A real estate attorney (or real estate lawyer) represents the seller in a property transaction. It is necessary to have a lawyer for house closing in any sale of real estate to ensure that the transaction is carried out legally by all parties involved.
Some aspects of property sale will be handled by a real estate lawyer before a contract is in place and some after until the final closing on a house.
Before a contract is in place, a real estate lawyer will:
- Draft the terms of sale. The terms of sale is an official document drafted by an attorney that outlines the price, states that the seller has the right to sell the property, and that the property will be turned over in the agreed upon condition at the time of closing. Other terms can be negotiated into the terms of sale as well.
- Review the listing agreement. When a seller uses a real estate agent to sell the property, a listing agreement/contract is needed to give the agent permission to act as the seller’s agent. It also includes the brokerage fee, which is typically a certain percentage (an average of about 6%) of the sale price.
- Offer advice regarding the sale. An attorney may recommend other legalities, such as the right of first refusal, a development-limiting covenant, or give advice about dividing a property in order to sell a portion of it.
- For sale by owner. If you are planning to sell your property without the help of a real estate agent, it is very important to have documentation drafted by a real estate attorney. Using a form found on the internet or drafting one on your own is not advised.
After a contract is in place, the seller’s lawyer will:
- Perform a Title Search. The title search reveals if there are any issues with the title, such as a lien or defect. If there are any problems with the title not being clear, the attorney will resolve it.
- Draft the Deed. The deed legally conveys the property to the buyer. This document is created by an attorney and will likely be very similar in wording to the previous deed that conveyed the property to the seller.
- Review the Settlement Statement. An attorney checks the information on the settlement statement for fees charged as well as debits and credits. The attorney will also check over the document to ensure that all of the math is correct.
- Get the payoff amount from lender(s). The seller’s attorney contacts any lenders who hold a note on the property to get the payoff amount for the seller and the buyer’s attorney.
- Prepare a Certificate of Satisfaction. This document states that the seller has paid off any amounts owed on the property to any lenders.
- Represent the Seller at the Closing. The real estate closing lawyer represents the seller at the final closing where the documentation is signed to turn the property over to the buyer.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer to Sell My Property?
All of the above tasks are crucial parts of the real estate sales process. The average person with no training in real estate law cannot fully understand and draft all of the documentation that is required for property to exchange hands. For a transaction to be legal, all documentation must be written by an attorney who is trained to draft and interpret real estate paperwork.
Kelly Legal Group Real Estate Attorneys Help the Home Selling Process Go Smoothly
Are you in need of a lawyer for selling a house or property? Kelly Legal Group has real estate attorneys available to represent the seller in property sale transactions. Your attorney will carefully draft and review all paperwork so that there are no issues that arise on or before the final closing. Your job is simply to sign some documents and get the keys to your new home.
Call (512) 505-0053 today to speak with a real estate attorney at Kelly Legal Group or request an appointment.