Whether you are buying or selling a commercial or residential property, it is advisable to enlist the services of an experienced real estate attorney. It is also important that this person has a thorough knowledge of the area where the transaction takes place.
So, for instance, if you live in Fayette County, Georgia, a good Peachtree City real estate attorney is the person you need to talk to.
Who Does a Real Estate Attorney Represent?
While it is not mandatory for those buying and selling a property to work through a real estate attorney, there are many advantages of doing so.
Firstly, real estate attorneys may have only one client who is involved in the transaction: the buyer, seller, or mortgage lender. So if you are a buyer, and the other parties have their own attorneys, you will be at a disadvantage if you don’t have a real estate attorney acting for you too.
In each instance, a Peachtree City real estate attorney will ensure that the necessary contracts are correct and valid in terms of the law. Often brokers or real estate agents draw up these contracts, and while there may be nothing wrong with them, if there is something that isn’t correct, the contract will not be legally enforceable.
Why a Buyer Needs a Real Estate Attorney
Anyone wanting to buy a property needs to make an offer to purchase in the legally correct contractual manner. Even if a real estate agent or a reputable broker has drawn up the contract, it makes sense to have an attorney with real estate experience check it to make certain it is legally correct. He will also ensure that everything relevant has been covered in the contract including:
- A full description of the property including improvements and any defects
- Easements and liens on the property, if there are any
- Specification of boundary lines
- Information about the soil and its drainage capacity
Once the buyer has made an offer to purchase a property, the seller can accept it, reject it, or make a counter offer.
Why a Seller Needs a Real Estate Attorney
Any seller who decides to make a counter offer to a potential buyer will have to negotiate changes that are acceptable to both parties. Having received an offer, sellers will consult with a real estate attorney to ensure that everything is in order. If the seller wants to change the terms in any way, the attorney will lead the negotiation process.
Even if the seller doesn’t require changes, and is happy to accept the offer as it stands, there are certain additions that may need to be made to the contract. These include negotiation of the closing dates as well as the inclusion of disclosures.
Georgia law doesn’t specify a need for a disclosure form to be completed. However, there are a number of disclosures that sellers do need to make and these should be included in the contract. A Peachtree City real estate attorney will know which disclosures should be considered in terms of federal law. These include disclosures:
- That relate to any defects that the seller is aware of
- Of the use of lead-based paint, if the seller knows that it was used anywhere in the house
Why a Mortgage Lender Needs a Real Estate Attorney
In Georgia, it is mandatory for a real estate attorney to handle the closing. If the buyer needs a mortgage to pay for the house (which most people do), then the mortgage lender’s attorney handles the closing – even though the seller’s attorney play a pivotal role in negotiating closing dates. The buyer and sellers’ attorney will often be present at the closing, even though they don’t handle the process.
The Peachtree City attorneys at Slepian, Schwartz & Landgaard are experts in real estate law and can help buyers, sellers, and mortgage lenders. Contact us if you need our services.