“Why would I pay for something when I can do it myself, for free?” That’s the question most people ask when someone suggests hiring a real estate attorney. Here are five compelling reasons to rethink this research.
1. Contracts are complex
There is absolutely nothing stopping buyers and sellers from negotiating the terms of a deal on their own. But for it to be legally binding, they must memorialize their agreement in writing. In addition to transcribing the actual content of the contract, an experienced attorney will also ensure that it complies with all state laws. While real estate agents can help with standard contracts, they may not have the legal knowledge or experience to spot serious errors before a deal is finalized. As such, it is often a good idea to have an attorney review the contract before either party signs it.
2. It can be a problem Links
Anyone can put up a “for sale” sign, but not all owners have the right to sell. Because it’s often a family’s largest asset, the home is an obvious target when creditors are owed money they can’t collect. Whether the creditor is a bank or the IRS, property liens and judgments can get in the way of a sale. Since they are a matter of public record, anyone can search for them. But because they work closely with title search companies, attorneys are able to provide this vital service much faster and at much lower cost.
3. Paperwork must be submitted
Even the simplest land deal requires both parties to file documents at the state and/or county level. An experienced real estate attorney will ensure that all legal documents are filed quickly and efficiently. Most importantly, he or she will ensure that the real estate deed is filed with the appropriate state agency and properly recorded. Failure to complete this crucial step could prevent a new owner from selling the property, obtaining a home equity line of credit, or refinancing the mortgage.
4. Government bureaucracy
When the transaction involves commercial property, there are several additional steps a new owner must take. An experienced real estate attorney can help you establish a valid business entity, obtain a tax identification number, and obtain a real business license through the local municipality. All of these important actions can help the new owner focus on the grand opening, rather than wasting time with government red tape.
5. Emotion clouds judgment
Unlike the real estate agent who is motivated by commission to make a deal happen, a reputable attorney has no such conflict of interest. He or she simply gives advice based on the law, not individual wants and needs. That kind of level-headed, dispassionate presence is often badly needed during negotiations.
An experienced real estate attorney can help buyers and sellers save time and money on property transactions.