A real estate attorney must have a license to practice real estate law. They have the knowledge and training to provide professional guidance during a real estate transaction. 

A seller, buyer, or lender may need a real estate attorney for property matters such as buying and selling property. They will assist you in negotiating real estate deals, drafting real estate contracts, preparing deeds, reviewing contracts, representing clients in foreclosure proceedings, and ensuring that your transactions comply with the local laws in your state.

What Does a Real Estate Attorney Do?

A real estate attorney is a legal professional experienced in handling the complications of property law. A real estate lawyer has various responsibilities in relation to disputes and real estate transactions. They play a pivotal role in reviewing contracts and drafting and ensuring that all documents relating to purchases, property sales, and lease agreements are according to the client’s interests. They will verify ownership for liens and encumbrances that may impact the property transfer.

While handling real estate transactions, real estate lawyers play a primary role in the closing procedure. They will make every effort to facilitate the smooth transfer of ownership from seller to purchaser, making them indispensable associates for businesses, individuals, and real estate investments.

When Do You Need a Real Estate Lawyer?

Legal representation in real estate can be beneficial in a variety of scenarios, including:

  • Complex transaction: A real estate lawyer may assist you when purchasing or selling high-value properties, residential properties, or properties that require special legal consideration, such as zoning restrictions and historic buildings.
  • Title issues: Legal professionals experienced in estate law may prove useful for concerns regarding property titles, such as property liens, easements, boundary disputes, and unclear ownership.
  • Legal document review: Your lawyer will review all the documents relating to property transactions and other terms associated with real estate contracts, mortgage documents, and leases. 
  • Dispute and Litigation: If a dispute arises between buyers and sellers, property owners living nearby, or landlords and tenants, they will take the necessary legal action to resolve the dispute.
  • Local laws and regulations: An estate attorney will be well-versed in the laws prevailing in your state regarding land use, environmental issues, local ordinances, and land use regulations affecting property development and use.

At closing, many states require licenses for real estate lawyers. These states include the following:

  • District of Columbia
  • Alabama
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania 
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Vermont
  • Virginia 
  • West Virginia

Before buying or selling property in your area, you must confirm with your estate lawyer, as laws may differ.

Certain lender requirements necessitate the presence of a real estate lawyer during the closing process. In the case of Rocket Mortgage, you will require an attorney to handle closing if your property is located in the following states:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • South Carolina 
  • West Virginia

Benefits Of Hiring a Real Estate Lawyer

There are various benefits to hiring a real estate lawyer. Some benefits are as follows:

  • Provide expert advice and make buying and selling property smoother by ensuring compliance with local estate laws. 
  • They will ensure you do not fall into legal pitfalls by safeguarding the client’s interests. 
  • To ensure better outcomes, I handle negotiations on behalf of the client and address every issue, such as financing terms, property inspections, and purchase agreements
  • Their experience will help them handle legal challenges and disputes, ensuring effective resolution of disputes and financial risks that may arise later for the client.

A real estate attorney will give you peace of mind and guarantee legal support throughout property transactions. As a result, an individual must discuss real estate attorney fees before deciding who to hire to avoid confusion later on.

How Do I Find a Real Estate Attorney Near Me?

You can find a real estate attorney by asking for referrals from friends or family or even taking suggestions from your real estate agent. Before hiring a lawyer, you must shortlist a few candidates.

  • Ask for recommendations. Honest recommendations from family or friends who have consulted them recently may help you reduce your search.
  • Consider the American Bar Association directory. It will give you a better idea of the real estate attorneys nearby.
  • Check online reviews: Always check online reviews to learn about the attorneys in your area, their fee structure, specialties, and other factors that will help you make a decision.

For decision-making advice, ask an attorney these questions:

  • Do they have experience dealing with such real estate transactions?
  • How many similar real estate cases have they handled before?
  • Which title insurance company can they represent, or do they have authorization?
  • Do they belong to the local bar association’s real estate section?
  • How much do they charge, and what type of fee structure do they use—a flat fee or an hourly rate?
  • What will their availability be, and are they available on weekends?

How Much Will a Real Estate Attorney Cost?

Real estate attorney fees may vary depending on your required services and their fee structure. They may charge you an hourly fee or flat fees for certain services, such as examining title abstracts or providing a title opinion.

Some estate attorneys work on a contingency fee structure, meaning there are no upfront fees unless you win the case.

Real Estate attorney V/S Real Estate Agent

A real estate lawyer and a real estate agent have different roles to play in property transactions.

Real estate attorney Real estate agent
An attorney is experienced in legal matters relating to real estate transactions, property rights, and contracts. An agent has market expertise that will help clients purchase and sell property
Real estate attorneys will ensure that legal documents comply with local real estate laws. Real estate agents help negotiate terms on the client’s behalf to get the best deal.
A real estate lawyer is experienced in handling disputes, litigation, and title issues relating to property. They help in transaction management by facilitating smoother transaction procedures and paperwork.
Attorneys may help handle matters such as commercial real estate property and other unique properties. An agent will act as a liaison between the buyer and seller throughout the transaction.

Are You Involved In Property Disputes? Contact A Real Estate Lawyer Today

If you are involved in legal disputes due to property issues, a real estate attorney may help you, as they focus on legal aspects by ensuring legally sound transactions and safeguarding the client’s interests. Through their expertise and comprehensive support, an estate attorney will handle real estate transactions’ complexity and legal implications.

FAQs For Real Estate Attorneys

You must hire an attorney to draft real estate documents and contracts. They can assist you in completing transfers and sales, conducting title searches, and resolving property disputes. Real estate attorneys also help with real estate closings, which can prove beneficial for you.
An attorney-in-fact refers to a power of attorney that permits a designated individual to act on behalf of a principal business or individual. You can understand this example: When the principal is absent, the attorney-in-fact can handle real estate transactions by transferring or selling real estate.
A real estate attorney will ensure that a buyer's offer is valid, while a seller's lawyer will help negotiate the terms and conditions of the sale. Hiring a real estate attorney safeguards the buyer's rights and frees the seller from evaluating the closing documents and contract negotiations.
A real estate attorney will represent a buyer or seller when an individual is ready to purchase or sell a real property, but not both. Conflict prevents a lawyer from representing both the buyer and the seller. They can sometimes represent a lender or title company, if the law permits. Buyers and sellers can hire different attorneys from the same firm, but not simultaneously. They may provide legal services to the seller or buyer, but not both.
The attorney must be licensed by the state bar association. They must also have real estate experience and be able to tell you how many years they've dealt with similar issues as yours.
A real estate attorney helps handle a house title. However, it is an individual’s personal decision to hire a lawyer. Having an attorney by your side can be helpful in many aspects of real estate.