What exactly is a Real eastate lawyer and do you really need one??

Asked by T.A.B., Gardiner, ME Tue Jul 29, 2008

I read somewhere that its good to have a lawyer and just wondering what exactly do they do? and approx. how much does it cost?

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Russell Lewis, , Austin, TX
Fri Aug 1, 2008
In a number of transactions attorneys are already present reviewing the documents for the Lender and the Title Company to protect them from any mistakes or errors in the transaction. For this reason many people do not hire an additional attorney to review the documents on their behalf especially if the transaction utilizes promulgated forms.


If there is anything that is "out of the box" or if you have ANY questions about a real estate transaction or there is anything that you are unsure of in any capacity, then you should hire a real estate attorney to review any concerns you may have. That said, you need to hire an attorney who actually specializes in real estate. There are so many attorneys in the phone book that seem to have a “grocery list” of jobs (like a jack-of-all-trades) that they “specialize” in but I would make sure you employ a lawyer whose primary business is real estate. I have a large clientele that is made up of physicians and one of them made the analogy; hiring a lawyer who does not do real estate is like hiring a foot doctor to do brain surgery”.

This in no way denigrates the wonderful foot doctors out there, it just shows the difference of ability in each field!

I hope this helps,

Russell M. Lewis
AvenueOne Properties, Inc.
901 W. Ninth St. #110
Austin, Texas 78703
(512) 531-3150: Office Direct
(512) 472-4722: Office Fax
1 vote
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Tue Jul 29, 2008
As "options real estate" explained, it's going to vary region to region.

Here, in Illinois, we use real estate attorneys on the majority of our transactions. Having been involved in hundreds, maybe thousands of transactions I am certainly familiar with many of the intricacies and pitfalls involved with a home sale/purchase. I have heard all the questions, and listened to the attorneys solutions. So I could easily sell/purchase my own home, without the help of an attorney.

And yet, I would hire an attorney, at my own expense, each and every time. They're worth every penny. I have seen so many instances where an attorney has helped extricate a client from a sticky spot, or found a simple interest rate error on their loan documents, that I might easily have overlooked (my eyes glaze over when going through those loan packets).

A real estate attorney in our area runs from as low as $300.00 up to about $1,000.00. An excellent investment, in my opinion.
2 votes
;, , Riverhead, NY
Tue Jul 29, 2008
A real estate lawyer is your advocate during a purchase. If, when you find a property, there is ANY question in your mind about the contract or addendums attached to the contract, and you don't have full comprehension of all that you are signing, having this third set of eyes (outside of your own, and those of your real estate agent) is to your benefit. The costs vary; I've seen $1000- $2500.00. The lawyer enters the picture after you/your agent have negotiated the price of the property. Their purpose is to explain LEGAL DOCUMENTS.
While many states routinely close real estate transactions without lawyers, some do it as a matter of practice. If there is ANYTHING that you aren't clear on with respect to the contract, a lawyer is a good participant. All real estate agents are required to suggest attorney review.
Again, it's really a matter of locality- many states operate with buyers/sellers that don't use lawyers; some areas use them in the majority of closings.
Do you really need one? It boils down to your own comprehension of all of the documents that you'll be signing. Real estate agents can't practice "law"- for that reason, they will go over each point in the contract (in most areas) and if you are unclear at all, a lawyer would be the recommendation for a full explanation.
Web Reference:  http://optionsrealty.com
2 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Tue Jul 29, 2008

This is perhaps a question that should be directed to an attorney along with specific concerns.

In most business transactions "hind sight is 20/20." Many individuals wish they had consulted an attorney after the fact.......your timing is perfect.

Good luck,
The "Eckler Team"
1 vote
Justme In Ma…, Home Buyer, Maine
Fri Aug 1, 2008
yes you need a lawyer lets not be so cheap ok
0 votes
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