Buying or selling a home in Florida is a life-changing moment that can be significantly helped with the expert advice of a real estate lawyer.
You can avoid extremely expensive mistakes from contract drafting to the transaction, while ensuring your rights are protected for the present and, more importantly, the future.
In this blog, we’ll look at the fundamental reasons why you should hire a real estate lawyer in Florida for buying or selling a home:
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact our Florida real estate lawyers today for a free consultation.
What Is a Real Estate Lawyer and What Do They Do?
Real estate lawyers are professionals trained and licensed to practice law in real estate transactions.
They have the experience and knowledge to advise clients on decisions and processes of home sales and purchase. They can represent buyers, sellers and lenders.
In Florida, it is not required by law to hire a Florida real estate lawyer for closing. However, it is highly advised so as to protect yourself from unforeseen circumstances and expensive hiccups.
Many people hire Florida real estate lawyers early in the buy or sell process to review, edit or draft contracts.
Real Estate Lawyers vs. Agents When Buying or Selling a Home:
|Role||Real Estate Lawyer||Real Estate Agent|
|Protect your legal rights||✅||❌|
|Provide expert legal advice||✅||❌|
|Work on hourly rates||✅||❌|
|Work on commission||❌||✅|
|Perform title searches||✅||❌|
|Draft and review contracts||✅||Limited to templates.|
When You Might Need a Florida Real Estate Lawyer:
Countless scenarios call for a real estate lawyer when buying or selling a home, including:
Real estate lawyers provide a review of purchase contract terms to a level that real estate agents cannot. While agents are great at filling out templates, their legal knowledge is limited for complex contracts that need deep contingency planning.
Allowing a few days at this point for a Florida real estate lawyer to review your contract can be extremely important in the future, as you protect yourself from issues such as:
The deadline for closing could be affected by matters outside of your control – such as unexpected lender delays or COVID-19 related delays. By putting contingencies in your contract, you can remove confusion or doubt in these scenarios.
Home inspections can reveal problems that might require negotiation and cause deep tension between the buyer and seller. If you put contingencies in place in advance, you may be able to withdraw from the contract without consequences.
Title searches should be performed before purchase to reveal any lien on the property. These can only be investigated by a Florida real estate lawyer.
Title searches can reveal complicated results with problems linked to adjoining owners, previous owners and neighbors.
A real estate attorney can explain what this all means and take the appropriate action to protect your interests.
Avoiding Interpretation Issues in Contracts
Many contracts cause issues later because they use vague or confusing language. One simple mistake in a sentence can leave the entire meaning up for interpretation – which could prove costly.
A Florida real estate lawyer will go into detail about common specific issues to avoid any misinterpretations while reviewing the entire document with their experienced knowledge.
When buying or selling a home, the most important moment is closing.
The deed and other papers must be prepared as the title passes from the buyer to the seller.
A closing statement should usually be prepared which details debits and credits between the two parties. At this point, a real estate lawyer can prove extremely helpful when explaining why these costs exist, how much they add up to and how they’ll be paid.
Closing is the hooray moment. But it also involves tons of legal documents to review. This can be daunting for new buyers and leave them susceptible to confusion.
Our Florida real estate lawyers will explain everything in clear English so you can celebrate your purchase or sale without stress or confusion.
Protecting Yourself as a Seller
If you sell a property, it might not seem like you need an attorney on your side. That’s a common mistake. Without one, you increase your chances of being sued by the buyer if you accidentally fail to reveal certain information.
For example, if the title is not cleared or there is an undisclosed problem with the property then you may be sued for failing to reveal this, which could be very expensive.
A Florida real estate lawyer will investigate the home and provide the required facts to avoid scenarios like these, which sadly happen when sellers go at it alone.
Other Unusual Scenarios That May Need a Real Estate Lawyer:
Here are some other slightly less common scenarios that might call for the need of a real estate lawyer when buying or selling a home:
- You’re buying a home that is part of a unique sale type (estate sales, auctions and purchases from a bank).
- You’re buying a home from outside of Florida.
- You have complicated and severe financial issues and need to sell a home that has liens on it.
- You’re selling a deceased person’s estate as part of the administration of an estate.
- The property has obvious major structural issues.
- You’re selling as part of a divorce settlement.
Deeds usually need to be completed fast, which can result in mistakes. Real estate attorneys are experienced at completing documents to strict deadlines flawlessly.
Furthermore, deeds need to be filed at county and state levels. If for example, a property has an area where construction is prohibited, then the attorney will weave their way through state regulations to allow you to get the transaction over the line.
Incorrectly transferred deeds could lead to:
- Income or estate taxes
- Structures needing to be rebuilt
Sadly, discrimination still happens even when buying or selling a home. If you suspect it is happening, a Florida real estate lawyer can help. Even though they might not specialize in that area, having a professional on your side who upholds the law can protect your rights regardless of who are you and what you believe.
Contact a Florida Real Estate Attorney
If you need a lawyer when buying or selling a home in Florida, then contact our Florida real estate attorneys today.
We can help all areas of residential real estate law from real estate contracts and ownership decisions to title insurance.
Feel free to contact our Florida real estate attorneys today for a free consultation.
Our attorneys, Ross and Purdun at Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A. have extensive experience that can help you secure your purchase or sale and welcome you for a free consultation.