There’s no doubt that you might need a real estate lawyer when you’re buying or selling a home. The process of buying or selling is extremely complicated and filled with potential pitfalls. Most of the time it is the largest purchase made in your lifetime, and if you make a mistake in this case, it can really cost you in terms of emotions, stress and dollars.
An attorney can be a great help for home buyers and sellers. In many states, they are required to participate in all of the property transactions and they’re considered legal agents of their clients. In other states, it’s a client option whether to include one or not. These states allow realtors, brokers and any other licensed home or land sales people to complete the transaction. They can prepare all the documents needed to make it happen.
In these states where a real estate lawyer isn’t required, licensed brokers and salespeople fall into two basic categories. One is called transactional brokerages who only prepare sales paperwork and don’t actually participate in any kind of negotiations. In the second category, a licensed sales person or broker acts in the full capacity of agent, handling negotiation as well as managing the transaction. Before making a decision, find out whether your state requires legal services or not.In both cases, you’re entitled to work with or be represented by a real estate lawyer if you want to. Whether a non-attorney property salesperson or broker provides document preparation or transaction management services, a good realtor will make sure that the buyer and seller clients know that they can have an attorney if they want during the buying or selling process.
People Who Can’t Give Legal Advice
One really important point to consider is that sales people and brokers who are not attorneys are not allowed to provide legal advice.
What constitutes legal advice?
This is a tricky question. Basically, anything that would answer the question “what should I do?” can be considered legal advice. In this case, a real estate lawyer who is representing you can give you strong suggestions and recommendations. What a non-attorney such as a realtor or broker should do in answer to the question “what should I do?” is to offer a range of options. They should tell their clients what options are available and give them the pros and cons of each. There should be no strong advice either way; rather, they should be simply presenting their client with the available options and what they mean.