By Attorney Aly Benitez, Special to THELAW.TV
Buying a home is one of the most exciting times in a person's life. Most likely, it is the largest purchase you will ever make. Yet it is often also one of the most confusing purchases, due to the number of laws and regulations involved. Because of this, even if your state does not require it, hiring a real estate attorney to represent your interests just makes sense.
Here are five reasons why:
1. Save Money
One of the benefits of hiring a real estate attorney is that you are not only getting a licensed Realtor, but a licensed attorney, to represent your interests. Most real estate attorneys will combine services for a discounted fee. For example, many attorneys who hold real estate licenses will act as your Realtor, while protecting your legal interests, for the standard commission fee that you would be paying a standard Realtor. This means you are getting extra protection and services for the SAME COST. It is a misconception that if you hire an attorney to help with a real estate transaction that you’ll be subject to higher fees and costs. It just makes sense.
2. Peace of Mind
There are some amazing Realtors out there who always seem to know how to solve problems as they arise. These Realtors excel at negotiating and contracting. However, they cannot make judgments on legal questions. When hiring a real estate attorney, you will get the benefits of negotiating and contracting with the additional bonus of legal acumen and experience. This provides peace of mind during the exciting but stressful time of purchasing or selling a home. It just makes sense.
3. Complex Issues Solved
When complex issues arise, such as corporations or partnerships purchasing property or a property being sold in probate, having a real estate attorney represent you is crucial. Real estate attorneys understand these complex business arrangements and the legal red tape within your state. Real estate attorneys are also trained to handle HOA issues, review all closing and mortgage documents, and protect you from certain contract provisions. This means that you are protected not only by a real estate professional, but a legal professional who knows how to navigate these complex situations and to ensure that the contract is consistent with the law, while protecting your interests. It just makes sense.
4. One-Stop Shopping
Many real estate attorneys have close relationships to title companies or are even title agents themselves. Find a real estate attorney who can also act as your closing agent. This will save you time and money and also give you continued peace of mind. Title searches serve to make sure that the property is being sold free of any encumbrances, such as liens or judgments. Having an attorney handle the title search will often provide this service more quickly and also with less cost associated if the search reveals a pending lien or court judgment. It just makes sense.
5. Decrease Risk of Being Sued
Having a real estate attorney represent you is not a legal requirement in states such as Florida. Without one, however, your risk of being sued by the opposing party for failure to disclose information increases. Home inspections, title issues, and failure to disclose material facts are all serious and complex issues that require full disclosure. An attorney's job is to make sure you are compliant and to protect your interests. It then follows that having a real estate attorney involved in your next transaction just makes sense.
The author, Aly Benitez, is a real estate attorney in Orlando, Fla., with Benitez Law Group, P.L.