You may not think a lawyer is necessary when buying a house, but having one on your side will ensure you are protected and avoid legal issues.
Buying a house is no small life accomplishment. You've probably been saving up to make it a reality for a long time. If you're already paying a real estate agent for their services, fees can add up quickly, leading you to question if you really need to hire a real estate attorney after all.
Hiring an attorney for a home closing is not required in Florida, though it is necessary for some states. So even though it isn't a legal requirement, should you still consider doing it? Is it worth it?
Read on to learn more about hiring a real estate attorney and the benefits of doing so, including extra protections, a speedier and more seamless process, and avoiding legal issues or disputes.
Some states require an attorney for closings
First, make sure you fully understand your state's real estate laws. Some states require that a lawyer prepare the purchasing documents or be present for a real estate closing, so make sure you're aware of local laws and requirements. Florida is not on this list, so an attorney is not mandatory, but they can be very helpful in the process.
What do real estate lawyers do?
Real estate lawyers specialize in property transactions of all kinds, and can also step in if real estate disputes arise. They review documents such as purchase agreements, title and transfer documents, and mortgage documents, and can prepare these documents for buyers and sellers.
Real estate attorneys can help with foreclosures, short sales, commercial and residential sales, title searches, dispute resolutions, funds transfers, and more. They know all about the legal processes for purchasing and selling the property and can provide guidance unavailable from other professionals you work with along the way.
Legal knowledge goes a long way
During the buying process, many legal questions will come up that you and your real estate agent may know how to answer. Contract and mortgage language may be unfair or strange, and, especially if you're buying your first home, you may not know everything you should require in a contract or what is considered a red flag.
Because purchasing a home is such a major life accomplishment, you need to be sure that what you're agreeing to is both legal and protects your rights. A realtor alone may not be able to give you the legal advice you need for a home closing, so having an attorney's eyes on the real estate documents is invaluable.
Protecting your interests
As mentioned above, one benefit of hiring a real estate attorney is that your rights are better protected, especially in more complex home-buying situations These situations include short sales and foreclosures, for-sale-by-owner, any time a mortgage is involved, when you're purchasing a rental, when there's no real estate agent, and other abnormal circumstances. These situations can become extremely complex, and the success of the transaction depends on both parties fully understanding what they're agreeing to.
You need to make sure you are protected in the purchase contract, the real estate transfer deed, the certificate of non-foreign status for tax withholding, and other documents. Because it's easy for these sales to get messy, let a real estate lawyer help out to make sure you're getting the best deal for you and that no legal requirements are being side-stepped.
Expediting the process
Finally, working with a real estate attorney can help expedite the entire home-buying process. These legal professionals have lots of industry experience, so they know what to expect and they can anticipate problems and next steps. They'll know when it's time to act, so the pressure isn't just on you to get something done.
The reasons for hiring a real estate attorney in Florida are many. While it's not a legal requirement in the state, benefits include:
- Ensuring you have all necessary protections
- Helping with the mortgage process
- Reviewing and drafting legal language
- Providing expert legal guidance
- Speeding up the process
- And much more
When you're buying a home in Florida, our team of legal professionals is here to help. PeytonBolin has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and Orlando, and we are proud to serve a wide range of Florida clients. We provide legal help for buyers and sellers, condo and HOA boards, owners in condos and HOAs, and we provide real estate litigation services as well.
Get in touch with our team at PeytonBolin today for a free phone consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.