When it comes to property lawyers, many people don’t see their services as a necessity. However, a property lawyer isn’t like a real estate agent — they both possess extensive knowledge of the property buying process, but only a real estate lawyer can help you navigate through the hurdles of property law in case a deal turns sour. Here are just a few reasons to consider hiring a property lawyer to help manage your real estate transaction.
- Avoid using a seller’s agent:
If you don’t hire a property lawyer to negotiate the terms of your real estate transaction, you may get stuck using the other party’s agent, who clearly doesn’t have your best interests at mind. Nolo says, “the seller’s agent may pressure you to let [them] represent both of you, in a “dual agency” relationship that primarily benefits the seller. (The less scrupulous sellers’ agents don’t make it clear that they’re working for both people, but if only one agent is involved in your transaction, it’s fair to assume that the agent’s loyalties are with the seller.)” All in all, most experts agree — it’s better to have your own agent, or in some cases, no agent at all — than to settle for a ‘dual agency’ agreement.
- More involvement and education throughout the process
Another little-known benefit of hiring a property lawyer to negotiate the terms of your real estate transaction is to having the ability to learn as much as you possibly can through every step of the way. For example, you’ll be able to compare property values of similar homes in the area, which is integral to getting a fair deal overall. Plus, you’ll be able to avoid the headache of being pressured to sign an agreement you don’t fully understand — your property lawyer will sit down with you and explain the agreement line by line beforehand.
- No conflicts of interest
While real estate agents can certainly be knowledgeable, it’s important to remember that their motivation comes from the commission they’re making, so their financial interests always lie with the seller. Real estate lawyers, on the other hand, have no conflicts of interest and will always advocate for you and only you.
Ultimately, an estimated 55% to 70% of Americans don’t have an estate plan or even a simple will, and hiring a real estate or property lawyer is hands-down the best way to negotiate the terms of any real estate transaction.