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Real estate

What a Real Estate lawyer can do for you

A real estate attorney can stop or mitigate a foreclosure, defend you if a real estate transaction goes wrong, or represent you as a tenant or as a landlord in cases of property damage. Whether for construction, a land-use project, or buying a home, a lawyer can negotiate your contract for you and protect your rights as a property owner.

What real estate lawyers do

Real estate lawyers can help you with almost any situation related to commercial or residential real estate. These attorneys can aid you in the buying, selling, or leasing process. They can also help you handle foreclosure, financing, document transactions, environmental issues, or negotiations over the terms of a deal.

Some states, like Georgia, South Carolina, and Massachusetts, require a lawyer's presence for real estate transactions. In other states, including Alabama and North Carolina, you may need an attorney to help with closing procedures.

Even if you are not required to hire a real estate lawyer, consider the benefits of hiring a lawyer to review contracts or other documents in order to make sure your rights are protected. Here's a summary of the services a real estate attorney can offer:

  • Explain the legal terms of the purchase or sale contract to you, including how you will surrender or take title to the property
  • Outline any defects of title and recommend actions to cure them
  • Evaluate any covenants, liens, easements, and other obligations on record for the property
  • Prepare all necessary documents for your home
  • Explain the terms of the mortgage and negotiate with the lender to change them as necessary
  • Calculate the tax liabilities associated with the purchase or sale of real estate
  • Join you at the closing and review the paperwork you'll need to sign
  • Help you secure title insurance as a buyer
  • Ensure that you receive a deed to the property that's subject only to the encumbrances, such as liens or easements, that you've agreed to

The cost of hiring a real estate lawyer

Real estate lawyers often charged for their services at an hourly rate, ranging between $150 and $350 per hour. However, some attorneys may charge a flat rate for a specific service, like assisting with closing procedures. This is particularly common in residential real estate where the circumstances may be less predictable than in another area of law.

How to find the right real estate lawyer

Identify your legal issue. What area of real estate law do you need help with? Some real estate lawyers focus on agricultural, commercial, or residential cases. Others may have more experience with foreclosures or environmental issues.

Consider your location. Each state has its own property laws, but laws may also vary between counties and cities. A local lawyer is likely to have relevant knowledge that an out-of-town attorney may lack. If you are looking for a new home in a particular area, consider hiring an attorney who practices in that area instead of where you currently reside.

Start your search online. The Avvo directory is a good place to begin compiling your list of candidates. You can compare their experience and read reviews from past clients, then request an initial consultation with a few lawyers you’re considering hiring.

5 questions to ask your potential real estate lawyer

After you create your short list of real estate lawyer candidates, start interviewing them. Most lawyers offer a free consultation to ask a few initial questions before you commit to hiring them. Consider asking the following questions in order to assess whether or not they are a good fit for your legal issue:

  • How long have you practiced real estate law?
  • What types of cases have you handled that are similar to mine?
  • How much do you charge?
  • How would you approach my situation?
  • Who will personally manage my case?

Do not hesitate to interview multiple attorneys. The attorney you choose should not only have experience with your legal issue, but also be someone you feel comfortable working with. It is important to understand the fee structure that will be used previous to beginning your work together as it will be difficult to argue a lower price in the future.

Did you know?

Short sale disputes were named the No.1 legal issue in real estate. Because bank owned properties often sell as-is, you will not get disclosure about property problems and should have solid legal representation before purchasing.
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Vera Bergermann
Vera Bergermann

2180 West First Street Suite 550, Fort Myers, FL 33901

Bar #7463(FL)     License for 1994 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Child custody | Divorce and separation | Family | Mediation | Real estate
Joseph Ryan Bachand
Joseph Ryan Bachand

959 N. Cocoa Blvd. Ste. 1, Cocoa, FL 32922

Bar #31666(FL)     License for 1994 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Business | Commercial real estate | Contracts and agreements | Criminal defense | Debt collection | Family | Foreclosure | Personal injury
Aaron B Wentz
Aaron B Wentz

814A Shadow Lane, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547-1282

Bar #65810(FL)     License for 1995 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Bankruptcy and debt | Criminal defense | Divorce and separation | Family | General practice | Personal injury | Probate | Real estate
Jonathan Hackworth
Jonathan Hackworth

1818 North 15th Street, Tampa, FL 33605

Bar #84234(FL)     License for 2010 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Alimony | Child custody | Child support | Criminal defense | Domestic violence | DUI and DWI | Family | Insurance | Landlord or tenant | Real estate
Michael D Finn
Michael D Finn

7431 114th Ave #104, Largo, FL 33777

Bar #89029(FL)     License for 2011 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Class action | Consumer protection | Contracts and agreements | Real estate
Jonathan Mark Benjamin
Jonathan Mark Benjamin

4581 Weston Rd, Ste 155 *by appointment only, Weston, FL 33331

Bar #91315(FL)     License for 2011 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Bankruptcy and debt | Consumer protection | Debt collection | Foreclosure | Real estate
Stephen Jeffrey Berlinsky
Stephen Jeffrey Berlinsky

501 Avenue S, NW, Winter Haven, FL 33881

Bar #117421(FL)     License for 1969 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Bankruptcy and debt | Chapter 13 bankruptcy | Chapter 7 bankruptcy | Debt collection | Debt settlement | Foreclosure | General practice | Real estate
Joseph Gian Colombo
Joseph Gian Colombo

2020 W. Eau Gallie Blvd Ste. 106, Melbourne, FL 32935-3114

Bar #118184(FL)     License for 1997 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Foreclosure | Insurance | Land use and zoning | Litigation | Real estate
Lawrence Jay Davis
Lawrence Jay Davis

1601 North Flamingo Road Suite 1, Pembroke Pines, FL 330281024

Bar #503762(FL)     License for 1985 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Elder law | Estate planning | Probate | Real estate | Trusts
Susan Michelle Budowski
Susan Michelle Budowski

871 Venetia Bay Blvd. Suite 202, Venice, FL 34285

Bar #731641(FL)     License for 2004 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Consumer protection | Contracts and agreements | Mediation | Real estate
Chip Earl Warren Parker, Jr.
Chip Earl Warren Parker, Jr.

311 South State Street, Suite 260, Salt Lake City, UT 84111

License for 2018 years Active

Practice Areas: Bankruptcy and debt | Chapter 13 bankruptcy | Chapter 7 bankruptcy | Consumer protection | Foreclosure | Litigation | Real estate
Christie Dee Arkovich
Christie Dee Arkovich

1520 W Cleveland St, Tampa, FL 336061807

Bar #963690(FL)     License for 1992 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Bankruptcy and debt | Chapter 13 bankruptcy | Chapter 7 bankruptcy | Consumer protection | Debt collection | Discrimination | Foreclosure | Real estate | Sexual harassment

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