What A Real Estate Lawyer Does
A real estate lawyer specializes in working with buyers, sellers, and lenders to protect their clients interests throughout the real estate transaction.
Fees vary according to which party the attorney represents, the complexity of the transaction, and in some cases, the value of the property, but expect to pay $150 to $350 per hour.
Some attorneys charge a flat fee ranging from about $1,000 to several thousand dollars, depending on whether theyre also taking care of the title work and deed.
Here are some of the things a real estate lawyer handles when they represent the buyer:
What Does A Real Estate Attorney Do For A Homebuyer
Buying a home is a significant life decision. There are several legal considerations to keep in mind before you sign the contract. To ensure a smooth experience, consider hiring a real estate attorney in Santa Rosa when buying a home.
A real estate attorney specializes in legal matters related to properties. Your real estate attorney will prepare and review mortgage documents, transfer documents, title documents, and purchase agreements. They will check whether the property you are interested in buying has a clear title.
Your real estate attorney will resolve real estate disputes such as lot line problems, chain of title, and problems related to contracts. If a dispute reaches court, your attorney will represent you.
A real estate attorney is responsible for writing title insurance policies and completing title searches on the property. Your attorney will use a reputable insurance company to investigate the information surrounding the title. The professional will seek answers to important questions such as:
- Are there any unpaid mortgages or liens?
- Is the seller the legal owner of the property?
- Are there any existing restrictions or easements that can interfere with your use of the property?
If you decide to finance your property, your real estate attorney will make sure the HUD-1 settlement statement is completed.
After the Closing
What Are The Working Hours Of A Mortgage Broker
Mortgage brokers typically work full time, but some may choose to work part time. Many times mortgage brokers work in evenings and on weekends and may travel to meet with clients in person. Jobs can have different hours, so this is something you may require asking when interviewing for a specific position.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organization and a candidate’s experience, academic background, and location. Please note that none of the companies, institutions, or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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States Where An Attorney Is Required For A Real Estate Closing:
Several states have laws on the books mandating the physical presence of an attorney or other types of involvement at real estate closings, including: 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.
This list is subject to change based on newly passed legislation, so you should speak with your real estate professional for exact requirements. In addition to a lawyer, youll likely need to retain the services of a notary public because the transaction involves real estate. Many attorneys have notary commissions or have a notary public on staff, so check with your agent to see if you need to hire one.
What Does A Real Estate Attorney Do For The Buyer And Seller
Hiring a real estate attorney is critical in ensuring that the legal transfer of property goes smoothly. Whether youre the buyer or seller will determine their primary objectives and purpose.
For a buyer, a real estate attorney will ensure that the offer made is valid, whereas a real estate attorney for a seller will help negotiate the terms of the sale. They protect the rights of the buyer or the seller by examining and evaluating the documents, explaining the terms of the mortgage and providing legal advice if necessary.
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How Does A Mortgage Broker Get Paid
A mortgage broker can be paid by commission, by salary or both, depending on whether the broker works for a lender or works independently. In some cases, the lender will pay the mortgage brokers fees, while in other cases, the borrower pays.
The loan origination fee paid to a mortgage broker is often calculated as a percentage of the total loan amount. Mortgage brokers get paid when the loan closes.
Do I Need A Lawyer To Sell My House Privately
If you live in one of the states mentioned above, youre required to use an attorney, whether youre selling your home on your own or with an agent.
If youre selling on your own and dont live in a state that requires hiring a lawyer, its up to you. Use your best judgement on whether your situation requires the help of a legal professional.
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What Does A Mortgage Lawyer Do
A mortgage lawyer specializes in protecting his client’s interests in a mortgage transaction. When a mortgage lawyer represents a client who wishes to take out a mortgage, he reviews its terms and advises his client on the nature of the mortgage. He may also represent a client’s interest if there is a problem with the mortgage or it appears that the client might not be able to make her mortgage payments. On the other hand, this type of lawyer may represent lenders, working with them to set mortgage terms and representing the lender in cases of default or foreclosure. In either case, the mortgage lawyer is familiar with mortgage and real estate law and is able to assist in ensuring that a mortgage transaction is legitimate.
It seems like the mortgage lawyers have been really busy in recent years. There are so many people who have lost their jobs and have had a hard time finding a new job that pays equivalent to what they had been making before. This means they have a hard time making their mortgage payments.
When you are faced with a situation like that, it is nice to have someone who understands all the laws and regulations and can give you good advice.
Reasons To Consider A Lawyer To Represent You In A Real Estate Closing:
Even if not required in your state, you may want to retain an attorney to act on your behalf in a real estate closing. These professionals can prepare or review all documents and ensure that your rights in the transaction are adequately protected. If any legal issues arise during the process, your attorney can answer any questions or address any issues related to the terms and conditions of the closing documents.
The requirements of a real estate closing, such as preparation, execution and notarization of documents, can be difficult to understand if you dont have a legal or real estate background. Plus, in the handful of states where an attorney is required to complete a closing, you dont have a choice on how to proceed. Its smart to consult with professionals to help guide you and answer any questions you may have.
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How Much Does A Real Estate Attorney Cost
How much youll spend paying your real estate attorney will depend on what services theyve provided for you and who is responsible for that particular closing cost. If your mortgage lender requires an attorney to be present at closing, whether the buyer or seller covers the cost of the closing attorney will depend on how your real estate contract has been negotiated.
If you want your own attorney in addition to the one required by your lender, youll also pay for any services they provide you. Real estate attorney charges will vary, but here are some basic ranges to give you an idea of what youll spend:
- Fixed hourly rate:A real estate attorney who charges an hourly rate may charge $150 $350 per hour, but this can vary a lot depending on how experienced the attorney is and what area youre in.
- Fixed rates for specific services: They may also charge a flat fee for the particular services they provide. For example, a real estate attorney might charge $500 $1,500 to conduct a home closing. Their fees may also depend on the sale price of the property in question.
When It Comes To Home Buying What Should Your Real Estate Lawyer Do
This article was published more than 8 years ago. Some information may no longer be current.
Home buyers meeting with a lawyer.
When graphic and web designer Andy Stanleigh bought a house in Oakville, Ont. last summer, he learned the value of having a real estate lawyer on call.
A few days before closing, Mr. Stanleigh and his wife received a surprise letter from the vendor’s lawyer, saying that they needed to immediately pay nearly $1,100 in property taxes. The letter stated that the vendors had paid the final property taxes for the year, and so the Stanleighs needed to reimburse them before the house sale could close.
It was a stressful moment, coming on the brink of finalizing the sale. But his wife’s mother, who is a legal secretary for a real estate lawyer, called the city and found out that the venders actually owed the city $500 in unpaid property taxes, which meant the Stanleighs did not in fact owe them any money.
The couple’s real estate lawyer drew up a letter insisting the vendors pay the outstanding taxes immediately and send proof of payment. The vendors complied and the sale went through.
“But if I was a first-time home buyer and didn’t have a lawyer, I might have taken at face value and said ‘Okay, this is one of the things you have to do to close, here’s the money,'” said Mr. Stanleigh.
As it turns out, hiring the right lawyer, early in the home-buying process, can actually save you time, risk and most importantly, money.
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Real Estate Attorney Fees And Costs
Attorney fees can vary greatly depending on who you hire and their level of experience. Some charge a flat rate fee for everything, while others charge an hourly rate. Hourly rates usually range from $150 $350 per hour.
For a straightforward real estate transaction, you can expect to pay $2,500 $3,000. And if you have a more complex transaction or run into legal problems, the costs can be quite a bit higher.
Youll be responsible for negotiating and paying the attorney fees. Some attorneys will require an upfront deposit and then agree to ongoing payments.
What If You Dont Have A Real Estate Lawyer
Forgoing legal counsel means youll take on all of that work yourself: reviewing contracts, negotiating sale terms and ironing out the details of your purchase. That is a lot to manage if you have no legal background or experience with the finer points of real estate transactions. But, yes, it is possible to go ahead with a home sale without the help of a real estate attorney its just a pretty ill-advised move.
Even with all the work that real estate attorneys do for homebuyers, some folks may be tempted to go it alone for the sake of saving some money. But you may wind up paying more in the end by refusing to bring on legal counsel. Thats because your lawyer will negotiate closing costs with the sellers attorney, including property taxes, government charges and, yes, even attorney fees. Youll put yourself at a disadvantage trying to negotiate with an experienced real estate lawyer no matter how many episodes of Law & Order youve seen.
Thats to say nothing of the potential risk you run with your sale contract. Real estate attorneys know what terms are typical to include and can quickly spot contractual language that excessively favors the seller. The average homebuyer wont have the experience or expertise to review a real estate contract and find those potential issues.
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Sellers Need Attorneys Too
If you’re selling a property, having an attorney represent your interests isn’t a legal requirement in most states. However, not having one increases your chances of being sued by the opposing party for failure to disclose certain information. That is because an attorney must review the home inspection and disclose relevant facts about the property to the other party.
Suppose the other party is a corporation or a partnership, and the transaction is improperly completed. Then, they might sue you for not clearing the title to the property, failing to disclose certain defects, violating a corporate charter, or something else. While having a lawyer will not insulate you entirely from such litigation, obtaining legal counsel will certainly reduce your risk. An attorney will be much more likely to secure a clear title and make the appropriate disclosures.
What Do Mortgage Lawyers Do
A mortgage lawyer or mortgage attorney is a lawyer who specializes in mortgages and any issues that arise from mortgages. A mortgage lawyer is knowledgeable in all areas of mortgages and can assist clients in obtaining a mortgage or assisting with mortgage lender disputes.
Purchasing a home is usually the biggest investment of a persons lifetime. Sometimes, however, errors may occur during the mortgage process. A mortgage lawyer can explain an individuals rights and assist with any issues that may arise out of the purchase process.
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Should You Hire A Real Estate Attorney When Buying A Home
Do you need to pay for a residential real estate attorney to help you through the home-buying and mortgage processes? That depends on how confident you are that title issues, paperwork mistakes and uncooperative sellers won’t derail your closing.
You aren’t required to pay for a real estate attorney when you are buying a house. But if you do, that attorney will represent you during the entire home-buying process. The attorney will also attend the mortgage closing, reviewing the loan documents you sign to take ownership of your home.
Closing your mortgage loan is far from a cheap process. You can expect to pay from 2 percent to 5 percent of your home’s purchase price in closing costs, the fees your lender and other companies charge you to close your mortgage loan.
It’s understandable, then, that most buyers want to reduce these costs as much as they can. Hiring an attorney to represent them will cost money, dollars that buyers don’t necessarily want to pay.
But is hiring an attorney worth the extra dollars for buyers? Not surprisingly, the answer depends, largely on how willing you are to take the risk that something might go wrong with what might be the most expensive purchase you make.
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Do You Need A Real Estate Attorney To Buy A House
More than a dozen states require that a real estate attorney be hired to be present at the closing . If you dont live in one of those states, though, you can buy a house without any legal counsel. whether youre the buyer or the seller.
Having said that, just because you can buy a house without a lawyer in some states doesnt mean its a good idea. Remember, real estate attorneys look out for your best interests as a buyer. Without their involvement, it would be very easy to agree to unfavorable purchase terms, miss out on seller concessions or pay more than your fair share in closing costs.
Circumstances To Hire A Real Estate Attorney
Some sellers view real estate attorneys as indispensable. After all, with so much money on the line and a mountain of paperwork, legal guidance can help curb potential issues throughout the process. Even if your state doesnt require you to hire an attorney, there are a few special circumstances where its recommended to use one.
Liens: If there are outstanding liens on your home, an attorney can help resolve those issues and clear the path to closing. They can communicate with the title company to make sure all lien holders get paid correctly.
Joint sale: If you are selling a home with someone other than your spouse, an attorney can help you keep both your best interests in mind. As mentioned before, an attorney for each party ensures both sellers interests are prioritized.
Short sale: Because your lender is agreeing to let you sell your home for less than you owe in a short sale, there are extra hoops to jump through. An attorney can help you navigate the complexities.
Estate sale: If you inherited the home youre selling, hiring an attorney to sort through ownership documents can ease the burden, which is especially helpful when youre grieving the loss of a family member.
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