Mortgage Daily Logo
Real Estate Lawyer

What Do Attorneys Do in a Real Estate Transaction?

Responsibilities of a Real Estate Attorney

  • Reviewing documents – such as purchase agreements, title documents, mortgage docs, transfer documents and typically represents a buyer or a seller. They are certified professionals who oversee the legal aspects of real estate transactions.
  • Advise clients in real estate disputes – such as encroachments, taxes, liens, illegal structures, title issues, even environmental and insurance issues, just to name a few.
  • Create legal documents – such as draft up leases, financial and rental agreements, review building code compliance, zoning and inspection reports. They are more transactional in terms of job function.
  • Due Diligence – The help both commercial and residential clients with the due diligence of real property.

What States Require an Attorney for a Real Estate Closing?

Nearly half of the states need a real estate attorney to assist with closing responsibilities. When you prepare to purchase a property, you should determine if your state needs you to engage an attorney from the outset.

The following states mandate the need of a real estate attorney when purchasing a home:

  • 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
  • West Virginia

If you reside in any of the following states, you will need to contact a real estate attorney. Before proceeding, you should estimate your potential expenditures. Some attorneys charge an hourly rate, often between $150 and $300 per hour. Others charge a fixed fee of between $500 and $1,500 to assist with real estate transactions. Account for this expense in your budget.

However, even if this is not a necessity in your state, it is still beneficial to employ a real estate attorney, as many purchasers consider it a minor price to pay for peace of mind when purchasing a house.

What is the Role of a Real Estate Attorney in Roundtable Closings?

In the East Coast like in NYC they close via roundtable closings. Your real estate attorney acts like escrow closing companies in the West.

A roundtable closing in NYC can consist of both parties (buyer and seller), both closing attorneys, both real estate brokers, the buyer’s lender and seller’s bank, and the management company representative. You can expect up to a dozen people to show up.

Unlike in West Coast closings, it will be most likely just your own party, nary to meet a single person from the seller side.

In short, the real estate attorney generally focuses on the legal aspect of real estate documentation involved in the real estate transaction.

Not to be Confused with an Estate Attorney

An estate attorney is not to be confused with a real estate attorney. They may order and review an appraisal but do not do the actual appraisal unless they have a separate license for this. Estate attorneys will typically contract an outside appraisal company to affix a valuation on your property.

An estate attorney deals mainly with planning, wills, trusts, estates, taxes and probates. They help you plan for the equitable disposal of your estate once all your liabilities are subtracted out.

A home or real property always ends up as part of someone’s estate. Estate attorneys help clients with the distribution of that estate, provides counseling and sets up trusts. They can also advise you of a retirement and investment plan.

This will be the extent of their limited role that he or she will play in your real estate transaction in the future.

Conclusion

Real estate is a vast and varied spider web of various professionals that play specific roles throughout the entire life of the real estate process. Whether it was from the inception of purchasing a home, all the way to finally disposing of it towards the end of one’s life.

Popular posts

How Long Does It Take to Refinance a Mortgage
How Long Does It Take to Refinance a Mortgage

So, you’re interested in refinancing your mortgage. Maybe you want some extra capital to do that home project you’ve always dreamed of, interest rates are nearing record lows, or you want to start consolidating debt. Regardless of the motivation behind the refinance,...

How Does Refinancing a Mortgage Work
How Does Refinancing a Mortgage Work

A home purchase is considered an investment, and a robust one at that. Savvy owners are constantly looking for new ways to reduce debt, save money, pay less in interest, and ultimately build equity. Refinancing is one way to leverage your investment and do just that....

What Does It Mean to Refinance Your Home
What Does It Mean to Refinance Your Home

You can think of refinancing your mortgage as a debt redo. Essentially, you’ll swap out the existing loan for a new one - ideally with better terms and conditions. Only this time it could help you save money on high mortgage payments, rather than just borrow it....

Setting up the Utilities in My New House
Setting up the Utilities in My New House

All the tedious, time-consuming home closing documents have been signed, sealed, and delivered. Your belongings are packed into what seems like a million boxes and you have a solid plan to haul all your existing furniture to the new place. Just as your boxes and...

When Is My First Mortgage Payment Due?
When Is My First Mortgage Payment Due?

Navigating your way through a brand new mortgage loan can be a difficult task, especially for first time homeowners. After handing over a large sum of money for the down payment and closing costs, it’s important to pay attention to the timing of your first mortgage...

Newsletter

Don’t worry, we don’t spam

calculate your monthly mortgage payment

Related Topics

Helpful Links

Daily mortgage rate trends

Best mortgage lenders

First-time homebuyers programs by state

Loan limits by state

Types of mortgages

APR vs interest rate

Understanding PMI

Related Posts

THE TRUSTED PROVIDER OF ACCURATE RATES AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION