Real Estate 101: Five Reasons You Might Need A Lawyer

The real estate market is booming. Buying, selling, and inheriting: there are plenty of opportunities to see homes and make big decisions. Although it may seem like a very easy task, (buying, selling, or inheriting) it is usually more difficult than anticipated.

Real estate agents can provide a lot of help to the newcomers in the real estate market; however, they can only do so much and are often unaware of the laws surrounding real estate. This is where a residential real estate attorney comes in handy.

So when might you need the help of a residential real estate lawyer? Here are five of the most common scenarios:

  1. Agreement Analysis: A real estate attorney is helpful for analyzing and reviewing purchase agreements. If there are specific obligations, exceptions, or requirements the attorney can inform you and the realtor about them. He or she can also help you understand lengthy and complicated paperwork. Additionally, a lawyer can help you to defend your rights should the purchase fall through or if a lien discovery is made.
  2. Foreclosures: Buying a short sale or foreclosed home can save you a lot of money. Sadly, these deals are often complicated. Even worse, they are quick and require immediate attention. A real estate agent can help you find and purchase the home, but a lawyer can help you with the legalities of purchasing the home. On the other hand, a lawyer can help if you are under foreclosure by minimizing the impact it has on your credit score.
  3. Inheritance: Another way a real estate lawyer can help is with inheritances. If you inherit a piece a property, you probably don't know what to do with it—or what legalities come with owning the home. A lawyer can help you with mortgage and tax questions. He or she can also help with paperwork.
  4. Divorce Proceedings: During divorce, couples are required to split their assets. Unfortunately, dividing real estate is not easy—especially if you only own a single home. A lawyer can help by assessing your home, its equity, and dividing the assets accordingly.
  5. Taxes: Real estate tax laws seem to constantly be changing. Unfortunately, a real estate agent isn't always up-to-date on the latest laws and this can make dealing with taxes difficult. There are a whole slew of taxes that come with owning a home—and if you aren't aware of these and don't pay them, you can wind up in a lot of trouble. A lawyer can help you figure out tax laws, as well as helping you determine how much you should pay, and when to pay.  

A real estate agent should be consulted when it comes to buying, selling, or inheriting a home. However, you may also want to consult with a residential real estate attorney, especially if you are dealing with any of these five scenarios.