Find a Real Estate Law Lawyer

Buying or selling real estate may be the largest single investment that you make in your lifetime. Along with a substantial financial commitment, such transactions usually involve risks, technicalities and legal considerations.

When you buy or sell real estate you're going to come into contact with a variety of people, from bankers and title and mortgage officers, to inspectors or other authorities whose function you should understand before entering into any contract. Of all your advisers, your lawyer is probably in the best position to assist you with each phase of the transaction.

Real Estate law is the law that covers transactions between real estate brokers and sellers. Real estate brokers are employed through real estate firms to act as agents for individuals that are selling real estate. Real estate law varies from state to state, but the general terms that govern the industry are standard throughout the United States.

Types of Real Estate Contracts

There are several common real estate contacts that are signed between a real estate broker and an individual selling property. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Some contacts offer great protection to the seller, while others benefit the real estate broker that is involved in the transaction.

Open Listing - An authorization given by a property-owner to a real estate agent in which the agent is given the nonexclusive right to secure a purchaser. Open listings may be given to any number of agents without liability to compensate any except the one who first secures a buyer ready, willing, and able to meet the terms of the listing or who secures the acceptance by the seller of a satisfactory offer.

Exclusive-Right-to-Sell Listing - A written agreement giving one agent the exclusive right to sell property for a specified period of time, typically no longer than six months. The agent may collect a commission if the property is sold by anyone, including the owner, during the term of the listing agreement.

Exclusive Agency Listing - A written agreement giving one agent the exclusive right to sell property for a specified period of time, but reserving the right of the owner to sell the property himself or herself without liability for the payment of a commission.

Working with a Real Estate Attorney

Whether you're buying or selling a home, working with an attorney will help ensure a smooth transaction. Real estate attorneys specialize in real estate law and will help you preparing and evaluating all the documents necessary to complete a transaction.

There are usually several documents to prepare in any real estate transaction, and the attorney can evaluate and explain each document to the buyer or seller whom he or she represents. The deed, the bill of sale, mortgage, promissory note, title commitment and the closing statement are just a few of the important documents that an attorney should review with the seller or buyer prior to the closing.

The buyer and seller will often be accompanied by an attorney at closing. At this meeting, the attorney's will review all closing documents and make any changes to documents that may need to be made. At the conclusion of the closing process, an attorney will attend to any final details such as the recording of the deed, mortgage or any other necessary documents.

By Chris Saunders           

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