Buying and selling real estate is not a simple transaction. It’s a legal transfer of property from one party to another. Due to the legal facet of this transaction, it is crucial to consult with a property attorney who is able to take care of all the legal requirements for a smooth transfer of ownership or lease of property.
Besides handling the paperwork, the attorneys also help their clients negotiate with the other parties, draft real estate contracts, and transfer the property titles.
Are you looking to buy or sell property in Austin, Texas, and are wondering how a real estate attorney can help you? This article explains the role and benefits of a property lawyer in real estate transactions and why having an experienced lawyer is important when buying or selling a home or other property.
What Is a Real Estate Attorney?
A real estate attorney focuses on all aspects of real estate or property law, including real estate contracts, leases, mortgages, and title searches to protect their client’s rights and desires. These professionals can represent the seller, buyer, or lender’s interests, and their primary duty is to help their client by preparing and reviewing the paperwork required for the sale, purchase, or lease of a property.
The best real estate attorneys in Austin even offer legal services for property disputes, such as tenant-owner disputes, property line disputes, etc. At Kelly Legal Group, we are a team of expert real estate attorneys who can help you buy or sell a property without getting into legal trouble.
Call us at (512) 505-0053 for any residential or commercial real estate-related inquiries, or to book a free consultation with one of our Texas real estate lawyers today.
What Does a Real Estate Attorney Do? Their Roles and Responsibilities
A Texas property attorney takes care of more things than just handling the paperwork. The lawyers know how – and are legally authorized – to prepare and review contacts or documents related to the sale and purchase of a property.
In most cases, a real estate lawyer will be in charge of the closing process. Both seller and buyer can appoint a property lawyer to deal with the legal requirements on their behalf while curtailing the chances of any disputes during the transaction.
Here are the roles and responsibilities of real estate attorneys for sellers and buyers.
Preparing Lease Agreements
Real estate and property attorneys help their clients by preparing lease agreements that govern terms between an owner and tenant. The lawyers create lease agreements to set expectations for both parties while ensuring that everyone involved in the transaction is on the same page.
Furthermore, the attorneys help ensure that the agreement covers all significant details in order to protect all parties to the contract. When you appoint a real estate attorney to create a lease agreement, the contract will highlight the following details:
- Monthly rent
- Free requirements and security deposits (such as advances)
- Maintenance and repair responsibilities
- Renewal and termination contracts
- Owner’s rights to enter the property
- Description of rental property
Drafting, Creating, and Reviewing Sale and Purchase Contracts
A contract or agreement is the foundation of a real estate transaction, and Texas real estate attorneys will help strengthen it. Property attorneys evaluate and draft assessments, inspections, and contracts of acquisition.
Moreover, these professionals analyze and prepare real estate paperwork, draft acts, and file links. Having an attorney by your side ensures that the property has no bonds, agreements, or facilities registered against it.
Procurators also produce and register changes requested by their clients, review changes, and amend the terms written in the contract by the other party’s attorney. This continues until both parties agree to the contract.
Without a proper contract, the seller or buyer can experience several legal and financial issues.
Clearing and Transferring of Titles
Clearing and transferring titles are essential steps in the closing process, and a real estate transaction can only proceed further if the property titles are clear. A title search is important to ensure that:
- There are no liens against the property.
- The seller has the legal right to transfer the property to the new buyer’s name.
- There are no ongoing issues with the property that can affect the buyer’s ability to take possession.
- There are no pending property taxes.
- There are no zoning or restrictive ordinances limiting land use.
The real estate attorney works with the title-searching company on behalf of the buyer to ensure that they can go ahead with the transaction and purchase the property. After giving an opinion on the search report, the attorneys will help transfer the title from the seller’s name to the buyer’s name to move ahead with the closing and other formalities of the process.
Bailments can be pretty confusing because the bailee only gets possession of the property for a certain purpose and amount of time. They do not have ownership. Creating a bailment contract is essential in order to protect the rights of the bailor and bailee. A property attorney ensures that.
The lawyers draft and review a bailment contract while helping their respective clients understand the terms. In most cases, the bailor lends the property to the bailee for a specific purpose, and the attorney lists that in the contract to avoid any misuse of the property.
In addition, the attorney helps the bailee by mentioning the tenure of the possession and other important details to prevent any legal disputes in the future.
Real estate attorneys in Austin, Texas work with both the bailor and bailee by creating and evaluating bailment agreements. The lawyers also ensure to address any legal issues when the assets are in the bailee’s possession.
Addressing Landlord-Tenant Disputes
Austin is a major renter city; approximately 55% of the residents rent rather than own. Unfortunately, the rent in Austin has spiked by 35% since January 2021. With many things happening in the city, landlord-tenant disputes are common.
Handling such disputes requires a legal proceeding, and a real estate attorney can help you in these situations. The most common landlord-tenant disputes that property attorneys can help you with include the following:
- Violation of community codes
- Property damage
- Taxes and interests
These lawyers can help landlords and tenants handle legal disputes by negotiating and filing lawsuits depending on the situation.
Giving Their Client Control Over the Process
With the assistance of a real estate attorney, clients, whether they are the buyer or the seller, have control over the transaction. Property lawyers use their skills and knowledge to secure their client’s rights, desires, and needs during the transaction (from the beginning to the closing).
Attorneys are also excellent negotiators; therefore, they can help their clients negotiate the terms and conditions of the real estate deal. Moreover, these attorneys also act as a mediator between the client and the brokers, attorneys, investors, and developers.
Representing Clients in Legal Disputes
Not all real estate transactions end smoothly. There may be instances where the seller or the buyer has to bring a complicated or profound real estate problem to a court of law. In such situations, real estate attorneys use their knowledge and skills to handle their client’s legal disputes.
The layers help ensure that both parties can reach a resolution, and if required, they build up a case and help their client file a lawsuit against the other party. Some common legal disputes real estate attorneys take care of are:
- Land disputes
- Enforcement of legal contracts
- Title problems
Are any legal disputes stopping you from selling or buying property in Austin? Contact Kelly Legal Group, and we’ll help you by handling the legal requirements of the situation. Call us at (512) 505-0053 for a free consultation, and hire our lawyers today!
Clarifying Vague and Technical Terms in the Contract
There are many complex and technical terminologies in a real estate transaction, and understanding most of them requires knowledge of real estate law. A property lawyer can help the seller and the buyer fully understand these concepts so that their client does not lose money or end up making a hefty financial mistake.
A property lawyer can also:
- Learn whether the property is attached to any encumbrances.
- Help their clients analyze the current and future tax liabilities.
- Decipher if there are any liens on the property.
Engaging in Litigation
When a real estate issue becomes difficult to resolve through negotiation or other methods, it’s common for it to end up in court. Performing real estate litigation requires a property lawyer who can represent their client in a court of law while protecting their rights.
An attorney specializing in property law has the following responsibilities:
- Draft legal pleadings
- File appeals when necessary
- Work out settlement agreements
- Bargain with the opposing counsel
- File documents with the judge
- Take part in hearings and trial
Besides the above-mentioned duties, real estate attorneys go above and beyond in making the transaction free from any disputes or issues. These professionals intend to provide their clients with maximum benefit from the transaction. For example, clearing and transferring titles if their client is a buyer and a lower closing fee if their client is a seller.
At Kelly Legal Group, we are a team of expert property attorneys that work with sellers, buyers, Texas real estate investors, lenders, and agents. From drafting contracts to transferring titles, we do everything required for the real estate transaction to reach the closing phase successfully.
Speak with our experienced real estate law team at Kelly Legal Group and appoint a lawyer who will represent your best interest throughout the entire process!
When Do I Need a Real Estate Attorney?
An experienced real estate lawyer should oversee the entire transaction, whether you are buying a property, selling it, or leasing one. When you have attorneys working on your behalf, the process will be free from legal disputes and you can avoid investing in properties with issues such as pending taxes.
Here are some situations when you should hire a real estate attorney in Austin.
When Making a Purchase Agreement
A purchase agreement is one of the essential documents in a real estate transaction. Property lawyers can explain the standard form or make additions or changes to the agreement to meet the seller’s or buyer’s needs.
These agreements contain every detail regarding the transaction, such as the agreement sales amount and the terms/conditions of the buyer/seller. The attorneys of one party can make agreements on their behalf in a real estate transaction while the attorneys of the other party review and modify them.
When Buying or Selling a Home
Hiring an attorney is essential if you want to buy or sell your Austin home. Property lawyers act as mediators and help conduct negotiations between the seller, buyer, and real estate agent during a typical home purchase.
Although the process may look simple, without a property attorney, there can be negative consequences for the seller, buyer, and agent if a mistake is made.
When Doing a Title Search
Conducting a title search on a property is indispensable to making a successful purchase. While you can do a title search with the help of a title insurance company, a real estate attorney helps review the status of the title.
These lawyers also give expert opinions about the property’s title, which can affect your final decision. Furthermore, the attorneys can determine if the legal description on a title is correct or if there are any issues with the current property owners.
If you want to know any issues related to the property’s title, a property lawyer can help.
When Preparing a Closing
The closing process of a property sale includes preparing the deed and closing papers and the buyer paying the balance amount to the seller. The Texas real estate attorneys oversee the entire real estate closing process and help prepare the closing statement while explaining the amounts.
Once all involved parties sign the closing documents, the lawyers execute them for a successful closing.
How Do I Find a Real Estate Attorney Near Me?
Here are a few factors to consider to find the best real estate attorneys.
They Should Be Local
Every state has different real estate laws, so lawyers need to have knowledge of the local law. If you live in Austin or are participating in a real estate transaction in Austin, Texas, you need a lawyer that offers services in that particular area and knows about Texas real estate law.
Kelly Legal Group is a team of local real estate attorneys that operate in Austin. Contact us today for robust real estate law services.
Consider Their Expertise
There are different types of real estate attorneys, some are generalists and some are specialists. For example, if you want to buy/sell a commercial property, you should hire attorneys from a business law firm specializing in commercial real estate services.
If you deal in multiple transactions, you can hire an all-round real estate law firm with zoning lawyers, landlord attorneys, tax certiorari attorneys, and other professionals.
Go Through Client Reviews
Hire a real estate attorney with extensive industry experience who believes in establishing a healthy client-attorney relationship. Check out their client reviews to understand more about the services offered by a particular firm.
They Should Offer Free Consultation
Some renowned real estate lawyers in Austin, such as Kelly Legal Group, offer a free initial consultation. You can contact us to have your case reviewed and hire our property lawyers to deal with the legal things on your behalf.
Contact Kelly Legal Group for All Your Real Estate Needs
Whether you want to sell or buy a commercial or residential property in Austin, property attorneys at the Kelly Legal Group can assist you throughout the process. We do everything, from drafting contracts and reviewing agreements to handling legal disputes related to property.
Being a local firm in Austin, TX, we are well aware of the state as well as federal laws required to protect your rights and interests during a real estate transaction.
Call us at (512) 505-0053 to set up a free consultation or request an appointment online to discuss more details.
Make all real estate law decisions confidently by having our most-experienced Texas real estate lawyers by your side!