Although many people hire a real estate agent, they question when it comes to hiring a real estate lawyer. They think why they should hire a lawyer for buying a property and ask, is it really necessary? If you also have such questions in mind, continue reading.
Buying a home or land, or real property is one of the biggest investments. So, you will never want any kind of disputes related to transactions or transfer of the property. Since real estate lawyers have the right knowledge and expertise, you may need their guidance while buying or selling.
Before you learn about the responsibilities of a real estate lawyer, here is a quick overview of real estate law.
Real Estate Law
Real estate law covers the buying and selling of a real estate property. It can be land, or structures, buildings over the land. The law also covers the legal disputes related to real prosperity.
The law may vary from one state to another. The real estate law also covers the deeds, estate planning, titles, zoning, and property taxes. Lawyers who have a license and have practiced real estate law can help buyers and sellers by ensuring that all the procedures are properly followed.
Real Estate Lawyer
Many states in the United States require real estate lawyers for the closing of a real estate agreement. Although your state does not mandate a real estate lawyer, you can hire one for guidance and advice while buying or selling real property.
From documentation to legal issues, a real estate lawyer will guide you during a real estate transaction. Continue reading to know more in detail about their responsibilities and how much they charge.
Responsibilities Of A Real Estate Lawyer
A real estate lawyer can help you in several ways. Here are some key responsibilities of lawyers who practice real estate law:
- Drafting and Reviewing Documents: A real estate lawyer can help you in drafting and reviewing all the documents related to real estate property. There are various types of documents such as purchase agreements, transfer documents, mortgage documents, title documents, etc. So, the lawyer can draft and review to ensure that every document is properly prepared.
- Ensure Legal Transactions: The lawyer will ensure that the real estate transaction is legal and occurring in the best interest of the client. The attorney will be present and oversee the agreement while closing the agreement.
- Resolve Legal Disputes: Whether you are a buyer or a seller, a real estate lawyer will resolve the legal disputes of real estate transactions. There are various types of legal disputes relating to real estate. They are lot-line problems, a chain of title disputes, breach of contracts, and more.
How Much Does A Real Estate Lawyer Cost?
Well, a real estate lawyer charges you fees for the service. Usually, most real estate lawyers charge an hourly rate, while some may charge you a flat fee. The average cost of hiring a real estate lawyer can range from $150 to $350, and if the lawyer charges a flat fee, it can range from $600 to $1500.
However, the service fee can vary depending on the situation. If you are dealing with commercial properties, you should consult the lawyers in your state up-front. The legal fee can also vary for legal disputes based on the complexity of the case.
FAQs On Real Estate Lawyer
Now that you know the responsibilities of a real estate lawyer, here are some frequently asked questions by buyers and sellers. Skim through them to get more clarity about real estate lawyers.
1. Can I Use A Real Estate Lawyer Instead Of An Agent?
Yes, you can use a real estate lawyer instead of an agent. More importantly, some states use a licensed real estate lawyer at the time of buying or selling a real estate property. As each state has different real estate laws, you should know about the laws of your state for buying or selling a home or property. However, choosing a real estate lawyer might be expensive but worth it.
2. What Questions Should You Ask A Real Estate Lawyer?
It’s crucial to ask the right questions to real estate lawyers before you hire them. Here are the top five questions that you should ask a real estate attorney in your first consultation:
- How long have you been practicing real estate law?
- Have you served clients with cases similar to mine?
- How much will you charge, including all your fees?
- Is there anyone else who will work with you on my case?
- Can you give some references for your past clients?
3. Do I Need A Lawyer For Closing?
Apart from the cost of a new home or property, there are other fees such as office expenses, courier fees, Land Titles Office fees, etc. However, the fees and charges may vary based on the complexity of the transaction.
If you are a first-time buyer or you don’t have much idea about real estate laws, it’s better to consult a real estate lawyer for estimating the closing cost and the right process of closing.
4. Can A Lawyer Represent Both Parties In A Real Estate Transaction?
As per the rules of the Law Society, a lawyer cannot represent both parties in a real estate transaction. The reason behind it is when a lawyer represents both buyer and seller simultaneously, it can create conflict in the transaction.
Since each of them has different matters of interest, it can create ambiguity and unreliability. However, they can hire lawyers from a single legal firm according to the laws of Law Society.
The Bottom Line
Hopefully, the above information has helped you to know about the responsibilities of a real estate lawyer. If you are planning to buy or sell a real estate property, you can choose a lawyer who can guide and help you in the transaction. If you are selling a property, you should hire a selling agent who can get you the highest price for your property.