What Does A Real Estate Attorney Do For A Seller? (TOP 5 Tips)

When should your hire a real estate attorney?

  • When Would I Need a Real Estate Lawyer? Purchase Contract. Although real estate agents usually play a central role in preparing purchase contracts, a lawyer could provide a review of the purchase contract terms. Closing. The moment you’ve been waiting for– closing on a home sale or purchase -often involves dozens of pages of legal documents to review. Less Typical Scenarios.


What does seller’s lawyer do?

The lawyer’s job is to protect you, to ensure that your sale or purchase proceeds smoothly, and to close on time according to the details in your signed contract. To do this, your lawyer and their staff analyze the paperwork from the realtor.

Who pays lawyer fees when selling a house?

Who pays the fees? The seller usually appoints the conveyancing attorney but their cost is covered by the purchaser. This can make the fees quite challenging for the purchaser to negotiate and is something to keep in mind when signing your offer to purchase.

What does lawyer do at closing?

Real estate lawyers do everything in their power to ensure that the transaction closes on time. forward closing funds to the seller’s lawyer to secure release of keys; submit transfer documents to land titles for registration; ensure good title to the home; and. 6

When should I hire a real estate attorney?

Here are a few scenarios when you might consider hiring legal help: You’re building or buying real estate for your business. You’re having issues with your landlord or tenant. You’re buying or selling a commercial property with existing tenants.

What are the responsibilities of the seller of a home?

Responsibilities of The Seller in a Real Estate Transaction

  • Real Estate Commission & Realtor Fees – if applicable.
  • Document Preparation for the Deed.
  • Documentary Transfer Tax- Approximately $8.60 Per Thousand of Sales Price.
  • Any Closing Costs Required by Buyer’s Lender – if Negotiated in Sales Contract.

Who will pay the deed of sale the buyer or seller?

A Deed of Sale is a contract where the seller delivers property to the buyer and the buyer pays the purchase price. The deed results in ownership over the property being transferred to the buyer upon its delivery.

Does the seller pay attorney fees?

Although the purchaser is responsible for most of the conveyancing attorney’s fees, the seller will be required to pay the conveyancing attorney’s appointment by the bondholder for their services to cancel the existing bond.

What sellers expect at closing?

The closing is an important day for you as a home seller. You will transfer the property to the buyer, fully pay off any mortgages, and receive your sales proceeds. If you are using the proceeds for a new home purchase on the same day or shortly thereafter, it is particularly important that your closing runs smoothly.

Does seller get check at closing?

Sellers receive their money, or sale proceeds, shortly after a property closing. It usually takes a business day or two for the escrow holder to generate a check or wire the funds.

What’s the difference between attorney and lawyer?

Lawyers are people who have gone to law school and often may have taken and passed the bar exam. An attorney is someone who is not only trained and educated in law, but also practices it in court. A basic definition of an attorney is someone who acts as a practitioner in a court of law.

What Does a Real Estate Attorney Do for a Seller? – Home Sellers Guide

Throughout the property buying process, from the time a contract is signed through to close, real estate attorneys are on hand to assist with everything from contract negotiations to closing day. Sales contracts are reviewed by a seller’s attorney, who also conveys terms in a professional manner and attends closings to ensure that no blunders occur. It takes extensive knowledge and familiarity with local, state, and federal regulations to successfully sell a house, which is a complicated procedure.

Many states mandate the employment of real estate attorneys when selling a home, but even if you are not legally compelled to hire an attorney while selling a home, it is a good idea.

Do I need a real estate attorney to sell my house?

Attorneys are necessary as part of the closing process in 21 states and the District of Columbia, according to state statutes. States where an attorney is necessary 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 are the states represented.

According to industry standards, if the opposing party in your transaction has an attorney representing them and advocating for their best interests, you should retain one as well.

Do I need a lawyer to sell my house privately?

If you reside in one of the states listed above, you are obligated to utilize an attorney when selling your house, regardless of whether you are selling it on your own or through an agent. Selling on your own without the assistance of a lawyer is entirely up to you in states where such services are not mandated. Make the best decision you can about whether or not you need the assistance of a legal professional in your case.

Circumstances to hire a real estate attorney

Some sellers consider real estate attorneys to be absolutely necessary. As a result, with such a large sum of money at stake and a pile of paperwork, legal counsel may be invaluable in preventing possible problems throughout the process. Even though your state does not require you to employ an attorney, there are a few exceptions to this rule in which it is highly suggested that you hire one. Liens: If there are any outstanding liens on your house, an attorney may assist you in resolving the difficulties and clearing the way for a successful closing.

If you are selling your property with someone other than your husband, an attorney may assist you in making sure that both of your best interests are taken into consideration.

Short sale: Because your lender has agreed to allow you to sell your property for less than you owe in a short sale, you will have to go through additional hoops in the process.

Selling an estate: If you inherited the house you’re selling, employing an attorney to go through ownership records may alleviate some of the stress, which is especially beneficial if you’re grieving the loss of a family member who has passed away.

How to find the right real estate attorney

Finding the correct representation is critical in every professional relationship, and this is no exception. Here are two frequent methods by which sellers locate their real estate attorneys.

1. Referrals

From your agent:Experienced real estate agents frequently have a list of attorneys they routinely work with and suggest to their clients. They may even be able to provide you with a reference for an attorney that specializes in your particular sort of sale. Message from a friend: Inquire with coworkers, family members, acquaintances, or neighbors about the real estate agents they hired to sell their homes. From personal experience: Of course, you may always retain the services of the attorney who represented you throughout the purchase of your house.

2. Online reviews

Even for attorneys, the internet provides access to a variety of consumer feedback at the touch of a button. Check out Zillow, Yelp, Google, and other review sites to see what others are saying about the real estate lawyer you’re thinking about hiring.

How much does a real estate attorney cost?

It is dependent on your market and how active they are in the deal as to how much you will pay for real estate attorney costs, but they normally charge a fixed rate of $800 to $1,200 each transaction. Some attorneys bill on an hourly basis, with rates ranging from $150 to $350 per hour.

If I have an attorney, do I need an agent or broker to sell my house?

Whether or whether you require the services of an agent or a broker is determined by your degree of comfort in handling all of the listing, marketing, and showing chores. The presence of an attorney on hand when selling for sale by owner (FSBO) can relieve you of some of the burden and reduce the stress associated with tasks such as contracts, negotiations, and closing paperwork. A lawyer, on the other hand, will not be responsible for any of the labor involved in finding purchasers or offering market-specific advice.

  1. Here are a handful of the most often encountered: Broker/agent: Their responsibilities include putting your home on the market, finding a buyer, facilitating the transaction, and making sure all deadlines are met.
  2. It is their responsibility to ensure that the buyer is aware of any issues that may need to be addressed in the house.
  3. The buyer (or their lender) hires an appraiser to guarantee that they are not paying more for a house than the home is worth in the current market place.
  4. Either an escrow manager, officer, or agent is a third-party representative responsible for holding funds during the transaction and ensuring that all parties receive the correct amount at the conclusion of the transaction.

Sometimes, escrow officers work for title companies, which makes it difficult to distinguish which party is responsible for distributing funds at the closing table.

7 Things You Didn’t Know Real Estate Attorneys Do For Sellers

In our minds, a world in which every real estate transaction is straightforward, certain, and rewarding is what we are working toward. As a result, we strive to maintain high standards of journalistic integrity in all of our postings. Disclaimer:Just a friendly reminder that the material contained in this blog post is intended solely for educational purposes and should not be construed as legal advice. If you require assistance in negotiating a real estate transaction, HomeLight always recommends that you speak with your own independent real estate professional.

The fact that she had caught up did not prevent a breakdown in communication from making it appear as though the bank owned her home when she was ready to sell.

Real estate attorneys assist sellers, purchasers, and their agents in resolving title difficulties, determining whether a buyer or seller has the right to back out of a transaction, and even acting as mediators when negotiations between buyers and sellers grow tense.

Here are some examples of why a real estate attorney might be a beneficial part of your home-selling team, to help you better understand what I mean.

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What does a real estate attorney do for the seller?

The services of a real estate attorney can protect your property sale from legal difficulty by addressing any issues that occur along the road. According to statistics from the National Association of Realtors, 30 percent of closings in October 2020 were delayed due to challenges, which included issues with finance, appraisals, home inspections, titling, distressed property, or contract contingencies, among other things. Furthermore, according to the National Association of Realtors, 5 percent of buyers and sellers who went into contracts before October ended up terminating those contracts.

Herzberg, a real estate attorney with VazquezAssociates in Miami.

Real estate attorneys can create and negotiate the terms of the sale contract as well as prepare the deed, according to Jeffrey L.

Nogee, a partner at the worldwide company Tully Rinckey PLLC with offices in New York City and other cities. Listed below are some specific areas in which sellers and agents rely on the knowledge of a lawyer.

1. Solve documentation disputes.

Disputes over title or deed difficulties accounted for 10% of all delayed contracts in October, and they can be among of the most difficult to resolve since they involve papers that were not created or recorded correctly years ago. Herzberg represented the seller in the sale of a Miami Beach condo that he had inherited from a family member. Despite the fact that the property had been conveyed through a quitclaim deed 20 years prior, he had to get a new death certificate and document it with the sale in order to ensure that he had a clear title.

  • Recent clients included the sale of a property constructed in the 1700s that had a permit for an expansion from 1942 that was still open for business.
  • He further points out that a permitting issue does not necessarily surface through a typical records check.
  • It is possible that the property includes a rear deck that was not included in the survey, which raises the question of whether any construction was legitimately approved, according to him.
  • Other peculiarities of New York City’s real estate can be found.
  • As a result, most purchasers will insist on an official meter reading in order to guarantee there are no outstanding charges, according to Nogee.
  • Obtaining an easement enabling the buyer to lawfully access this portion of the driveway may be required as part of a house sale.

2. Navigate short sale or foreclosure hurdles and complexities.

Whether you’re considering a short sale or foreclosure because you’ve fallen behind on your mortgage payments, a real estate attorney (together with your agent) is one of the professionals who can negotiate with your lender on your behalf. They’ll supply you with records and documents to verify your financial inability, and they’ll make certain that this information is up to current so that you may complete the transaction successfully. Additionally, says Nogee, who specializes in estate and probate law and handles a lot of estate and probate work, an attorney will be familiar with the specifics of your state’s short sale and foreclosure laws.

Photograph courtesy of (Pixabay / Pexels)

3. Sort paperwork related to an inherited property.

Dealing with an estate or inherited property may be a difficult and time-consuming process. Nogee once represented a client who was interested in purchasing a co-op in the Queens neighborhood. When he inquired into the property’s underlying ownership, he discovered that the land was in the name of the seller’s mother, who had passed away approximately a decade before. Because no one had completed any probate process on her estate, even though her son claimed to be the sole heir, the transaction was unable to move forward.

Meanwhile, the granddaughter’s uncle moved into the basement and refused to pay rent or leave; he even changed the locks on the property and harassed his mother and sister, compelling them to vacate the premises and leave the country.

In the end, the trustee was able to find a buyer who was ready to purchase the home at a discounted price while the uncle remained on the premises, however Nogee anticipates that the buyer will seek to have the uncle removed from the premises.

4. Discuss liability regarding repairs.

Difficulties with repairs or last-minute issues might surface even after a home inspection has been completed. For example, the refrigerator will occasionally malfunction the day before the store closes. “Most of the time, you figure it out with money,” Nogee explains. However, even if the seller agreed to replace the refrigerator, the money would not be used to purchase a brand-new equipment, but rather to cover the cost of a replacement refrigerator that is the same age as the one that broke.

According to him, “the buyer does not want the seller’s workmen to come in, and the seller does not want the buyer’s craftsmen to gouge them on the price of the job.” If the seller failed to disclose something important, such as a flooded garage, Cowart, in her capacity as a real estate agent in Georgia, has referred buyers to real estate attorneys who assisted with closing if the seller failed to disclose something important, such as a garage that flooded, preventing the buyer from using the space for workouts.

“I told her she needed to call an attorney, and they would tell her what type of remedies she had,” she recalls saying.

5. Handle sales with out-of-town owners.

Herzberg’s office frequently represents persons from foreign countries who are interested in purchasing or selling real estate in Florida. The COVID-19 travel ban has forced him to come up with creative solutions for getting the appropriate papers signed remotely, such as arranging with notaries in the sellers’ home countries and working with the purchasers’ underwriters to secure their permission on these methods. Home transactions for persons serving in the military have been made easier by Cowart’s collaboration with real estate attorneys, which includes the transmission and signing of paperwork from a distance.

She once sold a home for a woman who is now living in Ohio and who did not have the capacity to print off or e-sign the necessary documents from her home.

They also covered the costs of the relevant fees.

6. Mediate sales with multiple owners or sour feelings.

Whether you’re selling property that you jointly own with your spouse or property that you jointly own with your siblings, a transaction involving many owners can devolve into turmoil if there isn’t a written agreement in place beforehand (such as a joint tenancy or living trust). While a real estate agent can operate as a neutral third party in this case, an attorney can guarantee that there are no conflicts of interest — or be prepared to go to court in the event of a partition action — if one is filed.

Despite the fact that many buyers and sellers will close in the same room, exchanging light chit talk, Cowart adds that things can become chilly at times.

“Every now and then, we have situations when they don’t get along with one other and don’t want to be in the same room together.” A real estate attorney is ultimately responsible for transporting the documentation between the two parties in order for the transaction to conclude.

7. Protect your interests.

An attorney is prepared for the possibility of a buyer having a change of heart or raising an objection at the last minute, as well as for other scenarios. Currently, Cowart is dealing with a buyer who is unwilling to close because they believe the house is not clean enough, according to Cowart. An attorney can provide advice on whether issues are worth renegotiating and whether either party should be allowed to walk away. When it comes to closing, Cowart adds, “it’s incredibly beneficial because it isn’t me, the agent, who is going to get paid, telling you what’s going to happen if you don’t close.” Even though you rely on your real estate agent for their experience, real estate agents like having a reliable resource to consult with as well, especially when a transaction becomes complex.

Header (Tingey Injury Law Firm / Unsplash) Image courtesy of the author.

What Does a Real Estate Attorney Do?

The duty of a real estate attorney is to guarantee that the legal transfer of property from seller to buyer takes place. These attorneys conduct a variety of activities such as producing or evaluating paperwork, verifying that the title is clear, and enabling the transfer of monies, among others. The specific responsibilities of a real estate lawyer may differ based on whether you, the seller, or the lender retains them, what your state laws demand, and what is required for your property acquisition to progress as efficiently as possible.

What does a real estate lawyer do?

Real estate attorneys are in charge of dealing with “real property” transactions. Real property and real estate are terms that are used interchangeably to refer to land and permanent constructions that are set in place. In most cases, acquiring real estate does not include going to court for the objectives of the majority of house purchasers. Alternatives include hiring an attorney to create or review all of the paperwork associated with your property purchase, including the contract, any extra agreements reached with the seller, documentation from your lender, and title and transfer documents.

Additional aspects of the house acquisition, such as title searches and title insurance, are frequently handled by real estate attorneys in order to guarantee that there are no outstanding claims or liens against the property.

Of course, if a problem emerges that might cause the sale to be delayed, a real estate attorney can assist you in resolving it.

Should you hire a real estate attorney?

Your decision to engage a real estate attorney will almost certainly be influenced by where in the United States you are attempting to purchase property.

States differ in their definitions of what constitutes “the practice of law,” thus what is acceptable for a real estate agent or notary to handle in one state may need the use of an attorney in another.

  • You are required to employ a real estate attorney to manage some aspects of the deal if you are purchasing a property in certain states such as Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia, according to state law. The provision of a title opinion is required by state law in a number of additional states, including Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, and South Dakota, among others. An opinion of this type indicates that a lawyer has evaluated the title abstract or examination and does not believe there are any barriers to the real estate transaction. You may still want to hire a real estate attorney even if you are not compelled to do so in your state if you are dealing with a more complicated form of acquisition, such as a short sale, or if there is a problem, such as a nearby structure that crosses over the property line.

In some instances, your mortgage lender may demand that you work with a real estate attorney over the course of the transaction. That might imply you’re not liable for the legal expenses because the lawyer isn’t acting on your behalf as a buyer. In jurisdictions where a closing attorney is required, it is important to understand that, despite the fact that you hired and paid for the attorney, they are regarded a neutral party whose only goal is to see the transaction through to completion. Expert advice: A real estate attorney will only represent your interests if you employ them to act as your advocate on your behalf.

If this is the case, you may wish to retain your own legal representation.

How much will a real estate attorney cost?

The cost of a real estate attorney will vary based on the services you want and the billing method used by the attorney. For a specified set of services (for example, reviewing the title abstract and issuing a title opinion), an attorney may charge a flat fee, rather than charging on an hourly basis. Real estate attorney fees are typically included in the closing expenses of a transaction. Because it is not a fixed cost, it will appear on your loan estimate sheet under the heading “services you can shop for.” Depending on the attorney you employ and the nature of your legal demands, the estimate provided in the loan estimate may differ from the final amount.

Finding a real estate attorney

If you want the services of a real estate attorney, you should seek referrals from friends or family who have recently acquired a house. In places where it is usual or needed to have an attorney, your real estate agent is likely to be able to provide referrals as well. Check your attorney’s qualifications with the bar organization in your state to make sure they are in good standing before hiring them. (State bar association websites can also assist you in locating real estate attorneys in your area.)

What Does a Real Estate Attorney do for a Seller? (A Quick Explanation)

An attorney who represents a seller may design or review a real estate contract, give general counsel, settle title difficulties, negotiate transaction conditions, and review closing papers. If you are a seller, an attorney can help you with the following: In some cases, the seller’s attorney is also responsible for preparing the deed and closing the sale.

Click a topic to learn more about what a real estate attorney does for a seller.

Occasionally, one or both parties will use the services of a real estate agent. In this situation, the agent may be tasked with drafting the first draft of the real estate contract. Assuming this is the case, the seller’s attorney will merely analyze the contract to ensure that it is fair and reasonable to both parties. Alternatively, if the seller’s real estate attorney does not construct the contract, the first draft might be prepared by the seller’s agent. In the vast majority of transactions, a buyer submits an offer to the seller by presenting a proposed purchase contract to the latter.

The contract would next be reviewed by the seller’s attorney, who would either approve it or seek revisions. If an adjustment or new wording is required in the contract, the attorney can negotiate those adjustments on behalf of the seller.

The seller’s attorney negotiates transaction terms.

For example, the buyer and seller may dispute on the closing date, the amount of earnest money to be paid, or the scope of the inspection. If this is the case, the seller’s real estate attorney might participate in conversations with the buyer’s real estate attorney or agent in an attempt to get more advantageous conditions for his or her client. The normal provisions of the real estate contract are frequently ignored by both the buyer and the seller in many cases. At the outset, everything appears to be in order, and both parties anticipate a straightforward and smooth transaction.

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Even seemingly little facts might lead to complications later on.

The seller’s attorney gives general transaction advice.

Following the signing of the contract, there is a waiting time of many weeks or months before the transaction may be completed. During this time, the buyer has the opportunity to perform inspections, get financing, and finalize closing arrangements. Prior to closing, it is common for issues to develop concerning what the parties are permitted to do and are not permitted to do. According to the terms of the purchase contract and applicable state legislation, the seller’s attorney is there to provide answers to such queries.

  • What happens, for example, if the buyer wishes to conclude the transaction early? What happens if the buyer is unable to complete the transaction by the deadline? What happens if the buyer expresses dissatisfaction with the condition of the property? What happens if the buyer’s bank asks for an extension?

These questions can be answered by the seller’s attorney, who can also create the necessary paperwork to settle them. In addition to examining the contract, this is the most significant service that a real estate attorney can provide to a seller. Some of the most often asked questions prior to closing can be answered by a real estate agent. However, unusual situations may necessitate the creation of specialized papers as well as legal guidance. And, in certain cases, neither party has access to a real estate professional who can assist with a variety of questions.

The seller’s attorney resolves title issues.

Along with checking the property physically, the buyer should also check to make sure that it has a clear title before closing. Pre-closing title research is often performed by the seller’s attorney or title insurance provider, which detects any potential title flaws. In the event that a title fault manifests itself, the buyer may be able to withdraw from the transaction. However, the majority of contracts provide the seller with an option to correct the title problem. One of the most important things a real estate attorney performs for a seller is curative title work.

However, in some instances, the seller’s attorney may be required to undertake aquiet title action or a probate in order to settle the situation.

In addition to resolving the title issue, the seller’s attorney may attempt to persuade the buyer to extend the contract while the curative title work is being completed.

The seller’s attorney may draft or review the deed.

A title insurance business may be used to conclude real estate deals in some states, in which case the title company drafts and records the deed on the property’s title record. In certain states, transactions are completed through the use of an attorney, in which case the seller’s attorney is most likely responsible for preparing and recording the deed. While the title insurance company will manage the closing, the seller’s attorney may review the deed and the closing papers to assist ensure that the transaction proceeds as smoothly as possible.

If this is the case, the seller’s attorney will almost certainly prepare the deed.

The seller’s attorney may draft or review unique financing arrangements.

If the transaction requires specialized financing, such as owner financing, lease purchase financing, or other similar arrangements, the seller’s attorney may be retained to create or review the financing documentation on behalf of the seller. At the very least, an owner financing arrangement will call for a mortgage, promissory note, deed, and an amortization plan, to name a few documents. It is possible for the seller’s attorney (or the buyer’s attorney) to create or review those documents.

The seller’s attorney may close the transaction in-house.

The seller’s attorney may hold an in-person closing conference at the law office if a title insurance firm is not retained to handle the transaction on their behalf. The closing of a deal is customary procedure in several states, with attorneys acting as the closing agent. Alternatively, in certain areas, attorneys will only conclude deals in-office if the parties choose not to use title insurance. An in-person closing conference normally necessitates both the buyer and seller attending and signing the deed and other associated papers in the presence of a notary.

The seller’s attorney prevents or resolves transaction disputes.

The seller’s attorney may intervene in the event that the sale fails to go through as planned, in order to prevent or resolve a legal dispute. A seller who involves an attorney from the outset of the deal will be in a better position to safeguard the seller’s rights if there is an unanticipated conflict later on in the transaction. Transaction disputes nearly invariably develop as a result of concerns that were not anticipated or discussed in advance. One of the most essential things a real estate attorney can do for a seller is to address such concerns as soon as possible when they arise.

What Does a Real Estate Attorney Do?

Purchasing a home is most likely the most significant financial commitment you will ever make. In addition to engaging a real estate agent to assist you in negotiating the sale, you may want to consider hiring a real estate lawyer to assist you in navigating the legal system. Real estate attorneys are experts in all areas relating to real estate, from transactional work to the resolution of conflicts between parties.

Real Estate Lawyers: An Overview

Many states require that a real estate attorney be present at the closing of the transaction. Even though your state does not mandate the use of a real estate attorney, you may find it beneficial to have one on your side. A real estate attorney will be present at the closing to represent your interests.

Before the event, they will go through all of the paperwork and provide feedback on any issues or omissions in the documentation. The majority of real estate attorneys bill on an hourly basis, however some may charge a set fee for services. The lawyer will inform you of this up front.

Key Takeaways

  • During the closing of a real estate transaction, a real estate attorney prepares or analyzes all of the paperwork that will be signed by the buyer and seller
  • The attorney is then present at the closing to represent the buyer’s (or the seller’s) interests. Real estate legislation is a problem for state and local governments to deal with.

What Real Estate Law Covers

Real estate law governs the acquisition and disposition of real property, which includes land and any structures built on it. It also includes legal difficulties pertaining to everything that is linked to the property or structures, such as appliances and fixtures, as well.


An increasing number of states have passed legislation requiring attorneys to monitor real estate transactions. Property acquisition and sale transactions are overseen by real estate attorneys who guarantee that all legal requirements are met during the purchase and selling process. They may also be concerned with the way a property is designated for its intended use. Deeds, property taxes, estate planning, zoning, and title issues are all covered under real estate law. The rules governing real estate differ from state to state and from local government to local government.

The Attorney’s Responsibilities

A real estate attorney is well-versed in the preparation and evaluation of paperwork such as purchase agreements, mortgage documents, title documents, and conveyance documents. A real estate attorney who has been retained to manage a transaction will always accompany the buyer to the closing. Closing occurs when all of the money has been received and the title has been transferred. In order for the transfer to be legal, binding, and in the best interests of the client, an attorney is required to be present.

If the buyer is financing the acquisition, the attorney is responsible for completing paperwork for the buyer’s lender, such as the federalHUD-1 Form and any related transfer of funds documents for the buyer.

When a real estate dispute reaches the level of the courts, a real estate attorney may be retained to defend either the buyer or the seller in court.

This may need using the services of a surveyor or title business to assist with the specifics.


A real estate lawyer, like any other lawyer, has acquired a law degree, which normally takes three years of full-time study for a full-time student to complete. Aside from that, they have passed the state bar test conducted by the jurisdiction in which they practice law.

Training in real estate law can begin during law school with optional courses and internships, and it can continue after graduation with a certification in real estate law from the American Bar Association.

When You Need a Real Estate Attorney

A real estate attorney is required to monitor real estate transactions and be present at the closing in some places, as previously stated. Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and West Virginia are the “attorney closure” states, with the others being Delaware, Georgia, and Massachusetts. Other states are referred to as “attorney title opinion states,” which means that a lawyer is necessary to certify title in such states. Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming are among the states affected by the ban.

If you don’t live in one of these states, the decision whether or not to engage an attorney is entirely up to you.

Employing one is absolutely a viable option when dealing with a particularly confusing or complex scenario, such as a foreclosure proceeding or a short sale.

10 Takeaways: What Does a Real Estate Attorney Do?

What is the role of a Real Estate Attorney? A typical house purchase begins with people looking at properties on the internet and finishes with a Real Estate Attorney assisting everyone in signing on the dotted line!! It is possible that you will want to engage with a Real Estate Attorney if you are buying or selling a house, and many states even require a Real Estate Attorney to be present throughout the closing process (which you can read more about in section 2). The reason for this is that there are several rules governing the purchase and sale of real estate, and a Real Estate Attorney will ensure that you satisfy all of the legal criteria in order to complete a successful real estate transaction.

Especially when it comes to closing expenses, which may add significantly to the immediate cost of purchasing a property, a Real Estate Attorney should be consulted before entering into a contract.

You want to be certain that you receive the full value of your investment in the house you are selling, so you should do your research.

When you enter into a contract on a house, one of the first persons you will call for assistance is a Real Estate Attorney, and your Real Estate Agent should be able to provide you with excellent referrals.

Consider the following: what precisely a Real Estate Attorney performs, and why you might require one of their services:

1. What Is a Real Estate Attorney?

Legal concerns relating to the sale or acquisition of real property are covered by real estate law, which will be particularly useful in assisting you with your due diligence. Real property includes land, anything growing on that ground, and any structures and items linked to or erected on that land. It also includes personal property, such as jewelry and artwork. In certain cases, it might even include fixtures and appliances that are permanently affixed to the structures. Real estate law is also concerned with any legal difficulties that may emerge in the context of real estate transactions.

Real estate law encompasses a wide range of topics, including zoning rules that apply to real property, deeds, estate planning, property taxes, and title transfers, among others.

Some may specialize in zoning regulations, while others may work only with tax regulations.

This is significant since real estate rules differ from state to state and even from municipality to municipality.

2. Is a Real Estate Attorney Required?

According to state law, a Real Estate Attorney is necessary in certain circumstances. Many states do require that a real estate attorney be retained to manage the transaction and to ensure that all paperwork and contracts are in correct legal order before the deal can proceed. State laws requiring the presence of an attorney at a closing are in effect in the following states: Delaware, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Georgia, West Virginia, and South Carolina North Dakota, South Dakota, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Wyoming, and Oklahoma are among the states that need an attorney to certify the title.

New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and Ohio are the states in question.

Whether or not you are legally compelled to retain the services of a Real Estate Attorney, it is generally in your best interests to do so in order to ensure that your legal interests are well-protected during the transaction.

3. Who Does a Real Estate Attorney Represent?

A Real Estate Attorney can be retained to represent either the buyer or the seller in a real estate transaction. If this is your first time purchasing a property, this will be an entirely new experience for you, and a Real Estate Attorney will be an invaluable resource for you! If this is your first time selling a property, you will find the services of a Real Estate Attorney to be equally useful, as they will arrange everything you will need to sell your residence.

Additionally, real estate attorneys can be retained to represent the interests of both the landlord and the tenants in real estate transactions. In the sale of real estate, a Real Estate Attorney may even be employed to safeguard the rights of the mortgage lender who is lending the money.

4. What Does a Real Estate Attorney Do for the Buyer?

When a buyer retains the services of a real estate attorney, the lawyer will frequently accompany the buyer to the closing. The closing is the point at which the real transaction takes place and all money is collected. One of the most crucial roles of an attorney is to prepare the appropriate paperwork prior to the closure, which is one of their most important responsibilities. The lawyer has received specialized training in order to ensure that all documents are legally proper. A Real Estate Attorney will collaborate closely with your Real Estate Agent and your mortgage lender to ensure that you have all you need during the home buying process and afterwards.

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Both of these are fundamental components of owning real estate, and when it comes to making the greatest purchase of your life, it’s a good idea to take the necessary precautions to ensure that everything goes well.

When purchasing real estate, a Real Estate Attorney will often advise you on things such as getting a survey done so that you know where your property lines are and whether or not there are any encroachments on your land, among other things.

5. What Does a Real Estate Attorney Do for the Seller?

Using the services of a Real Estate Attorney can also be beneficial to sellers. However, while you may be accustomed to relying on the contracts established by your Real Estate Agent, an Agent is only able to utilize generic forms in his or her transactions. A Real Estate Attorney may draft contracts and addendums that are tailored to your individual case, ensuring that your interests are completely protected throughout the process. When going through a divorce, having a good real estate attorney may be quite beneficial.

6. What Does a Real Estate Attorney Do for the Mortgage Lender?

Whenever a mortgage lender chooses to retain the services of a Real Estate Attorney, the Attorney will always be present during the closing process. However, the mortgage lender does not really pay for the services of its Real Estate Lawyer. Whether the buyer or seller is accountable for the charge is determined by the discussions contained in the purchase agreement. In most cases, they are not liable for paying the appraiser because the mortgage lender would almost certainly need those cash up front before to the evaluation.

Assisting with the down payment and earnest money monies in the transaction, the Real Estate Attorney will most likely play a part in transmitting this information to the Agent, the buyer, the lender, and the seller along the process.

7. What Are the Important Issues a Real Estate Attorney Can Help With?

When it comes to accomplishing some crucial activities, the services of a Real Estate Attorney may be quite beneficial.

Real Estate Property Tax

Property taxes are calculated in a complicated manner that differs from state to state and from municipality to municipality. The tax rate is determined by the total worth of the residence, which is computed as a percentage of the sum of the land value, site value, and improvements value of the property.

Estate Planning

Leaving real estate behind after your death operates in a different way than leaving money or other assets to loved ones. It is critical to ensure that your property is distributed in the manner that you choose, and this is where estate planning comes in. In the event that an owner becomes disabled or dies, having a Real Estate Attorney on your side will assist you to ensure that your real estate is handled in the manner that you prefer.


There are a slew of municipal laws that pertain to real estate transactions. Regulations regarding the size and types of constructions that may be constructed on land, as well as environmental rules that apply to privately held property, are all examples of what is included under this category. A real estate lawyer should be knowledgeable with zoning regulations and can assist you in learning about how these laws may effect the acquisition or sale of a piece of real land in question.

Property Deeds

This written declaration, which must be made in a legally right manner, is known as a property deed. The property deed must state that the seller has the authority to transfer the property, and that the buyer has the right to receive the property when it is transferred. In addition, the property that is being transferred must be accurately described in the deed.


A title entails all of the rights that a property owner possesses in connection with the property that they have acquired. It is also the legal document that transfers ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer and serves as the final contract for the sale of the property. Included among the rights granted by the title are those pertaining to easement access, dividing, exclusive ownership, and usage. This is the piece of paper that serves as proof that a person is the legal owner of a piece of property, and it is critical that it be made correctly.

Additional Documents

A Real Estate Attorney may also assist with a plethora of additional paperwork pertaining to all elements of the sale of real estate, including mortgages and title insurance. Purchase agreements, mortgage contracts, title transfer paperwork, and a slew of other affidavits and notarized documents that are associated with real estate transactions are examples of what is covered under this category.

Land Disputes

Unfortunately, certain real estate concerns necessitate the filing of a lawsuit. An experienced Real Estate Attorney is required in these situations to help you through the procedure and take care of your case.

It is necessary to retain the services of a Real Estate Attorney in matters involving title problems, contract enforcement concerns, or general land conflicts in order to ensure that your best interests are protected.

Rental Properties

A Real Estate Attorney may also be beneficial to clients who are interested in renting out their home, since they can provide vital legal advice. Every piece of documentation, from the lease contracts to eviction processes, may be prepared by a Real Estate Attorney.

Making a Complex Situation Simpler

While selling real estate, you’ll come across several technical words that you’ll need to be familiar with. And it is crucial that all of these phrases be used correctly in any legal agreements, as well as that you completely understand how these terms will effect you and the property that you own, before signing any legal paperwork. Hire an experienced attorney to ensure that all legal paperwork are correctly completed, as well as to assist you in understanding what is being said in a manner that is understandable to you.

8. What Are the Risks of Not Using a Real Estate Attorney?

Depending on where you reside and whether or not your mortgage lender requires the use of an attorney, you may be able to avoid engaging a Real Estate Attorney during the purchase or sale of your home. However, doing so leaves you exposed on a number of different levels. First and foremost, you face the danger of having documents that are poorly drafted. This has the potential to have significant legal repercussions. Imagine acquiring a house and transferring payments, only to discover months or even years later that your title does not correctly identify you as the property’s owner.

That might result in a great deal of stress as well as financial damages if you have to employ an attorney later to resolve the situation.

Both buyers and sellers should be aware of this.

By retaining the services of an attorney to assist you with the purchase or sale of your house, you are more likely to save money in the long run by avoiding complications that would otherwise arise.

9. How Much Does a Real Estate Attorney Cost?

Several factors influence the cost of a Real Estate Attorney, which is why it is important to shop around. The prices will differ based on the state and location, as well as the level of expertise of the Attorney. Aside from that, the cost will be determined based on the services that the lawyer delivers for you. The amount of money necessary from the buyer and seller to pay a Real Estate Attorney who has been mandated by the mortgage lender is determined by the way the closing costs duties are negotiated.

In most cases, a Real Estate Attorney will charge between $150 and $350 per hour for his or her services. A lawyer could charge a fixed fee in the range of $500-$1500 to oversee a house closing, however they might charge a higher or lower cost depending on the value of the property being sold.

10. What Is the Best Way to Find a Real Estate Attorney?

When looking for a Real Estate Attorney, it is critical to choose someone who is knowledgeable and experienced in the field. This person must be well-versed in their particular specialty, in addition to being well-versed in the local concerns that apply to the property in question. One of the most effective methods to locate a competent Real Estate Attorney is to ask friends, acquaintances, or family members who have recently acquired or sold a house for referrals. Check to see if they were satisfied with the services supplied, and if they were, consider giving the company that provided the services a call.

There are a plethora of legal websites that provide evaluations of lawyers based on their region and may even provide you with further information regarding prices.

Real Estate Attorneys – Your First and Best Line of Defense

A excellent Real Estate Attorney is something to be cherished and never to be parted with. No matter if you’re purchasing a new construction home, a family member’s property, a luxury home, or even a houseboat, you’ll need the assistance of an experienced Real Estate Attorney. The amount of money they will save you will be in the thousands of dollars when you least expect it, which is almost as excellent as the number of headaches they will save you during the house buying process. Our job as Realtors would be significantly more difficult if we did not have the assistance of a Real Estate Attorney, and we value having them on our team during a transaction, whether we are dealing with a buyer or a seller.

Please get in touch with us if you require any assistance when purchasing or selling a house; we would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.

Real Estate Attorney: Do You Need One?

Depending on your location, state regulations, and the specifics of the transaction, you may be required to retain the services of a real estate lawyer (and have the cost included in your closing costs). It’s possible that you’ll require the services of an attorney at some point throughout the house purchasing process, whether you’ve chosen you want one or your state or lender demands it. There are a few different moments along the process where they might step in and give assistance. Drafting and finishing purchase contracts, creating revisions to a standard contract used by your real estate agent, doing a title search, and executing the closing are all examples of services that may be provided.

Here are a few reasons why you might want or desire the services of an attorney as a member of your home-buying team:

State Or Lender Requirement

There are modest variations in the regulations that apply to different types of real estate transactions from state to state, and some states consider some activities that are part of the process to constitute “practicing law.” These rules and regulations are frequently intended to prohibit real estate agents from working in a legal capacity for which they have not been trained or who have not been licensed.

Because it is considered to be within the scope of the practice of law in many jurisdictions, only a licensed attorney may put together legal documentation for the sale of a property, for example, because they believe it to be within the scope of the practice of law.

Performing a house closing may also be considered the practice of law in some places, and as a result, an attorney may be needed to be present during the closing.

  • Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, South Carolina, and West Virginia are the states involved.

Contractual Issues With The Purchase

If your home purchase involves any unusual elements that could complicate your purchase contract, a good real estate attorney can ensure that all of your contracts take into consideration the complexity of your situation as well as assist you if any contractual issues arise during the course of the transaction.

Peace of Mind

Being represented by an experienced real estate attorney may be quite advantageous if you have an inkling that anything might go wrong or if you want to be certain that all of your bases are covered. With the assistance of an experienced legal practitioner, you may have confidence that, even if the transaction goes poorly, you will have someone looking out for your best interests and who will be able to guide you through a difficult situation.

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