A real estate attorney offers a unique set of skills that differ from those offered by real estate agents. The agent’s job is, at its foundation, to buy and sell property. The real estate lawyer’s job is to navigate any legal issues that can arise that involve property. These issues cover a very broad spectrum and can include everything from contract disputes involving the documents used to transfer property to environmental concerns with the property to leasing issues.
Two specific ways a real estate attorney can help property owners include the following:
#1: Property transfer.
Whether acting as buyer or seller, a real estate attorney can either draft or review prepared real estate transaction documents with your interests in mind. This can reduce the risk of any surprises after the transaction is complete.
#2: Property use dispute.
Local zoning laws often guide how a property owner can use their property. A lawyer can help you determine if the property will serve your intended purpose before you purchase or work with you to attempt to get an approved variant from the local zoning board.
Another common property use dispute involves one property owner needing to use land that may cross over a neighboring property owner’s lot line. Property owners can use an easement to address this issue. A common example involves situations where a driveway meanders or simply goes through another’s property. A lawyer can help draft an easement to address this issue.
A final note
It is important to note that if you hire a real estate attorney, you are hiring an individual that is not only trained in these complex issues but also held accountable for their actions by the local state bar. This legal association will act if the attorney is not meeting their professional responsibilities. This extra layer of accountability can provide additional assurance to those looking to hire a real estate attorney.