There is no shortage of people or agencies who are involved in the mortgage process. From lenders to brokers to appraisers and underwriters, it may seem like an ever-changing pipeline of people needed to buy or refinance a house. Real estate attorneys may seem like just more people who have to get involved, but in some states, the law requires an attorney to close on a loan.
Since real estate attorneys are not optional in some cases, it is essential to know what they do and how they are beneficial. Here are some tips on real estate attorneys and the law.
Real Estate Lawyers for Buyers
Real estate attorneys do more than advise prospective buyers on the law. They can help potential homeowners lower risk by helping to negotiate purchase contracts, contracts of sale, and deed transfers. Attorneys can review property titles for any possible liens or anything that could arise in the future and affect the property’s title.
Although many states do not require attorneys for simple purchase transactions, it does not mean prospective homeowners should not hire one. For example, an attorney can help buyers if they decide to back out of a contract. Attorneys can help if the subject property is owned by the bank. Additionally, if there is even the slightest risk of illegal activity with the property, an attorney can identify the activity and help prospective buyers mitigate any risk.
Real Estate Lawyers for Sellers
Sellers can benefit from the services of a real estate attorney in several situations. Sellers may need an attorney when trying to sell the property of a deceased loved one. If a property has any structural issues, an attorney can help with any contingencies. If the subject property being sold has any outstanding liens, an attorney can help resolve those liens. If a seller is going through a foreclosure or short sale, a real estate lawyer can help the seller navigate the laws of each state (laws behind foreclosures and short sales vary widely by state).
Every state in the U.S. has different requirements for home closings. Some states require an attorney be present at closing, and some have no requirement. The power attorneys have also varied by state. It is always smart to consult with an attorney who has handled many real estate transactions.
About The Author
Janine Getler is a real estate attorney and the Principal of Getler, Gomes & Sutton PC, a real estate and construction law firm in New York. She brings over 25 years of professional experience working in law, and is known as a leader in the industry. Follow Janine Getler on Crunchbase to learn more!