Buying and selling real estate always comes with legal and financial risk, so having a real estate attorney on your side is essential. Real estate attorneys provide a wide range of services, all of which are designed to protect their clients from real estate scams, illegal transactions, and other fishy situations. If you are curious about the specifics of what a real estate attorney does, this article discusses some of the legal documents they prepare for their clients.
Buying and selling a property always involves a deed to that property. Deeds assign ownership and make note of liens, fines, and other encumbrances on a property. There are several kinds of deeds that can be used when transferring property ownership. A general warranty deed is the most common deed, and real estate attorneys prefer it over other deeds because it protects their clients from having to pay long-forgotten liens or fines on the property. Other deeds, like quitclaim deeds and bargain deeds, don't offer this kind of protection, so if you purchase a home with one of these deeds, you could be liable to pay debts you never took out. Your real estate attorney will help you choose the right deed for your property transfer based on the age of the home and your connection to the person you are buying it from.
Real estate attorneys don't just deal with property ownership transfers. They also help landlords create fair, honest, and legal rental agreements. Working with an attorney to create a rental agreement can nip landlord-tenant quarrels in the bud by creating clear, loophole-free rental terms. Having a completely legal rental agreement is also essential. Should a landlord try to force an illegal rental agreement on a tenant (such as one with a clause allowing them to evict a tenant without posting a notice in advance), they could be sued by their tenant. A rental agreement written by a real estate attorney will keep both the landlord and the tenant on the right side of the law, preventing costly lawsuits.
If you intend to sell your home via a rent-to-own agreement or to hold the mortgage for a buyer with a low credit score, you need to have a well-written financing agreement. A real estate attorney can ensure that your financing agreement is clear and includes consequences for missed or partial payments. These terms will protect your investment in your home and protect you in a court of law if your relationship with your buyer sours.
To learn more about legal real estate documents, contact a real estate attorney in your area.