Some people will only ever complete one or two real estate transactions in their entire lives. Others, like investors, might close on multiple properties every single year.
Regardless of whether you are always in the market for a new property or looking to protect yourself if you buy the only home you ever want to own, partnering with an attorney can be a very advantageous decision. Having an agent is also important, but a real estate lawyer provides social support that a licensed agent can’t necessarily duplicate.
Why do some people work with an attorney and an agent for a real estate closing?
A lawyer helps you optimize your contractual protections
You can submit an offer for purchase with nothing more than boilerplate documents that your agent fills out with a few details. However, those documents won’t necessarily give you the maximum possible protection as a buyer. Having a lawyer draft custom documents that include specific contingencies to protect your potential investment can be a worthwhile effort.
As a seller, a lawyer can help you review offers and draft purchase agreements that give you adequate protection. Those selling properties with significant defects, in particular, may want to get help drafting legal documents that help address those issues and liabilities they could add to the transaction.
Lawyers can offer crucial guidance on title and vesting issues
In many real estate transactions, a title company does the analysis of the ownership history of the property and ensures the property against future title claims.
However, many of these companies turn out multiple policies in a short amount of time, meaning they may not adequately delve into the record. They could overlook title blemishes that cause later issues. They might also employ less-effective means of addressing title issues.
Future problems with the title aren’t the only thing an attorney could assist with. They can also help a buyer take title in a way that optimizes their protections. Exploring whether you should hold title as individuals or as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, for example, could help you streamline your estate planning later.
Having a real estate attorney available to guide you through the process and address any complications that arise will make buying or selling real estate a safer and more predictable process.