I can’t tell you how many telephone calls I’ve taken from a person who recently purchased a property in Florida who now has serious issues with the property, transaction or both. I can’t help but think of the time, money and aggravation these folks could have saved had they hired a real estate attorney to handle their transaction. So I have put together a list of reasons why you should hire a real estate attorney when buying/selling your home or property.
Buying or Selling Real Estate
- Out of town buyers or new Florida Residents. Buyers should be aware of state laws or local regulations that could affect the value of the property such as what could be built on the property or surrounding the property, now or in the future.
- How and when to address issues which could impact the material value of the property. We all know inspections should be conducted—but what happens after the inspections are complete? Should you require repairs or credits? What happens if the seller isn’t willing to repair? When should you walk away from the transaction and what penalties apply if you do?
- Holding the deposits in trust. Wouldn’t it be preferable if your attorney was holding the deposits in trust in case of a potential dispute? Disputes arise more often than you might think. BUT REMEMBER… your attorney’s job is to protect you from large issues today which could lead to years of litigation later.
- As a seller. What are you required to disclose about the house you want to sell? Does an “AS-IS” real estate contract protect you from potential litigation over a non-disclosed defect?
- Buying or leasing a commercial property. There are formalities to insure enforceability for leases with terms exceeding one year. Does the lease adequately address the rights and obligations of the parties? Most commercial disputes arise over what terms in a contract mean.
- Fees. Are any fees being charged by the Mortgage provider or Real Estate Company appropriate and agreed to? How improper fees should be addressed.
- Who owns the home is important. Are you trying to buy a home that is bank owned or owned by an Estate? These types of transactions can be more difficult to navigate and have more pitfalls than other transactions, but also can result in value opportunities. Don’t shy away from a potentially good deal, but protect yourself by hiring a good real estate attorney.
- Contract Risks. How are you at risk if you’re not able to perform under a contract? How can you limit the financial risk?
- Know the relationship of each person in the transaction. Who is your real estate broker or salesperson working for, you, the other party or the transaction? Most real estate professionals are honest and ethical. But shouldn’t you know who or what they represent in the transaction? Many times when this is asked, the client doesn’t fully understand the relationships of the real estate professionals involved.
- Closing. How do you handle surprises at the closing? What if the terms of the contract are not represented by the closing documents? How do you require enforcement of the contract terms and protect yourself from financial liability?
Hiring a Fort Myers Real Estate Attorney
It is remarkable to me how many people do not have any legal representation for what is likely the largest, most important financial decision most people make. Although you will meet many people when you are buying or selling real estate, an attorney is the only one qualified to give legal advice. In most cases, attorney fees are the same or comparable to the title agency’s fees, so make the decision to hire a Fort Myers real estate attorney and have the added security of knowing there is an attorney protecting your interests.
To protect you property interests and rights, contact one of our experienced real estate lawyers. Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz, P.A. has six offices in Southwest Florida. The offices are located in Fort Myers (two offices to serve you), Cape Coral, Naples, Lehigh Acres, and Port Charlotte for your convenience. Call us first at 1-800-332-9404, visit www.JusticeStartsNow.com or fill out a simple case form today.
By: Matt Raulerson, Attorney