Why You Need a Real Estate Attorney
The importance of a real estate attorney to the process of buying or selling a property may seem obvious, but a shocking number of people try to do without. Sometimes it works out fine—but when it doesn’t work out, the consequences are unnecessarily long and complicated transactions. Buying or selling a home is trying enough without adding additional layers of complexity.
But can’t my real estate agent handle it?
The answer, in no uncertain terms, is: absolutely not. Real estate agents are not qualified to legally protect, in any sort of effective way, your interests during a real estate transaction. Don’t assume they can, and if you have an agent who claims to be qualified to do so, fire him or her immediately. This is not a person who has a good handle in the process or his or her own limitations. When you go into a purchase or sale without an attorney, legal documents could be drafted by the lawyer on the other side of the negotiating table, and without your own lawyer, you can guess which party will be favored.
Okay, fine, I’ll hire my aunt
If your aunt is a real estate attorney that’s a fine plan. But if she’s, for example, a tax attorney, or she specializes in felony DUI, you should really look elsewhere. Real estate law, like any other legal specialty, has ins, outs, loopholes, and nuances that will be entirely unknown to lawyers working on other areas. You wouldn’t hire a housepainter to paint your portrait, so don’t hire a civil liberties lawyer to handle your home purchase.
What you need it someone who can clearly explain to you the legal ramifications of what you’re signing, and the deal you’re making. There’s a lot of money on the line. Be sure your interests are protected.