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  • Writer's pictureHarrison Baron

What Does a Real Estate Lawyer Do?

Entering into a real estate transaction, whether as the buyer or seller, requires a significant investment of both your time and finances. You want everything to go well, and all legal requirements met without having to worry.

With the hiring of a real estate attorney experienced in your particular area, you can accomplish this in less time and get on with your life sooner. But what exactly does a real estate lawyer do?

Essentially, real estate lawyers handle the numerous transactions involving real property, including both land and fixed structures such as houses, condominiums, co-ops, or office buildings. These may be for residential or commercial clients.

If you are asking yourself, why do I need an attorney for real estate near me, the answer is simple. Their knowledge of various neighborhoods in the area and the overall local market can facilitate a fair and faster transaction overall.

What a real estate attorney does for you personally will depend largely on whether you are the buyer or seller and also the laws governing your particular state. For example, here in New York, state law requires the handling of specific transactions by a real estate attorney only.

Knowing what a real estate attorney can do for you will better prepare you for what's ahead and ensure your rights are protected throughout the process. Here is how they can help.

Conduct Title Searches and Reviews

Your real estate attorney will conduct title research and review and investigate any issues relating to the property title. A title includes information on legal ownership, its occupation, and possession.

The goal of a title review is to ensure the absence of liens or judgments and that no discrepancies are involved. For example, your lawyer will make sure the seller is the rightful owner of the property and therefore has a right to sell. If liens or judgments are attached to the property, ways to resolve these will be explored and finalized.

Prepare Contracts and Other Documentation

While many features of a real estate transaction are common, the parties are all different and require unique terms and conditions in many instances. Your attorney will draft contracts and other documentation with the goal of protecting you and your concerns.

A sales or purchase agreement must include certain legal requirements, and terms mutually agreed upon between the buyer and seller. In addition, there may need to be an inclusion of easements and other factors which may be unfamiliar to you but are necessary.

If you are a commercial buyer or seller, a real estate lawyer near me with experience in commercial law will be doubly beneficial. For larger transactions, a background in corporate law may also be required to prepare detailed documentation to protect your company's bottom line.

Negotiate Contracts

Documentation disputes can delay a sale. Often, timing is everything, and the longer the dispute continues, the less likely the transaction will happen. Experienced negotiation is key to obtaining your real estate goals in a timely manner.

When buyers and sellers disagree on the terms and conditions of the real property transaction, an experienced lawyer knows how to address these issues and negotiate a solution. This solution must be acceptable to both parties while also defending your particular needs.

In some instances, a home inspection reveals issues within the home, requiring repair or clarification. The two parties will need to come to an agreement as to who pays for these or if the house is to be accepted as-is. This is just one issue that can occur before a closing transpires, so negotiating is a common practice across real estate deals throughout the state.

Attend Closings

The closing is the culmination of all your effort and that of your attorney. This is the moment when buyer and seller come together for the final transaction of signing all the documents necessary to complete the process.

Prior to the closing, you should understand and agree to all that is included in the documents. Your attorney will explain any concepts, terms, and conditions involved so the closing can go smoothly. You and your lawyer can then attend the closing and ensure no surprises crop up at the last moment.

Resolve Estate Planning Issues

Inherited property often brings with it additional issues that need to be resolved before a sale can go through. If the property ownership documentation shows a deceased owner, certain steps need completing before moving forward with the sale or buying of the property. This is another area our Cold Spring Harbor Lawyer can address and help correct so that the real estate transaction can happen.

Property under a trust also requires special attention. Often, at the passing of the rightful property owner, an assigned trustee is established and must follow specific laws if initiating a real estate transaction. This can quickly become complicated, and legal advice and guidance will ensure all steps are taken so you can successfully move forward.

Estate planning is important for everyone. Look for an attorney not only experienced in real estate but is also an estates lawyer. Planning for that next step and passing property from one family member to another can protect your wishes while also providing peace of mind.

If it is a commercial transaction, your attorney can review any company succession plan in place and add the new asset or remove it if you are the one selling. An experienced real estate attorney with experience in commercial and corporate law can help with this as well.

Provide Representation in Litigation Matters

Not all real estate transactions go according to plan, and when that happens, you or the other party may file a lawsuit. Your real estate attorney can file any such lawsuit on your behalf or defend against one if needed, ensuring all your litigation needs are met.

Utilize Local Knowledge

To further answer your question of why to hire a lawyer near me, consider what is unique to where you live. Working with a legal team in your area, such as a Huntington lawyer, will provide you with local knowledge regarding the market, the different neighborhoods, and local resources. This knowledge will benefit both buyers and sellers and allow you to experience a fair transaction for where you live.

There are other areas where a good real estate attorney can assist you, such as with tax issues, zoning, foreclosures, short sells, and a variety of other services relating in some way to the sale or purchase of the real property. Seek out one in your area who has the type of experience you need.

Contact Your New York Real Estate Attorney Today

From simple real estate transactions to investigating and resolving title issues, estate planning, and litigation, you need dedicated legal representation to ensure your rights are always protected.

Serving Long Island and all five boroughs of New York, the Law Office of Darren E. Sheehan, P.C. knows how to handle both residential and commercial real estate transactions and beyond. Our Cold Spring Harbor Lawyer or Huntington Lawyer specializes in both individual and business needs and will take the time to establish and accomplish all your real estate requirements. In addition, we provide the highest quality representation in commercial law and corporate law. If you're looking for an estates lawyer, we've got you covered there also.

Whether you're in the middle of just getting started, we can help answer your questions on how to best facilitate transactions involving real estate near me. Contact our office to schedule your risk-free initial consultation today.

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