Real estate transactions are usually expensive and it might be tempting to find ways to cut costs by avoiding attorney’s fees. However, real estate transactions are complicated too and failing to hire a good attorney to represent your interests can end up costing you more money in the end.
How Can a Real Estate Attorney Help?
Having a good real estate agent on your side can be the difference between having a smooth transaction from start to finish and having a nightmare. If you have an attorney, you will have an open line of communication with him/her or their staff throughout the entire process.
The attorney will review the transaction each step of the way and it will thus be easier to resolve any problems that arise. Having an experienced attorney on your side also means that there will be someone advocating for your interests should problems arise.
When Is It Important to Consult with a Real Estate Attorney?
- When Selling Property
One of the most common instances where you may want to hire a real estate attorney is when selling property and especially a For Sale By Owner (FSBO). If you are the owner of the FSBO property, you will need a real estate attorney to walk you through the process of selling the property and look over any purchase offers to reduce your liability to buyers.
When it comes to selling property, failure to follow the laws or not knowing about the laws is not an excuse that can hold up in court. It is thus in your best interests to learn about all you need to do in a FSBO real estate transaction and consult with a reputable, professional, and experienced real estate attorney to ensure that you abide by the law.
- When Buying Property
If you are the buyer of a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) property, but you are not working with a realtor it can be a good idea to consult with a real estate attorney to learn more about the process of buying in your area and for assistance with regards to making an offer. If you learn about the buying process, you will ensure that the seller is being forthcoming with all the information required and can ensure that all the time frames are adhered to.
A real estate transaction can quickly fall apart when such simple things as timelines are not adhered to. Missing things such as home inspections, appraisals can derail real estate transactions forcing many real estate deals to start over. If you show that dates don’t matter to you from the beginning of real estate transactions the court is highly unlikely to side with you when it comes to issues pertaining to missed dates. Having a real estate attorney on your side will help you if the transaction fails to go as smoothly as it should.
- When Going Through the Divorce Process
Divorce and all the related emotional issues often brings out the worst in people. If you add in the issue of division of assets such as real estate things usually get quite heated. Having a Columbus Ohio divorce lawyer is obviously needed, but a real estate attorney is also important to help draft the required paperwork for the division of the property.
If you don’t have a divorce attorney to represent you or he/she is not comfortable with the real estate aspect of the division of the property, you need to consult with a real estate attorney to ensure that the property is divided in accordance with the local laws.
- When Real Estate Deals Fall Apart
Buyers and sellers can get in the way of the process before the closing of a real estate transaction. The interference is sometimes intention such as when another buyer shows up and makes a better offer than the original one. The seller may prefer to delay doing certain things in the hopes of ending the sale instead of using a direct approach and attempting to conclude the deal with both parties in agreement.
Consulting with a real estate attorney will help you get an idea of what your options are and the options available to you should you decide to sue the seller to force the completion of a deal or whether you can force completion of the deal.
If you are the seller and the buyer is the one trying to prevent a deal from going through, it makes sense to consult with a real estate attorney. The real estate attorney will let you know whether or not you should try forcing the deal to go through or sue to recover some money for the period when the property was off the market.
- When There Are Real Estate Title Issues
Issues pertaining to the property’s title may also require the involvement of a real estate lawyer. The attorney working for a title company will typically research the title and issue an opinion relating to its validity as part of the real estate transaction.
The opinion is of limited validity since it only covers what the attorney managed to discover after researching public records. If certain issues are hidden in the title history and come up later, they will have to be dealt with to ensure that the title to the property you purchased is clear.
If you didn’t buy title insurance when you bought the home, a real estate attorney will be necessary to help you in the process of clearing the title or to go to court and either obtain a clear property title or sue the prior seller for selling property when they lacked clear ownership.
The Bottom Line
A real estate attorney can be of great assistance with regards to numerous aspects of real estate transactions. Some people even involve attorneys when doing transactions of high value even if they have other professionals working on the same.
If you are ever faced with any of the 5 situations discussed here, you should get ahead of the issue and get in contact with a real estate attorney to find out what can be done, ensure that your rights are protected, and ensure that everything goes according to plan.