attorney, there are numerous factors to consider. Here are some of the most important.
It’s tempting to want to use one lawyer for all your needs. But, it’s not recommended, as the law is quite broad.
Most lawyers specialize in specific areas of law since it’s easier to become an expert in one than in many. You’ll need a lawyer specializing in real estate for the best results.
Albert Einstein once said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.” While certifications are necessary, experience is more valuable in real estate law.
Look for a lawyer with several years of experience under their belt. They’ll be better at negotiations and property appraisals, saving you a lot of money.
You’ll need to hire someone conversant with your region’s laws to ensure compliance. If you’re buying property in another state, use the internet to find law firms that operate in that state. You don’t need to look for lawyers physically when online reviews are a good resource.
Are You Ready to Hire a Real Estate Closing Attorney?
The complexity of property transactions makes hiring a real estate closing attorney necessary. An attorney will protect your best interests by negotiating and drafting favorable terms.
Sure, hiring one translates to increased buying or selling expenses. But, it also translates to increased efficiency and better contract terms.
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