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When Does It Makes Sense to Get a Real Estate Lawyer?

Did you know that there are over 1.3 million lawyers in the United States? These lawyers specialize in all different areas, including real estate law.

You may be someone that simply owns a home and is looking to make a new transaction. Or, you could be thinking about a business and want a commercial property for that. To make things even simpler, you may just want to buy some investment property.


Regardless of what you are interested in, you may not be sure of when it is time to have a real estate lawyer with you during the process. Well, this guide will give you an idea of when legal services are needed.

Consider Your Location

Let’s get the mandatory times out of the way first. As you know, each state has the power to determine their own laws in certain areas. Real estate law is no exception to this.

How does this impact you? Well, depending on what state you are located in, you may have no choice but to have a real estate lawyer present to complete a legal real estate transaction.

For example, if you live in North Carolina, you need a real estate lawyer to handle the closing process when it comes to residential purchases and sales. In Oklahoma, a lawyer simply has to conduct a title examination.

However, there are some states that require real estate lawyers to have a more active presence in the process. Alabama requires lawyers to be responsible for all of the documents in real estate transactions. West Virginia and Wyoming require lawyers to not only examine the title but also take part in the closing process.

You may get lucky and live in a state where lawyers do not have any legal requirement to be involved. Most states are not as strict as the ones above. However, you need to look at each state’s legal requirements and see if your state has any specific requirements that you need to follow.

Splitting Residential Property

One thing that is becoming more common in real estate is friends and family members deciding to split a piece of residential property to live in.

Let’s face it, with the prices of homes increasing rapidly, it is taking a lot of people out of the market to buy a house by themselves. The solution for some people is to split that cost in half or more and share the property with another person.

However, there can be complications with this process. A harsh example is if one of the owners dies suddenly. The question of what happens to that person’s share of the property will rise.

Then, there can be a scenario where one of the owners of the property wants to move out of the house and the other person doesn’t. A real estate lawyer can help both parties form a contract that plays out that scenario in writing.

You can make it so that the other owner gets first dibs on buying the other person’s portion of the house, that owner can sell their share, or both parties have to sell the house if one of them wants out. Regardless of what you decide, a real estate lawyer can help you put these issues to bed before they arise.

Property Disputes

This is arguably the most legally complicated situation on the list. A property dispute could arise and you may have no idea how to go about it.

However, you may not have a lawyer on hand to face a situation like this. You have the option to find attorneys on demand even for the smallest of property disputes.

An example could be if you live in a residential home and you and your neighbor are having a dispute about the property line. Your neighbor may decide to build a fence on what technically is your property.

This can also come into play when something like a tree is growing on the property’s border. It can get big with time and its branches can stretch over to a neighbor’s property. That neighbor can get mad that it is hanging and decide to cut that branch off of the tree.

A real estate lawyer can help resolve disputes like this quickly and help both parties determine who is in the right.

Investment Property

Finally, you are going to want to have a lawyer representing you any time you get involved with investing in real estate. The reason for this is that there are more legal ramifications at play when it comes to commercial real estate compared to residential real estate.

An example could be owning an apartment building that you plan on renting rooms out of. There are going to be fire codes that you have to follow, zoning laws, tenants’ rights that you are going to have to be aware of, and more.

The point is that with a lawyer by your side, you are likely to have much more knowledge of your legal responsibilities in owning investment property rather than trying to do this on your own.

Find a Real Estate Lawyer

These are just some of the situations that would benefit you to have a real estate lawyer.

Any time you get involved with an investment property, you should have a lawyer representing you. Property disputes are also a good area to have a lawyer keep you out of legal trouble.

Sometimes, you just need a lawyer to make sure there is a clean property split. Other times, you may have to have one where you live to close a deal.

For more information on this subject, look through our Business section.

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