5 Reasons to Hire an Attorney For Your Real Estate Purchase
By Cody McCaughan, Esq.
Protect yourself in the most important purchase of your life
Purchasing or selling a home is one of the most important events in your life from a financial standpoint. After signing a contract, most home buyers elect to hire a title and escrow company recommended by their broker. However, there are downsides to hiring a title agent who is not an attorney to handle your transaction.
1. Attorneys Represent You and Your Best Interests
A title or settlement agent is primarily responsible for closing the sale of the property involved, and will not act as your representative. On the other hand, an attorney can perform the duties of a title agent, in addition to representing you directly in the transaction. This may include negotiating on your behalf, pushing back on unrealistic requests by the other parties to the deal, or even advising you when it may be in your best interest to either back out of a deal, or refuse to close unless certain conditions are met. While a title or settlement agent will push you to close, an attorney will make sure your interests are represented and that you get the best deal under the circumstances before the transaction is completed.
2. Hiring an Attorney is Usually a Much Better Value
In almost all cases, retaining counsel to represent you in your real estate transaction will cost you a little more up front then simply hiring a title company. However, an attorney provides a much better overall value. First, an attorney can negotiate on your behalf for various benefits, including persuading the other party in the transaction to cover certain closing costs. Second, if there is a title issue or contract dispute, an attorney can usually use his legal expertise to resolve the problem quickly and efficiently. Third, with an experienced real estate attorney involved, the transaction is more likely to close, saving both parties the wasted time and money that comes with a contract that never closes.
3. A Competent Attorney Will Give You Peace of Mind
There is no better representative in a real estate transactions than an experienced and competent attorney. Sleep well at night knowing that you are protected by a professional who understands the intricacies and nuances of real property law.
4. Your Attorney Can Handle a Contract Dispute or Title Issue
Unfortunately, some purchase contracts never close. The two most common causes are contract disputes between the buyer and seller, and title issues that cannot be cured without some type of legal action, such as a quiet title lawsuit. If you already have an attorney representing you when one of these issues arises, he or she will be in an advantageous position to represent you and already aware of the details of the dispute or title issue. If you did not have legal representation for the transaction, you will have to scramble to retain counsel as the dispute is escalating, and when you find an attorney, he or she will have to get up to speed on the issue because anything can be done. Hire an attorney from day one, and you will be prepared and protected in the unlikely event that legal action is necessary.
5. Brokers and Real Estate Agents are NOT Attorneys
While brokers and agents may have a vast knowledge of the local real estate market, and years of experience selling properties, they do not understand the details of your purchase contract, nor do they have an intimate understanding of real property law in general. Even if a particular realtor did acquire this knowledge, they are forbidden from giving legal advice by the ethical standards of the Florida Association of Realtors, and by Florida law.
We are a title insurance agent of Old Republic Title and a member of Attorneys’ Title Insurance Fund, the premier organization providing support for real estate attorneys in Florida. For a no-charge consultation, including a quote for attorney representation and title insurance, contact us at (305) 928-4190.