When selling or buying a property, you might be torn in between hiring a real estate lawyer or a real estate agent. If you approach a real estate agent and ask them for advice, they’ll say that hiring an agent is better than hiring an attorney. When you consult a real estate attorney, you’ll still get the same kind of advice – an attorney is better than an agent.
However, it’s important to understand that every profession has its supporters. But, the best solution is not one of them, but hiring both of them. This is a bit confusing, right?
Not, if you want to buy or sell a property, you’ll need a real estate agent to connect you with your prospective seller or buyer. In this case, the buyer is the one who pays for the agent’s fees. Now, this brings another question—why do you still need to hire a real estate lawyer?
As a buyer or a seller, you will need legal advice and protection – and you can only get this from an experienced real estate lawyer.
Hiring a real estate agent vs. a real estate lawyer
Some real estate lawyers will advise you to let go of your real estate agent since they can offer both services. However, this has one big challenge—only a few attorneys have professional experience when it comes to real estate transactions. This is something they don’t do regularly.
Although experienced in real estate business, a real estate attorney might not know certain neighborhoods, or even conduct a comparative real estate market analysis. Besides, it can be a challenge for an attorney to know how to identify areas that need repairs, negotiate for these repairs, or handle any other task that an experienced real estate agent can perform.
Real estate agents, on the other hand, don’t have the license to give buyers or sellers legal advice. That means, they can’t answer your legal questions. Even if they know the answer, the agent will be breaking the law when doing that. A real estate agent risks losing their license if they try to practice law.
So, why do you need to hire a real estate agent?
A seasoned real estate agent will not have a challenge in finding potential buyers or sellers. Moreover, they have experience in determining the market price of properties similar to yours. Although hiring a reputable real estate agent can be costly, hiring one will be worth the cost. Here are the top reasons why you will need a real estate agent.
Experience and knowledge
Real estate agents are experienced in the property buying or selling processes, in addition to the paperwork involved. A good real estate agent should be able to guide you throughout the entire process, thus making everything stress-free.
Knowledge of the locality
Experienced real estate agents have an in-depth knowledge of the local real estate market. That means they have the much-needed information about the market, as well as the sellers or buyers in the market. They can analyze this information, and give it to you for your final decision making.
Give information about the prevailing market conditions
Real estate agents have a better understanding of the prevailing real estate market conditions. So, if you hire a real estate agent when selling or buying property, they will analyze these conditions, and then advise you on how you should proceed to get the best deal.
Reputable real estate agents will assist you to successfully buy a property at the right prices, as well as sell for the best price. By analyzing the market conditions, an agent will guide you to personally make the best choice—and they will not pressure you to accept a deal that you are not comfortable with.
Real estate agents rely on networking to succeed. So, a professional agent shouldn’t have an issue with giving you references, like accountants and lawyers, with whom they’ve worked with before.
Assist in negotiating
Real estate agents are well known for their exceptional negotiation skills. Thus, hiring one will ensure that you get the best possible deal.
Assist with the paperwork
All real estate transactions have tons of paperwork. This includes complicated contract documents, offers, requests, state- and federal-mandated disclosures, as well as many counteroffers. A reputable real estate agent handles the paperwork during your transaction, thus making the process easier for you.
The responsibilities of a real estate attorney
An experienced real estate attorney can perform all the above responsibilities, in addition to the following:
Answering your questions
Real estate transactions have a lot of complex legal documents, and you will need to read and understand them before closing the deal. A real estate attorney is in a good position to explain the technical language and legal terms used in real estate transactions. Moreover, the lawyer will review all the documents involved, and correct any unclear language before signing the documents. These reduce the chances of possible complications once you close the deal.
Giving legal advice
Yes, you might have hired a real estate lawyer for a certain real estate transaction. However, your lawyer will also give the necessary legal advice in case a legal issue arises in the course of your transaction.
Explain your different options
The decisions that you make when selling or buying a property can make you lose a lot of money. At times, you will get lots of offers from different buyers or sellers—and you will have a challenge in determining which is best for you. In this case, your attorney can review the different offers to check which offer is best for your situation.
Protect you when closing the deal
As a buyer or seller, you may want to go all the way to closing your deal without seeking the services of a real estate attorney. Then, you will only need their services to review the closing documents before you sign them.
This is very important because your attorney can easily identify any possible problems with your paperwork. Moreover, the attorney will ensure these issues are solved amicably before the deal is closed.
Taking over from your real estate agent
Real estate lawyer, Michele Diglio-Benkiran says that most of the real estate transactions start with enlisting the assistance of a real estate agent. A real estate attorney is, however, brought in when a legal problem arises during the transaction. As we said earlier, a real estate agent risks losing their license if they try practicing law in the course of any transaction. Such kind of limitations makes a real estate attorney the better person to protect your interests when buying or selling a property.
Whether you opt to hire a real estate lawyer, a real estate agent, or both, don’t forget that you should be in charge of the entire process. These parties are there just to offer their assistance and expertise, not to make decisions on your behalf. Therefore, you should ensure that you communicate all your desires and needs and get all agreements put down in paper. Moreover, you shouldn’t forget to interview your lawyer or real estate agent.
Remember, these people will be representing your interests when selling or buying a property. Failing to do the due diligence can land you in lots of trouble. Therefore, you will need to consider their knowledge, network, and experience before hiring them.