• Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

Who is a Real Estate Attorney, and What Do They Do?

Louise Villalobos

ByLouise Villalobos

Jun 9, 2024
Who is a Real Estate Attorney, and What Do They Do?

Real estate attorneys or lawyers are professionals who guide real estate investors on legal matters in the property-buying process. Read this guide to understand why real estate attorneys are important.

Qualification and Responsibilities of Real Estate Attorneys

Real estate attorneys possess licenses that allow them to practice law related to real estate. They use their extensive legal knowledge of various issues in the real estate industry to help investors carry out their transactions smoothly. In most countries, real estate attorneys are required to be present during the closing stage of the property-buying process.

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All real estate attorneys must hold a law degree, which usually takes about four years to study. In the United States, these attorneys need to pass the bar exam set by the state that they wish to practice real estate law.

Responsibilities of Real Estate Lawyers

Real estate attorneys take different responsibilities in the home-buying process. They include:

1. Real estate attorneys review title documents, transfer documents, mortgage documents, and purchase agreements, then advise their clients regarding the paperwork.

2. Attorneys hired to oversee financial transactions will attend the closing event where funds and title deeds are transferred. The lawyers’ work is to ensure that the transactions are legal and binding.

3. In case of disputes like lot line problems and chain of title, real estate attorneys can be hired to resolve these issues. Moreover, the lawyers can represent their clients in court if need be.

4. Real estate attorneys conduct title searches on behalf of their clients to identify any issues related to the property in question.

What Are the Benefits of Hiring Real Estate Lawyers?

Hiring an attorney comes with several benefits. They include:

Expertise: Experienced real estate attorneys provide legal guidance that enables seamless real estate transactions.

Knowledge: Attorneys’ understanding of legal issues in real estate helps clients know the terms of purchase contracts.

Ideas: Real estate attorneys use their experience to provide real estate investors with solutions to any problem that may arise.

Representation: Attorneys handle transactions on behalf of clients who feel they lack the necessary skills.

What Does Real Estate Law Cover?

Real estate law covers all legal issues attached to a property to be bought or sold. Attorneys ensure that the right process is followed during the sale or purchase of a particular property. Some of the legal issues that real estate law covers include property taxes, zoning, titles, and deeds.

How Real Estate Lawyers Are Paid

Hourly rates: Most real estate attorneys prefer hourly billing, charging a certain rate for every hour they spend working on their clients’ cases. Hourly rates vary from one attorney to another and are based on various factors like the complexity of the case and the lawyer’s experience level.

Flat fees: If the scope of the case is clearly defined, a real estate attorney can choose to charge a flat fee (a specified cost of a particular legal service).

Contingency fees: This type of billing applies during disputes. An attorney who opts for a contingency fee payment model is paid only after delivering the expected outcome for their client.

Retainers: Retainer fees are kept in trust accounts before real estate attorneys commence work. As these lawyers continue working on clients’ cases, they receive a certain percentage of the fees.

Hybrid Billing Arrangements: In this scenario, real estate lawyers combine various types of billing. For instance, they may charge both contingency fees and hourly rates.

Real Estate Agents vs. Real Estate Attorneys

One might mistake an attorney for an agent. However, the two professionals play different roles in the property-buying process. A real estate agent takes up responsibilities like finding suitable properties, negotiating offers, and marketing homes for sale on behalf of clients. A real estate attorney, on the other hand, offers legal guidance to their clients to help conduct successful real estate transactions.

Despite taking different roles, agents and attorneys work closely to ensure their clients’ transactions are seamless.

Louise Villalobos

Louise Villalobos

Louise Villalobos is an adept writer, renowned for her compelling articles that illuminate and engage. Her prowess in breaking down intricate subjects provides readers with clarity and nuance. With a vast and varied portfolio, Louise has solidified her standing as a distinguished voice in contemporary journalism.