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Real Estate Tips & Tools

When Real Estate Lawyers Become Useful


Getting involved in a real estate transaction is truly a milestone in a person’s life, a process that takes thousands of dollars and sometimes months to complete. With something so complicated, there is certainly some merit to involving a lawyer in the proceedings.

While many people may bristle to the thought of adding another layer of oversight to the real estate process, beyond your realtor, there are instances where that lawyer can certainly come in handy, perhaps saving you money and ensuring a smooth transaction, something everyone should strive their in their real estate dealings.

Of course, foreign real estate ownership is the key arena that real estate lawyers get involved with and the various types of laws and regulations that are, pun intended, foreign to you may have a profound impact on your transaction. In some countries, there are laws specifically enacted to target foreign property owners and those regulations can sometimes limit your ability and alter the state of your ownership.

Having a real estate lawyer look over the documents involved can save you this headache. Relying on outside expertise is critical to any real estate transaction and in foreign dealings, an additional layer is sometimes needed in the form of a real estate lawyer.

For your domestic dealings, foreign lawyers are typically not necessary. Realtors in the United States have such a complex and complete education procedure that few issues slip past them in the day-to-day operations of a real estate office. Of course, commercial dealings are somewhat different and even some investment properties could use an additional pair of eyes to read through any special clauses or conditions applicable to a property.

These come on a case-by-case basis and by consulting your realtor, you can get an idea of the kind of complexity involved in a particular real estate contract and just how valuable a real estate lawyer would be to the proceedings. In residential transactions, most contracts are fairly standard and do not need that extra layer of cost and protection. Of course, that determination is up to you and anytime a large sum of money is involved, it can sometimes be a good idea to seek an outside opinion on the viability of a legal agreement.

On the negative side, of course there is an added cost involved in getting a real estate lawyer to look over your transaction. That cost must be weighed about the money you already have involved in the transaction and the likelihood that there are legal issues an outsider party should look at. Those situations are not typical in residential listings, but can crop up in commercial or investment opportunities and certainly take place in foreign real estate deals.

If you have an extensive history working on deals similar to your current transaction, that might negate the need for a real estate lawyer, so never discount your own level of experience and expertise on a particular project. If you have done 10 similar deals and have used a real estate lawyer in the past, it is perhaps advisable to rely on your own knowledge base and forge forward. Of course, as with everything written here, that is a determination you will have to make for yourself.

In the end, a real estate lawyer mostly serves as a comfort to you, ensuring that there are no legal tangles that might come back to haunt you later. On something as important as a real estate transaction, a real estate lawyer can certainly come in handy, but is not applicable to all situations. Consult your realtor for advice on just what kind of worth a real estate lawyer would have to your transaction and proceed from there.


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