Real estate agents are on the front lines when it comes to buying and selling property but can also benefit from the behind the scenes support of a great real estate attorney. As a real estate agent, your job bears the brunt of helping a client prepare to sell and register on the MLS or help a client buy a property via the MLS. You are skilled at what you do and have your client’s back when it comes to real estate. But who has yours? This is where a great real estate attorney can be an asset for building your reputation as a versatile leader in the industry.
Services Commonly Offered by Real Estate Attorneys
Essentially, real estate law deals with the buying, selling, leasing and lending secured by real property. The term real property generally includes the land itself as well as structures and other improvements on the land. Much of buying and selling property is conducted by real estate agents when there are no complicated legal issues involved. However, in situations where complex legal issues are present, it can be helpful for an agent to have a reputable and experienced real estate attorney on hand to resolve these issues as quickly as possible so an agent can close the deal.
Some of the services commonly offered by real estate attorneys can include:
- Assisting with disputes regarding property lines, chain of title, or contracts. This enables an attorney to resolve issues allowing the agent to ultimately still close the deal while continuing to help other clients.
- Drawing up critical legal documents regarding title insurance policies. Depending on each seller’s or buyer’s unique situation, a title insurance policy may require a specialized legal review.
- Ensuring a title transfer is smooth and meets necessary legal requirements. Title transfers should be done without any encumbrances or liens. If there are issues of this nature with a property, an attorney may assist in resolving them.
- Representing buyers or sellers in a court of law should a dispute progress. If a dispute over a property transaction progresses without resolution, a real estate attorney can assist with representing an agent’s client in court.
- Removing federal Tax liens and abstracts of judgments.
- Enforcing earnest money contracts when one party defaults.
- Suing to enforce payment of real estate commissions.
- Attending the closing of a property sale when needed. In particularly complex situations with one or more legal issues, an attorney’s presence at a closing can give buyers or sellers added peace of mind and can elevate an agent to the level of consummate professional for having the right connections.
- Overseeing financing paperwork. Some real estate transactions cover a multitude of unusual financial issues, which require a legal eye from time to time.
- Performing title searches for property. Title searches are integral to proving the ownership of a property and facilitating its sale.
- Handling matters that require probate or bankruptcy court action in order to clear title.
- Addressing matters concerning property subject to a lawsuit or a lis pendens.
- Selling properties with multiple owners either by agreement or filing a partition action.
- Address issues relating to easements.
How A Real Estate Attorney Can Benefit A Real Estate Agent
Real estate attorneys playing an assisting role understand that a real estate agent is in the proverbial driver’s seat. An attorney is simply available to assist with legal matters that may require specialized legal review. To that end, having a real estate attorney can provide the following benefits to a real estate agent:
Successful people generally become good at what they do because of the people they surround themselves with. Agents are good at what they do, and because they want the best for themselves and their clients, their ability to offer a real estate attorney’s services if needed can communicate a commitment to professionalism.
A real estate agent who encounters an intricate sale or purchase that requires technical legal knowledge can also be seen as versatile by clients when they connect them with attorney services. A potential buyer or seller in need of a real estate attorney does not have to shop around and then have that person coordinate with the agent. A real estate agent with legal connections is a convenient one-stop shop.
In situations where a client may be particularly concerned about certain nuances of the deal or if everything in a contract is iron clad, having an attorney available to review contracts and reassure clients from a legal standpoint can be quite helpful and may expedite a closing.
Many real estate attorneys charge either a reasonable hourly rate or a flat fee for a given service. This enables agents to have a working relationship with an attorney that they can call on as their services are needed.
An agent who is prepared for both typical and atypical real estate situations via the help of an attorney is prepared. In this business, preparedness is key in successfully closing a deal and keeping all involved parties as content as possible.
Whether you are a real estate agent already at the top wanting to cement your leadership spot or you are new to real estate and want to build up your reputation right, consider enlisting the help of an experienced real estate attorney.