When to Hire a Real Estate Attorney
Buying or selling real estate—whether it is commercial or residential—is a large transaction that requires meticulous planning. While most states do not require a real estate buyer or seller to utilize a real estate attorney, this entity can help negotiate and make a real estate transaction move forward quickly and peacefully. In most cases, a real estate attorney will begin working on a transaction after the real estate agent and both parties have established the selling price and terms of the transaction. Further, the real estate attorney will review contracts and negotiate repairs or other adjustments once the property seller finishes the home inspection and title search. Additionally, if any last-minute issues occur with the transaction, the attorney can help you and the other party work through these issues and how they relate to your contract.
Below are the states that require a real estate attorney on any real estate transactions, a list of ways real estate attorneys could help you, and a few questions to ask a real estate attorney before you decide to hire them.
States that Require Real Estate Attorneys
While a real estate attorney is a useful tool in most real estate transactions, there are a few states who actually require that a buyer and seller utilize a real estate attorney. States that require a real estate attorney include Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. Each of these states has different laws concerning how involved a real estate attorney must be. Additionally, it is important to keep up with these and other state laws as the requirement to hire an attorney for real estate transactions could quickly change.
Reasons Why you Should Hire a real Estate Attorney
Below are common reasons why one should hire an attorney when making a real estate transaction.
- A real estate attorney is a non-interested third party who will work to protect your rights. All other parties in a real estate transaction have a financial interest in your transaction, thus, by having a real estate attorney present, they can offer crucial advice.
- Lawyers who specialize in real estate have the training and experience necessary to handle complex legal issues. Further, real estate attorneys are familiar with contracts used during real estate transactions. Thus, these attorneys can mitigate issues before they ever occur. Finally, a real estate lawyer can review and modify contracts to ensure that your needs are met and interests protected.
- A real estate attorney can represent you in litigation if the property you purchased has an illegal structure, termites, lead paint, asbestos, or other hazardous conditions that you were not made aware of. Additionally, these attorneys can add contingencies in your real estate contract. This includes what the selling party owes if any issues occur within a given period after the property purchase.
- An attorney can advise you on the legal ramifications that may occur if you break the contract in any way. A real estate attorney is a critical tool to utilize if you are planning on breaking your real estate contract.
- A real estate lawyer can work with your mortgage lien officer, the other attorney, and real estate broker. This ensures that you do not miss any important dates or deadlines for actions such as home inspections, title searches, mortgage commitments, and other dates that if missed could create significant delays.
Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Real Estate Attorney
A real estate attorney can help with almost every step of the process—whether you are buying or selling real estate. Further, the peace of mind you receive from enlisting a professional can help you move through a deal rationally. A real estate attorney can be an extremely useful tool. However, below are a few questions you should ask a real estate attorney before you hire them.
- How long have you been practicing
- Have you handled cases similar to mine
- What are your fees
- Will anyone else is working on my case
- Can you provide references: Another good tool is to check online reviews
By asking potential attorneys these questions, you will be more likely to choose an attorney who is knowledgeable. Further, you can ensure that the attorney has the skills necessary to properly assist you.
With over 20 years of experience, Antonoplos & Associates real estate attorneys have the knowledge and experience required to assist clients with real estate litigation in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Furthermore, our attorneys have a strong background in real estate, construction law, and business law. Because of this experience, we are can assist clients with most aspects of real estate litigation. Finally, we are able to help you before, during, and after your real estate litigation. This is true whether you need assistance with personal or commercial legal issues.
Contact Our DC Law Office for More Information
Finally, for more information on when to hire a real estate attorney, contact us at 202-803-5676. You can also directly schedule a consultation with one of our skilled attorneys. Additionally, for general information regarding real estate law, check out our blog.