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What Is a Real Estate Attorney, and Do You Need One?

It's possible that your state would mandate you to employ a real estate lawyer to provide you with some aspects of your home purchase.

The job of a real estate attorney is to ensure the property is legally transferred from seller to buyer. These lawyers are in charge of document preparation and analysis, as well as ensuring that the title is transparent and promoting the flow of funds.

The precise responsibilities of a real estate lawyer can vary based on whether you, the agent, or the landlord employ them, as well as whether the state regulations prescribe and whether you need to make the home buying go smoothly.

What does a real estate lawyer do?

Transactions of "personal land" are handled by real estate lawyers. Real property and real estate are two terms that are used interchangeably to describe land and permanent buildings that are set in place.

Purchasing real estate would not require going to court with the majority of home owners. A real estate lawyer, on the other hand, will draft or review any of the paperwork relating to the home buying, including the lease, any further arrangements signed with the agent, documents from the lender, and title and transfer papers. If you hire a real estate lawyer, he or she might even be present at the closing, either electronically or physically.

Additional aspects of the house purchase, such as title searches and title insurance, are often handled by real estate lawyers to ensure that there are no unpaid lawsuits or liens on the land. They can also serve as a third party to facilitate the loan by providing details of the funds transfer to the seller and the lender.

Of course, if an issue exists that may cause the deal to be delayed, a real estate solicitor will assist.

Should you hire a real estate attorney?

Your decision to employ a real estate attorney would most likely be influenced by where you want to purchase land in the United States. States differ in their definitions of "practice of law," because what a real estate agent or notary may handle in one state can need an attorney in another.
  • In certain counties, such as Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia, state law mandates that you hire a real estate attorney to manage some aspects of the deal.
  • In certain states, such as Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, and South Dakota, state law mandates that a title opinion be given by an attorney. An opinion like this indicates that a lawyer has been through the title abstract or review and found no problems with the real estate deal.
  • Even if real estate attorneys aren't needed in your state, you may want to hire one if you're dealing with a more complicated transaction, such as a short sale, or if there's a problem, such as a neighboring building crossing the property line.

Your mortgage lender may need the involvement of a real estate attorney in certain situations. Since the counsel isn't serving you as a buyer, you might be exempt from paying legal fees.

If your state requires a closing counsel, keep in mind that, beyond the fact that you hired and paid for them, they are considered a third entity whose only goal is to finish the deal.

And if you employ a real estate attorney as your advocate would they serve your needs. You will choose to retain your own lawyer whether the solicitor is defending the lender or as a closing attorney (in this case they are representing everyone's interest in finishing the transaction).

How much will a real estate attorney cost?

The cost of a real estate solicitor varies based on the services you need and how they want to charge you. The solicitor can charge a flat fee or an hourly fee for a certain collection of services (such as reviewing the title abstract and delivering a title opinion).

Attorney fees on real estate transactions are usually included in the closing price. Since it isn't a set rate, it will appear on your loan calculation sheet under "services you can shop for." Depending on the solicitor you employ and your legal requirements, the amount included in the loan estimate will vary.

Finding a real estate attorney

If you need a real estate solicitor, ask friends or family who have recently bought homes for advice. If you live in a state where having a lawyer is recommended or needed, the real estate agent will help you find one. To guarantee that your attorney's licenses are in good order, check with your state's bar association. (State bar association websites will also assist you in locating real estate attorneys in your area.)

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