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When To Hire A Real Estate Attorney

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Real estate attorneys assist with a range of legal matters related to land, buildings, and other property. If you're buying, selling, or owning property, there are a few times when you might hire a real estate attorney.

Purchasing a Property

Anytime you purchase a property, you should consult a real estate attorney. An attorney can review the actual terms of the deal, explain any nuances about the property, and answer any legal questions you might have throughout the purchase process. They're an excellent resource if you have questions about local codes, future permits, variances, and other details.

Some states require you to hire an attorney when purchasing property. Even if doing so isn't a requirement in your state, it's still a good practice to do so. They'll begin working for you when you hire them, and they'll be present at closing to ensure everything is in order.

Selling a Property

You should likewise hire a real estate attorney when selling a property. The attorney won't have to explain details about the property, but they can make sure you're legally protected throughout the deal.

An attorney might assist with structuring a sale. For example, they may set up a buyer's deposit that serves as your compensation if the buyer pulls out. An attorney can also assist you with negotiating should issues arise between initial offer acceptance and closing.

Throughout the process, your attorney can additionally help you protect yourself from potential liability claims. Sellers often have to disclose certain property details if they're aware of them and could be liable if they fail to be forthright in their disclosures. An attorney can help you decide how to handle any disclosures that are required.

Setting Up a Trust

A trust can be used to insulate a property against certain financial risks. Trusts are complex legal structures, though, and normally require an attorney's expertise to set up. An attorney can explain the benefits of a trust in detail and guide you through setting up one in your state.

If your property is already in a trust, a real estate attorney can also assist with any legal matters that the trust faces. You'll finally have to consult an attorney should the trust ever be dissolved.

Leasing to a First Tenant

Leasing to a tenant is a fairly straightforward process, and you generally don't need an attorney once your processes are in place. You may consult an attorney when drafting a lease, however, as they'll be able to structure the lease so that it's favorable to you.