Real estate lawyers are professionals who specialize and apply their legal knowledge to transactions involving property. These transactions may include sales, purchases and even disputes. In the course of business, a real estate lawyer is required to draft and review documents relating to a myriad of real estate transactions. Some of the documents real estate lawyers draft and review include sale agreements, transfer documents, mortgage documents and title documents.
Real estate lawyers also handle closings. A closing is a transaction where a person or entity purchases real estate from another person or entity. In most cases, however, a real estate lawyer furnishes his or her clients with relevant information in regards to the purchase or sale of real estate. The lawyer is supposed to guide his or her clients during the sale or purchase process providing him or her with best legal advice in regards to the nature of the transaction.
This being the case, the real estate lawyer ensures that the transaction is in the best interests of the client, legal and binding to both parties. In a closure or closing deal, the real estate lawyers together with his staff are required to prepare all the necessary closing documents. This process requires the lawyers to: complete searches on titles, draft title insurance policies, and hold on to the funds for the purchase. Some real estate attorneys only review and advise clients on real estate matters. In order to do this properly, they conduct what is referred to as due diligence. This will require your attorney to review a number of things including: legal title, contracts, environmental issues resulting from the transaction and any other legal reports that are relevant to the transaction.
The lawyer and members of his or her firm prepare forms such as the HUD -1 Form and transfer of funds documents if the purchaser is being financed. Where there are disputes in regards to contracts, chain of title, and lot line problems, the lawyer is supposed to work towards resolving the matter. Where the matter goes to the court, the lawyer represents his client’s matter before the court. This usually involves the drafting of pleadings and filing those pleadings in the relevant court. The lawyer may also be required by the client to file an appeal where the decision arrived by the first trial court is unsatisfactory. At this point, it is incumbent upon the lawyer to advise his or her client whether the matter has a high likelihood of wining or not.
The lawyer also advises his or her clients on alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. These alternative dispute resolution mechanisms cost less and are expeditious. Additionally, the decisions arrived at by the dispute resolution committee are enforceable by the court. When settling matters out of court, the real estate lawyer is required to get all necessary information from both sides in order to come up with a solution that is favorable to both parties in the dispute. This may involve hiring a title company or surveyor to work out some details. The reason why this is done, at times, is to unearth latent defects in the property. These are defects that cannot be readily identified even after conducting a reasonable inspection of the property. A surveyor, for example, may unearth some latent defects in a property.
A real estate lawyer is required to work towards achieving his or her client’s best interests. In simple terms, your lawyer is supposed to negotiate a sweetheart deal for you. This is done by, skillfully, negotiating the terms and conditions of real estate transaction. Additionally, he or she should liaise with other professionals including brokers, developers, investors and attorneys. During disputes, the real estate lawyer must negotiate with the opposing lawyer in order to come up with a favorable settlement agreement.
The majority of real estate attorneys specializes in trust deed and mortgage foreclosure. This happens, especially, in hard economic times. During these times, some attorneys represent borrowers while others represent lenders. Real estate lawyers who work for lenders help them through the foreclosure process. The process may include instituting proceedings in a court of law. On the other hand, those that represent borrowers try to make the foreclosure process difficult for the lender. These lawyers actively challenge any mistakes done by the lender during the fore closure process. They try to negotiate with the lender for a settlement agreement instead of fore closing the borrowers’ property.
Real estate transactions are complex in nature. They may be difficult to navigate without legal knowledge or experience. A real estate attorney helps make the process of buying, selling, and transferring real estate smooth for the parties involved. In some states, any lawyer who has been admitted to the state’s bar may engage a client as a real estate attorney. Attorneys who have little experience in this field may face a number of difficulties.
An experience real estate lawyer is able to identify certain things that may bring his or her client loss. For example, a sale agreement that does not have a provision that terminates the whole transaction for a failed inspection could cost the client a lot of money. Loan instruments that have errors may also be bothersome to a client. They may delay the transaction indefinitely and this may result in loss. Additionally, a defect in the title can be cured by an experienced real estate attorney. The attorney will also ensure the sale agreement addresses the sellers’ best interests adequately.
Different real estate transactions require different kinds of paper work. Failure to fill and submit these documents in the relevant registry may cause the client loss. It may cause delay, and loss of time to both parties in the transaction. Lending institutions also require borrowers to engage a real estate lawyer during the lending process. The real estate attorney representing the borrower offers him or her independent advice in regards to the mortgage transaction. Failure to engage a real estate lawyer in this transaction may cause the lender to deny the borrower a loan facility.
Qualities of a good real Estate Lawyer
As I had earlier on put it to you, real estate transactions are complex in nature. This being the case, the person handling this matter should be one with a competent and distinguished mind. This will also help in many other things related to the legal profession. A competent mind will enable your real estate lawyer to clinch the best deal for you through skillful negations and in-depth understanding of property law. Below are some qualities that are common among the best real estate lawyers.
- Must be a good communicator – A good real estate lawyer must be able to articulate issues in a clear and concise manner. They must be able to do these both orally and in writing. Effective communication is important when conducting business. It enables the lawyer to properly advance his or her client’s needs in the negotiation process.
Additionally, good communication skills help the lawyer make convincing arguments in a court room. However, communication is not just about projection of facts. A good real estate lawyer must also be a good listener. These will enable them to analyze complex testimonies and critic them effectively.
- Must be a good judge of situations – An excellent real estate attorney must be able to draw logical and reasonable conclusions from limited information. This means, he must be able to, accurately, appraise situations within the shortest time. After making a judgement, the lawyer must critically consider his or her judgments in a bid to establish potential weaknesses in it. Having done this, the lawyer will be able to fortify his or her presentation before the court or other lawyers.
- Must have sharp analytical skills – Both the practice and study of the law requires one to have the ability to absorb and retain large quantities of information. After absorbing and retaining the information, the lawyer is required to distill that information into something logical, for example, a sale or purchase contract. A real estate lawyer must be able to do this in order to address the requirements of his or her client sufficiently. Additionally, he or she must be alive to the fact that there may exist more than one logical explanation to a situation. A good real estate lawyer must have excellent evaluative skills in order to choose the most suitable explanation.
- Punctuality and truthfulness – Honesty is an important attribute for any respectable real estate lawyer. This is regardless of the unfavorable circumstances that may be facing him in the course of pursuing a matter. By being honest you not only inspire the respect of your colleges, but also the respect of your clients. At the end of the day, a good reputation will bring you more wealth and fame compared to dishonesty in your transactions. Real estate lawyer s that have good reputations do not need to spend fortunes advertising their services. Their colleagues and clients do the job for them. In regards to punctuality, as the saying goes: time and tide waits for no man. Most real estate transactions have time is of the essence clause. This means, as a real estate lawyer you cannot afford to drag your feet during business. Doing so may cost your client loss of money and time. This may also be injurious to your reputation. Additionally, both clients and colleagues value punctual reporting of an ongoing transaction or case. This allows them to plan ahead of time and avoid being ambushed in court, for example. It is also important to deposit documents where they are required within the agreed time frame. This helps make the transaction smooth and also helps both parties avoid unnecessary costs that result from poor time management.
- Skillful and Experienced – Acquiring skill and experience in the field of real estate requires you to spend some time in the field. This will enable you to have a firm understanding of the field and the law in general. The experience you get from the transactions and litigations, are what make you a seasoned real estate lawyer. No client will hire a real estate lawyer who is not experienced. In experience may cause him or her to lose a property. In order to gain adequate experience in this field, you must be ready and willing to learn. Remember! Practice makes perfect.
- Good real estate lawyers have amazing people skills – This is because the practice of law is not an abstract thing. It does not matter how good you are academically, you must, without fail, work on your people skills if you want to succeed in this field. Remember, real estate lawyers work with people and on behalf of people. The decisions they make affect the lives of these people directly. A good real estate lawyer must be persuasive, personable and empathetic towards people.
- Good work ethic – For you to succeed in any field you must have a good work ethic. This will allow you to deliver on your professional promises and undertakings. Clients usually enjoy working with a real estate lawyer who has a reputation of good work ethics inter alia. A lawyer with good work ethic also inspires the respect of his colleagues; and as a result, they can confidently refer some of their clients to that lawyer. This equals to more business opportunities for you.
- Creativity – The practice of law is not purely based on logic and analysis. All top lawyers’ real estate or not exude creativity during problem solving. This is because they are aware of the fact that the most obvious answer is not always the solution to the issue at hand; hence, the requirement to think outside the box.
The field real estate can be immensely rewarding to those who practice it well. Real estate law is one of the most luxurious fields of practice. By practicing the above mentioned skills you stand to benefit, greatly, from this field.