You’ve worked hard, saved up a down payment, and now you’re in the market for a house. You know where you’d like to live and how much mortgage you can afford. Now you’re at the point where you’re whether you need to hire a real estate attorney. In some states, they’re required during the purchase of a home. Even where they’re not mandatory, it can still be helpful as the buyer or the seller to have them around if you run into a complicated, unusual, or even just expected issue during a real estate transfer. Here is a general overview of real estate attorneys and what they do.
What Do Real Estate Attorneys Do?
A real estate attorney handles legal issues regarding property and can represent both individuals and organizations. Purchase agreements, mortgage documents, foreclosures, title challenges, loan modifications, and transfer documents are all commonly handled by real estate lawyers. In New York and other states, they’re required to be present at all property transactions and it generally falls to the buyer to find and retain one.
Attorneys can also negotiate on behalf of buyers or sellers when forming real estate contracts to make sure the transaction complies with state laws and addresses issues that could hinder using the property in a certain way in the future. In Illinois, where there is a 5 business-day period to review a purchase after signing the initial real estate contract, an attorney can be helpful when checking the contract for problems, making changes, or adding provisions that benefit you. A real estate attorney can give you the peace of mind that someone is looking out for your best interests in the transaction and is there to guide you through the process. For sellers, attorneys can ensure they comply with all the required disclosures and review your home inspection report so you aren’t open to liability for failure to disclose.
If a party to a real estate transaction is a trust, partnership, or corporation, real estate attorneys are helpful when preparing complex contracts and handling negotiations. They can make sure the contract complies with state law and that the deal doesn’t break any of the parties’ established charter agreements.
Attorneys also perform title searches to verify the property at issue has no encumbrances such as a lien, which might keep you from receiving a clean title. Title searches are critical because they show a buyer if a seller legally has the right to sell the property. Attorneys can streamline the title search process and get results much more quickly and cheaply than most lay people; some have relationships with title search companies that focus exclusively on this task. If there are issues, a real estate lawyer can find solutions which may include a price reduction or suggesting financing sources to sellers to satisfy any outstanding obligations.
Most real estate deeds need to be filed both with the county and state where the property is located, and attorneys can accomplish this quickly and smoothly. For commercial property transactions, they’re very helpful for navigating the red tape that always comes with working with the government on any level, obtaining a state tax identification number, and establishing a business entity for filing your state taxes. They can also help get your business license if need be. This can avoid painful consequences including fines, taxes on improper transfers, or delays in receiving a taxpayer identification number.
Contact a Real Estate Attorney Today
If you are getting ready to enter a real estate transaction as an owner, buyer, or seller, it’s always a good idea to consult an attorney to make sure you know the terms, have a legally sound transaction, get your questions answered, and your best interests are being cared for. The experienced real estate attorneys at Giorgi & Bonomo have spent years representing buyers and sellers in the Chicago and Northwest Indiana area and are prepared to deliver attentive, tailored representation to protect your rights and get the result you want. Contact us at (800)-510-2685 or complete our online Contact Page to get started today!