Real estate law firms handle a wide range of cases and services. Attorneys working for real estate firms may handle title searches, real estate closings, title issues and disputes, and other negotiations in the buying and selling or real estate. Some firms double as real estate agencies with both attorneys and agents working to help clients buy and sell residential and commercial properties in one location.
The main purpose of most real estate law firms is to help with negotiations between a buyer and a seller of a property. Attorneys may draw up contracts, handle money transactions, and check the property’s title to ensure that it is free and clear to sell. An attorney is also generally present when the paperwork is signed.
Although real estate transactions can be done without an attorney, it is often a good idea to have one since he or she acts to ensure that the transaction goes smoothly. If it turns out that a property is sold without a clear title, the attorney who performed the search can be held responsible and the buyer may get any losses back.
Some real estate law firms handle cases where there are disputes in a property’s ownership. This can be the case when someone dies and living relatives are disputing over who takes ownership of any real estate the deceased had in his or her possession. Attorneys may also help owners to fix problems on a title belonging to a property they own.
The title to a property is supposed to be free and clear before a sale takes place, but sometimes this is not the case. For instance, if an owner loses his or her property due to defaulted taxes, he or she is not able to clear up any liens against the title before the property is taken out of his or her possession. A new owner may then have to clear up any “clouds” over the title at a later date in order to sell the property. Real estate law firms may specialize in these cases and other similar issues.
Real estate law firms range in prices. There are often some actions both buyers and sellers can take to make things less expensive. Some paperwork can be filed without the help of an attorney and certain negotiations do not require a attorney’s assistance. If buyers are using case rather than a loan, the entire transaction can take place without the use of a law firm, although a title search is still recommended.