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Whether you’re buying or selling a home, land, apartment building, or office space, the hoops and hurdles you have to navigate can be overwhelming. For basic transactions, a licensed agent can handle the paperwork and any other issues that may arise. However, for more complex deals and even some of the largest transactions, it is definitely worth the time and money to hire a real estate attorney. Lawyers who specialize in this field are able to offer their clients a level of service and security that an agent simply cannot match. These are two of the main reasons why you should hire a real estate attorney.
To discover any unknown problem
When you are in the process of buying or selling a property, there are basic questions that most people know to ask. Are there any hazardous or toxic materials such as asbestos present? When was the last time the plumbing, electrical wiring, and air conditioning systems were replaced? Is there termite damage? These are all physical issues, and a good agent and/or contractor can help you with the basics.
But what about more complex topics? Is the seller the real owner of the house or does he have a long-lost brother who actually owns half of it? Border disputes, mining or oil rights, and tax issues are all potential problem areas that a real estate attorney can explore and protect you from. Sellers incur less risk, but it’s still a good idea to hire an attorney. If you’re reluctantly selling a single family home, for example, you may want to know if the buyer is a real estate developer planning to tear down your home to build an apartment complex, as this could upset your decision to sell.
If you are buying for business reasons
Purchasing property for your personal use carries with it a host of potential risks. But buying one for commercial use, such as rental or retail space, comes with many, many more. One of the main problems for anyone dealing with commercial properties is understanding the complicated zoning laws. It may be zoned for a restaurant that sells takeout, but not for seated customers. In this case, you can have customers seated, but you cannot serve alcohol. Maybe it’s zoned to operate as a bar, but that stage in the back is useless because it’s not zoned for live music. If you plan to rent a house or apartment, you’ll need help drafting a legally binding lease. If you have bad tenants, it will help navigate the maze of evictions, property damage by tenants, and any other possible problems. A real estate attorney can help guide you through all of this and more.
Real estate attorneys can save you from the stress and anxiety that big transactions inevitably bring. They can help uncover any potential issues with your buyers or sellers, and even the property itself. They can also help you handle any issues related to the business use of your new property. Hiring a real estate attorney can save you time and money.