Every seller wants to get the best possible deal for their property. Sadly, due to a lack of real estate experience and legal knowledge, many sellers tend to receive less than they should for a sale. Hiring a real estate attorney might seem like an unnecessary expense, but it can save you from making costly legal mistakes and provide you with more confidence that the deal will run smoothly. If you are in the process of selling your house, here are some factors you need to consider when enlisting legal assistance and the corresponding lawyer fees.
When do I need a real estate lawyer?
Each state has its own home sale procedures and regulations. While having a real estate attorney is optional in some states, some require a property lawyer to be present during the home selling process. Some of the states are Georgia, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, New Jersey, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, District of Columbia, West Virginia, Maryland, North Dakota, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Mississippi, Alabama, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia. Real estate laws frequently change, and the scope of your lawyer’s involvement depends on your location, so make sure you are updated with your local laws.
Other reasons why you need a property lawyer
Even if you are not legally compelled to hire a real estate lawyer, it is still in your best interests to get one to ensure that your rights are protected. Some of the reasons why hiring a real estate lawyer is ideal include:
- You are selling a property inherited from a deceased owner
- You placed your property up for sale by owner (FSBO)
- Your property has title issues or liens
- Your property has unique or structural issues
- Your property is in bad condition, and you won’t be able to make the necessary repairs
- Your property is for foreclosure or short sale
- You are going through a divorce and need to divide the assets
- You are selling your rental property
How much does a real estate lawyer cost?
Property lawyer fees depend on several factors, such as the attorney’s level of experience and your property’s geographical location. For instance, a prominent real estate lawyer will charge higher than an attorney with only a few months’ experience. If your home is in an urban and high-demand area, your lawyer might charge a premium for their services.
Most real estate lawyers will charge $150-$350 per hour or a flat rate that ranges from $750-$1,500. The more complex your real estate situation is, the higher you might need to pay.
Some attorneys will request a retainer fee before taking on your case. Ask up front and conduct due diligence to ensure that you hire someone competent to represent you.
Other services fee
Aside from handling the closing, real estate lawyers can also take care of other matters such as reviewing title documents, writing purchase agreements, and resolving property disputes. Check with your potential attorney if they charge extra on top of their hourly or flat rate to prevent costly miscommunications.
Selling your home is one of the most significant financial ventures you will most likely make. It is essential that you have a team of skilled professionals behind you to ensure your home sale succeeds.