Situations Where You Really Should Have A Real Estate Attorney
Real estate attorneys can be a huge help when you are buying or selling a home. Even the “easiest” closing can encounter unexpected hurdles or obstacles. But there are some situations that should tell you, from the very start, that there’s a good chance you will need a real estate attorney.
These situations don ‘t mean you can’t close, or shouldn’t close, or that you shouldn’t buy or sell a home. They are just indicators that you may want to get a good real estate attorney on board, as quickly as possible.
You’re far away – Whenever you don’t live close to the property that you are buying or selling, you should get an attorney. You need someone local, who knows the local rules, filing requirements, practices and who is close to the surveyors and inspectors that will be doing work on the property.
Short sales or foreclosures – Short sales, foreclosure purchases, and even purchasing property that is already owned by the bank, all are complex processes. There may be money owed, liens outstanding, specific documents that need to be exchanged, and you need specific permissions from the seller’s lender.
If these kinds of processes aren’t done correctly, you could end up buying property with liens on it, or being responsible for codes and fines that may not have been wiped out in a previous foreclosure.
This is all aside from the fact that many foreclosed or bank owned properties may need significant maintenance, which brings up legal issues surrounding inspections or “as is” purchases.
The property is being rented – In this situation, you now have a third party to worry about: the tenant. You cannot just kick out a tenant who is legally in the property. You will need a real estate attorney to handle the landlord-tenant issues that may arise, and to work with the tenant in understanding when he or she will have to leave, if that’s what you want to happen.
The property has been renovated – Many people perform construction work on property, but they don’t pull the proper permits, or get approvals, or they make modifications that may violate city or municipal codes, or even the rules of the homeowners or condominium associations.
You need an attorney to make sure that whatever changes were made, were made legally, and that there are no outstanding code violations on any modifications that may have been made.
Court ordered sales – In many cases, the court orders that property be sold. For example, the court can sell a property pursuant to a divorce, or based on the dissolution of a business. You need a real estate attorney to handle the court, the legal process, and the rights of the “sellers,” and their attorneys. The last thing you want is to be caught up in their legal wrangling, just because you wanted to buy property.
Not every real estate closing is the same. Make sure you are prepared for what may come up in your real estate closing. The Law Offices of Larry E. Bray is ready to help if you are buying or selling property. Contact a Tampa real estate attorney at our office today.