Buying or selling a house in Massachusetts is complicated and things don’t always go as they should. While a real estate agent may typically handle the process, a real estate attorney can make the transaction go smoothly should any legal issues arise, either during the process or long afterwards.
Reasons You Need a Real Estate Attorney
Unlike a realtor, real estate attorneys can advise buyers and sellers on legal matters regarding selling or buying property, and offer advice to assure that if there is a problem after the closings, rights are protected. The attorneys can draft and negotiate the terms of purchase and sale agreements, review title examinations and issues, transfer and title documents, negotiate contracts, deal with brokers, and close on transactions. Attorneys are specially trained to anticipate all the things that can go wrong, both during the process and for years beyond.
Some situations a real estate attorney can address are:
- Curing a tax lien or other involuntary liens on the property
- Renting property with an option to purchase it
- Curing issues relating to illegal uses
- Curing title issues
- Curing Zoning issues
- Dealing with the uniqueness of waterfront property
- Navigating Easements that may appear of record
- Represent Landlords/tenants when there is a dispute
Buyers and Sellers
For the buyer, a real estate attorney will negotiate the Purchase & Sale Agreement, perform a title search, work with mortgage lenders, brokers, and attorneys to schedule and conduct the closing. In the case of residential property, Massachusetts real estate attorneys may represent the buyer and the lender simultaneously. This is because the interests of the borrower and the bank are identical (to make sure that there is clear title to the property), all of the documents are standard and non-negotiable, and to the extent that the two interests aren’t identical, (qualifications, rate and terms), the attorney has no input or effect.
The biggest responsibility of the real estate attorney in the case of Sellers is to make sure that the seller’s interests are protected, and to try to assure that after the closing, the seller will never be blamed for anything that goes wrong with the property. This is generally done at what is the most important stage of the process when representing sellers, which is negotiation of the purchase & sale agreement. Other times a real estate attorney will be helpful is in situations where there is tension between sellers, and there may be an unequal distribution of the proceeds of the sale. For example, a divorce, a short sale, an estate where there is disagreement over the terms of a will or trust. Also, if the property is for sale by owner and no realtor is involved, the seller should need an attorney to navigate through what can be a very confusing and intimidating process.
Working in Your Best Interest
Whether you’re a buyer or seller, your real estate attorney will work in your best interest. Avoid running into complications – contact us at 781.829.9993 or visit one of our law offices at SKB Attorneys. We will be by your side during the entire process.
Massachusetts Real Estate Lawyers
Conveniently located on the South Shore in Hanover and Quincy, MA serving Boston and Eastern Massachusetts