The purchase or sale of a property is the single most complex and financially significant transaction any entrepreneur would undertake. Not only are there hundreds of legal questions involved; one also needs advice pertaining to its title, the loan and also the property itself. All this advice could only come from an experienced real estate attorney. This guide can help entrepreneurs assess their needs for a real estate lawyer and help them understand the duties of a real estate attorney.
Often, entrepreneurs believe that hiring a real estate attorney is expensive. Naturally, there are no set fees for most lawyers, and they all charge differently for different services. Hence, before you hire an attorney in Tampa, you must ask them to explain their fee schedule. You could also ask the lawyer to limit his/her services to reviewing the title, or closing the deal and so on. Do note that many real estate brokers and agents charge large percentage fees for such things. So you might actually find that a land deal attorney is charging surprisingly smaller fees compared to them.
The Role of a Real Estate Lawyer
Before entrepreneurs buy a property, they usually opt for property inspections to find defects like rotting structures, mold etc. In the same aspect, real estate attorneys can help entrepreneurs find defects or flaws in the property’s titles, hidden clauses and loopholes in the property’s documents. Come to think of it, these are very important in the longer run and real estate attorneys actually help buyers find out restrictive covenants that could cause hassles and headaches down the road. There are hundreds of documented cases where real estate lawyers have ensured smoother transactions by finding out hidden defects in titles and that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. Additionally, in majority of the real estate deals, the banks, real estate agents and insurance companies are more focused on their own interests. A real estate attorney would only have the best interests of his clients on his mind.
Considerations to make when purchasing real estate
When it comes to buying real estate for a business, entrepreneurs need to make many considerations:
- What are the current real estate tax rules?
- What are the zoning regulations, if any?
- What are the deed restrictions and covenants affecting the property?
- How will the taxes be calculated? How would that affect me as a buyer or a seller?
- Will the title insurance be provided?
- Is it necessary for a survey to be conducted?
- Is inspection necessary to rule out mold, lead paint, buried fuel tanks etc?
Each of these points will have to be addressed carefully. Naturally, all these concerns and doubts can be addressed by the real estate lawyers.
Steps for hiring a real estate lawyer
- Hire a real estate lawyer based on his/her expertise. You could opt for general lawyers as many of these also perform land closing deals. Alternatively, one could hire a specialist dealing only in real estate law. If you have used a lawyer before, you would have greater chance of negotiating lower fees.
- The State of Florida’s Bar Association could recommend a lawyer in Tampa.
- You could turn to fellow entrepreneurs or friends to recommend a real estate closing lawyer they might have used.
- Naturally, you must meet several lawyers (most would offer free consultation) before choosing one you are comfortable with.
Today, there are many online places which offer lawyer reviews. While these might not always give you the true picture, you can get a fairly good idea about good real estate lawyers in your city. For reading real estate attorney reviews, click here.