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What Is The Role Of A Real Estate Attorney?

Sep 28

Purchasing a home is likely to be the most significant purchase you will ever make. In addition to engaging a real estate agent to assist with the negotiation, you may want to hire a real estate lawyer to assist you with the legal aspects of the transaction. Real estate attorneys are experts in all things real estate, from sales to resolving conflicts between parties.

An Overview of Real Estate Lawyers

Many states demand the presence of a real estate attorney at the closing. Even if your state does not require one, you may want to retain the services of a real estate attorney. At closing, a real estate attorney will represent your interests. They will evaluate the papers ahead of time and provide advice on any issues or omissions.

Although some offer a set rate, most real estate lawyers charge an hourly fee for their services. The lawyer will inform you right away.

What Does Real Estate Law Entail?

The purchase and sale of real property, which includes land and any structures on it, is covered by real estate law. It also includes legal concerns for anything linked to the land or structures, such as appliances and fixtures.

Real estate attorneys ensure that proper procedures are followed throughout the purchase or sale of a property. They could also be concerned about how a property's use is zoned. Deeds, property taxes, estate planning, zoning, and titles are all covered by real estate law.

State and local governments have different real estate laws. Attorneys must be licensed to practice in the state in which the transaction is taking place, and they must keep up with any state or local events that may affect the transaction.

Responsibilities of the Attorney

Purchase agreements, mortgage documents, title documents, and transfer documents are all documents that a real estate attorney can prepare and evaluate.

A real estate attorney who has been hired to manage a transaction will always accompany the buyer to the closing. When the money is paid and the title is transferred, it is called closing. The attorney's role is to guarantee that the transfer is lawful, binding, and in the client's best interests.

The real estate attorney and staff may draft documentation, establish title insurance policies, conduct title searches on the property, and arrange the transfer of monies for the purchase during the acquisition process. If the acquisition is financed, the attorney is in charge of paperwork for the buyer's lender, such as the federal HUD-1 Form and related transfer of funds documentation.

In the event of a real estate dispute, such as a chain of title issue, lot line issues, or other contract-related issues, the attorney will address the situation.

When a real estate issue reaches the courtroom, a real estate attorney might represent either the buyer or the seller. The real estate lawyer gathers information from all sides of the conflict and attempts to resolve it. It's possible that you'll need to hire a surveyor or a title business to help you with the specifics.


A real estate lawyer, like any other lawyer, has acquired a law degree, which takes three years of full-time study. They've also passed the state bar exam in the jurisdiction in which they work. Real estate legal training can begin in law school with elective courses and internships, and can continue after graduation with a real estate law certification.

When You Require The Services Of A Real Estate Attorney

As previously stated, several states mandate the supervision of real estate transactions and the presence of a real estate attorney at the closing. Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and West Virginia are the "attorney closing states." Other states are "attorney title opinion states," which means that a lawyer must certify title. Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming are the states in question. Although real estate lawyers are not required in four states (Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio), they are frequently involved in transactions due to local tradition and practice.

If you don't live in one of these states, the decision to engage an attorney is yours. It may be contingent on your belief in your own understanding of real estate law. If you're trying to negotiate a particularly murky or difficult scenario, such as a foreclosure or a short sale, hiring one is definitely worth considering.