What role does an attorney play in a real estate transaction? Well, the attorney gives you peace of mind that you have someone looking out for your interests. We usually start with the contract. That’s probably the most important time where you can get input from the attorney because he can provide safeguards for you in purchasing the property and put certain contingencies in the contract so that if the property fails an inspection or you don’t get your financing, then you don’t have to go through with the transaction and you can get your deposit back.
The real estate attorney will also educate you as to what certain matters mean such as husband and wife, the legal context, the meaning of tenancy by the entireties, and what does that mean to a married couple? There’s any number of practical matters that the attorney can talk to you about such as the getting insurance and whether or not it’s in a flood zone, windstorm, sinkhole coverage. Also home inspections to see if a property has previously been repaired as a sinkhole. Just any number of matters that are probably more of a practical nature than a legal nature.
And of course reviewing to make sure that the title you receive is a clear title, meaning that there are no liens or second mortgages against the property. And looking at the title commitment and advising you of code assessments and things such as that or road assessments on the property and making sure you’re not responsible for those when you close. Also another aspect is utility bills, unpaid utility bills. Are you responsible for them? Most of the closing documents you see say that the title company is not responsible for any unpaid water bills. So the role of the attorney is to protect you, give you peace of mind that you have someone that’s working for you and knows what they’re doing. They’ve been there before and looked at, in my case, thousands of real estate transactions.
So if you have any questions or you’re buying a house or real property, well give me a call and I’ll be glad to review your contract for you and represent you in a real estate transaction. Please call me at (727) 847-2288.