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How Can A Residential Real Estate Lawyer Benefit You?

If you are looking to buy or sell a home, it is going to be one of the largest transactions in your life. For this transaction, many people think that it is essential to hire a real estate agent. Real estate deals can be complicated transactions often requiring a professional to navigate the process, but an agent is not your only option. A residential real estate lawyer provides many of the same services as agents as well as offering the ability to provide legal advice.

Representing the Client

Not only is buying or selling a home a personal transaction, but also a legal one. Many real estate agents can represent both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction. Unlike agents, residential real estate lawyers represent you and only you, providing for a high degree of privacy and confidentiality. They are not incentivized by the purchase price as they have no stake in the sale and can give you unbiased representation.

Agents are paid on commission and only receive a paycheck if the transaction closes. Therefore, they have a high priority on closing the sale, often trampling over the best interests of the buyer or seller. Attorney fees are paid directly and are not affected by whether or not the property sale goes through. A lawyer works for the client’s best interests and wants to make sure that you are protected by the contracts, not that the sale is finalized.

Providing Legal Counsel

Real estate agents are not licensed to provide legal advice. They can answer very specific questions about the property or real estate, but cannot answer any types of legal questions, even if they know the answer, without risking the possibility of losing their real estate license.

Real estate lawyers can help negotiate the offer, bring the transaction together and answer any legal questions you may have. They usually take over the process after a selling price and terms have been established. The attorney can review the contract and negotiate any home repairs or adjustments after the home inspection has been completed. They can also attend the closing and address any final issues with the sale.

When Should You Hire a Real Estate Lawyer

There are many situations that a lawyer can help homebuyers or sellers in their transaction. For anything less than a perfect transaction, a lawyer can help to:

  • Make sure the title insurance policy is in place
  • Check that the title to the property has no liens, mortgages, and judgments
  • Draft amendments or other documents necessary to eliminate confusion
  • Educate the buyer on the mortgage terms and promissory notes
  • Create personalized contracts and documents

Situations that may dictate the hiring of an attorney include:

  • If you are an out-of-town buyer
  • You are buying a property that is a short sale or bank-owned
  • There are judgements or liens on the property
  • The property is in a state of distress or you anticipate something could possibly go wrong
  • You are buying commercial property
  • If you are buying property that’s part of an estate sale or are the heir or executor of a property whose owner is now deceased
  • The property may potentially have some structural issues

Many states require the involvement of an attorney in the process; however, Nevada allows the buyers and sellers to decide if they want to hire an attorney. An added level of protection for both sides, hiring one may be very beneficial. Helpful for contract creation and review, home inspection negotiations and possibly preventing disputes later in the transaction, having an attorney assist you can save you money and frustration in the long run.

Having both a real estate lawyer and agent on your team can help you achieve optimal results. Whereas an agent can help you market your property, an attorney can prepare, review and maintain the contracts and associated documents with the transaction, putting your mind at ease.

Reno Residential Real Estate Lawyer

Want to speak to an experienced Reno attorney about buying or selling your property? Talk to Heather Ijames from Ijames Law today! Contact (775) 870-9199 to learn more about her services.

Hire a Reno Real Estate Lawyer

3 comments on “Buying or Selling: Do I Need a Residential Real Estate Lawyer?

  • Its interesting when you said that real estate agents are not licensed to provide legal advice. One of my friend wants to rent a house so he wants to contact a real estate agent to help him do so. Thanks for the tips for real estate agents and I hope that my friend can find a good house for himself soon.

  • I liked that you said that you must consider hiring an attorney if you are buying a commercial property, and there are states that require hiring a lawyer for the process. My aunt is thinking of buying the commercial property that she saw online around four days ago. She wants to ensure that nothing will go wrong with the process as this is going to be her first time buying a property, so it will make sense for her to do your tips.

  • Great tip on how you shouldn’t overlook the expertise of a real estate lawyer during the house purchasing process. I like how they ensure the legality of your house title and ensure that you avoid any legal troubles later on. I’ll be sure to share this with my brother who wants to try living by himself after graduating from college.

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