The sale and purchase of a home is no simple transaction. This is a legal transfer of property from one person to another, which can be very complex and perplexing to those who are unfamiliar with the process. Therefore, a Reno real estate attorney can be of significant help at this time.
There are endless amount of reasons why hiring a lawyer who understand Reno property law is a good idea during home sales and purchases. All you really need to know is that they work with your best interests in mind. This helps the transaction go as smoothly as possible and ensures your wants and needs are properly represented.
What Does a Real Estate Attorney Do?
The most common question we get in regards to real estate law is “what does a real estate attorney do?” A real estate attorney is licensed to practice real estate law, meaning these individuals are qualified to advise legal property transactions to buyers or sellers. They typically handle various aspects of the home sale/purchase process including deeds, titles, purchase financing, zoning, and taxes.
Some of the duties of a real estate attorney include:
- Preparing and reviewing documents (including purchase agreements, seller financing, deeds of trust, promissory notes, and Grant Deeds.)
- Complete title searches on the property
- Help to streamline the financing paperwork
- Handle real estate disputes with the other parties involved such as; chain of title, contract issues, and contingencies.
- Provide legal representation to a buyer or seller in the event that they are taken to court in relation to the real estate transaction
- Help Developers create a Common Interest Development and draft CC&Rs.
5 Advantages of Hiring a Real Estate Lawyer
While many people assume they need to hire a real estate agent, this isn’t true. Primarily, real estate agents are for buyers and are even free for buyers. For sellers, if you already have a buyer in mind, hiring a real estate agent will cost you up to 6% of the sales price when you did most of the work (finding a buyer). Alternatively, if you are a seller with a buyer ready, you can hire a real estate lawyer and save tens of thousands of dollars. When a seller hires an attorney, the seller is only paying for the attorney’s time in drafting the appropriate documentation, which is considerably less than a 6% fee. But even if you already have an agent, it is still a best practice to have a lawyer involved to make sure the deal is right for you and there are no surprises. Take a look at some of the advantages of having a real estate lawyer represent you.
#1 Making Negotiations
Property transactions are always negotiable. In fact, this is one of the most time-consuming aspects of buying or selling real estate. An attorney has a great deal of experience in making negotiations that can help secure a deal that swings in your favor or at least ensures an equitable transaction.
#2 Proper Client Representation and Legal Counsel
Although real estate agents are trained to buy and sell property on your behalf, they are often motivated by the commission of the sale rather than the desire to help you get the best deal possible. The knowledge and expertise of a real estate lawyer are extremely helpful when buying or selling a home. And, unlike a real estate agent, a Reno real estate lawyer represents you, and only you.
Likewise, a real estate lawyer will provide legal counsel throughout the process and in the event that your case needs to be investigated in court.
The contract is the most important part of any real estate transaction, so it’s crucial that it is properly drafted and reviewed by a professional. A real estate attorney can draft a customized contract that reflects your needs and wants. And when it comes time to review documents, your real estate lawyer can clear up any confusion and will be able to explain the terms and agreements more adequately.
#4 Perform Liens and Title Searches
A lien and title search must be completed prior to the sale of any property. This ensures that the property is not financially linked or claimed by another party. It essentially makes it possible for the home to be legally sold and purchased. A real estate lawyer will execute the lien and title search and if something does come up, they will help you resolve the issue so that the transaction can continue. While escrow will inevitably also do this for you, you can have an attorney do a preliminary search and find issues that would save you costs of opening an escrow you will inevitably abandon, with the potential of losing your earnest money.
#5 Attend Closing
Closing a real estate transaction is also an important event to have a real estate lawyer be present for. This is a multi-step process that involves filing the deed, making final negotiations, and drafting the paperwork. Your attorney will handle all of these duties and draft the closing contract so that it will meet all the necessary legal requirements in place at the time of sale. They will also explain any confusing terms in the agreement and ensure you are satisfied with the deal.
When to Hire a Real Estate Attorney
A real estate attorney can be helpful at any point during the property transaction from the purchase process to closing. Some specific situations in which one would seek out help from a real estate attorney include:
- Out-of-town buyers
- Seller financed properties
- A seller and buyer who have already met and want to save money by skipping commissions
- Purchasing commercial property
- If you are buying a property that’s part of an estate sale or you are the heir or executor of a property whose owner is now deceased
- The property is in a state of distress (such as structural issues) or you anticipate something could possibly go wrong
Reno Real Estate Lawyer
Want to speak to an experienced Reno lawyer about buying or selling your property? Talk to Heather Ijames from Ijames Law today! Contact (775) 870-9199 to learn more about her services.