How to Sell Your Home Using a Real Estate Lawyer Instead of an Agent
You may have heard about people hiring a real estate lawyer to sell their home. It sounds odd at first. Why would anyone need a lawyer if they’re not going to court? The truth is, hiring a real estate attorney is one of the smartest moves you can make. Here’s why.
The Job of an Attorney
While your real estate agent actively works to sell your home, and attorney in the same field handles your paperwork with a fine-tooth comb. Their job is to ensure there are no mistakes while protecting your interests.
They go over your listing agreement with the real estate agent, double-checking the terms and suggesting alteration that work in your favor. They can also review any offers on your home, identifying red flags and tax benefits.
After you accept an offer, the attorney is also capable of drafting contracts. They review the title, mortgage, and transfer documents as well. If you want, they can also write the deed and go over settlement funds at closing.
Finally, they’re prepared to handle any unforeseen complications. Liens, judgments on the title, and questions about disclosure are all within the scope of their capability. In these instances, your attorney represents you and takes care of the problem for you, allowing the purchase to move forward.
Do You Need an Attorney?
Ultimately, no. A quality real estate agent performs the same job functions. However, they do not have the same legal knowledge or experience as an attorney. The benefit is having a pair of specially trained eyes review the entire selling process.
You agent is capable of leading negotiations, communicating with the buyer on your behalf, and handling the process from start to finish. Hiring an attorney provides an extra level of security. Two agents are better than one, and the attorney’s legal training helps you avoid unnecessary litigation.
The majority of states in the US do not require that you hire a real estate attorney. However, some on the east coast and in the south consider it a legal necessity. Check to see if you live in any state on this list:
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
Even in states where you do not have to hire a real estate attorney, there are times when you should. The first is when you are in financial distress. If you’re facing foreclosure and are looking to sell, then an attorney can help you navigate the legal mess that ensues. Short sales, liens, and judgments on your title also fall into this category.
The second is when you’re selling the home on behalf of a deceased owner. This is an extremely long legal process with an immense amount of paperwork. Having an attorney help you through the process ensures that you abide by all laws and regulations during the sale.
Tenants renting the home, divorce, and separations also require the aid of a legal professional. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your sale, a real estate attorney is a valuable asset to have.