What is a Real Estate Attorney?
A real estate attorney is any attorney who specializes in the wide range of legal matters regarding real property, including sales, purchases, leasing, escrow, closing, settlements, contracts, and any other aspect of real estate law.
To help you better understand the functions of a real estate attorney and when you should consider hiring one, here are three common areas of practice:
A real estate attorney is essential for any real estate purchase over a million dollars. High-end real estate purchases in the millions of dollars can be complex and highly sophisticated transactions with a variety of legal documents that are best handled by a skilled specialist in real estate law. It’s a good idea to retain an experienced real estate attorney who can review all closing documents to ensure that you receive properly-registered ownership of your new property.
It’s just as important to retain a real estate attorney when selling a high-end property as it is when purchasing one. While there may be fewer matters for your attorney to handle in a sale, they are nevertheless critical for ensuring that your sale is handled properly, including verifying appropriate insurance, arranging security deposit transfers, and reviewing (or preparing) documents requiring your signature. A good real estate attorney can help ensure you get the full value of your property and receive payment in a timely manner.
Real estate attorneys can act as closing agents who coordinate the entire purchase and sale process for a piece of property. A closing agent/attorney represents neither party – instead, they facilitate the closing, coordinating the activities required by the purchase and sale agreement for the real estate, usually on behalf of a mortgage lender or bank. A closing agent/attorney is responsible for making sure that all documents are processed and recorded properly, that all funds are properly disbursed, and the purchase and sale is successfully concluded according to all applicable real estate laws and according to the mortgage lender’s or bank’s instructions.