If you’ve been thinking about investing in real estate, among the most important considerations of buying an investment property is having a real estate attorney by your side who can help you navigate this process. A real estate attorney is a professional who can use their skills to help you navigate through any legal hurdles that can occur when purchasing an investment property. If there’s a lien on the property that needs to be taken care of or a dispute regarding the borders of the property, a real estate attorney should be able to make sure that these issues don’t stall your purchase of the property indefinitely.
A real estate attorney can provide their legal services before an investment property is sold, during the sale process, or after the purchase has gone through. The many situations where their expertise may be necessary include everything from providing recommendations of home inspection services to providing counsel if a problem happens to develop during the closing process. Issues can occur during the purchase of an investment property in the same way that they can develop when buying a home for your family.
While the purchase of an investment property may go through without issue, a top reason to consider hiring a real estate attorney is that they can review any purchase agreements, title documents, transfer documents, and mortgage documents. Even a small problem with this paperwork and documentation can put a delay in your purchase, which only serves to increase uncertainty. The real estate attorney that you hire should represent your interests completely throughout the entire transaction. The following is an in-depth look at what residential real estate attorneys do and why you should consider using one to purchase a home as an investment.
What Are Real Estate Attorneys and What Do They Do?
When you’re getting ready to buy an investment property, a real estate attorney can help you with any legal problems and hurdles that might develop during the process. Their assistance is similar to the assistance provided by a standard real estate agent in that they will work on your behalf to make sure the purchase process goes smoothly and that any issues are quickly ironed out. Even after you’ve made the initial purchase, it’s possible that legal issues will occur. If ever they do, a real estate attorney can help determine what legal steps you should take. The attorney you hire should always represent your interests, which means that you can be confident in the counsel they provide.
Real estate attorneys benefit investors because they can effectively handle almost every facet of the process, which gives the investor time to focus on how they’ll be able to get a return on the investment. While you’ll still need to sign any paperwork and gather any of the necessary documentation for buying an investment property, a residential real estate attorney can make sure that the actions you take throughout the purchase process are the right ones. As an investor, a real estate attorney is a great way to lessen the risk of your investment.
Using a Residential Real Estate Attorney Prior, During, and Post Sale
When you hire a residential real estate attorney to assist you during the purchase of an investment property, you’ll find that they can help you before, during, and after the sale. With an attorney by your side through all three phases of purchasing an investment home, the process should be a relatively straightforward one. If you run into a problem before or during the sale of an investment property, a residential real estate attorney should be able to provide you with the representation you need to continue with the sale.
Prior to the Sale of a Home
Likely the most beneficial service that a real estate attorney can provide before the sale of a home is reading the entirety of your real estate contract to make sure that it’s worded perfectly and doesn’t include any language that goes against your interests. If there are any liens that are currently on the home, a real estate attorney should be able to handle the legal issues surrounding the lien, which would allow you to go forward with the purchase.
Before you purchase your investment property of choice, a real estate attorney can also help you by checking the property title for any issues and by providing informed recommendations of home inspection services that you can use. If you want to be certain of the value of your investment property, a home inspection is essential to make sure that there are no underlying problems with the quality or structure of the home. Having a real estate attorney help you during the selection process should allow you to make the right purchase decision.
During the Sale of a Home
Once you’ve made an offer on an investment property, a real estate attorney can guide you through the closing process, which can last anywhere from 15-60 days. For instance, a real estate attorney may be able to attend the closing of the property with you, which will allow them to handle any issues that might arise during this process. While the closing process should go smoothly once you’ve made an offer on the investment home, there’s always a possibility that a legal issue could develop. In this situation, the issue should be resolved much quicker if you already have a real estate attorney at your side.
Another benefit of hiring a real estate attorney for the closing process on your investment home is that they can check any closing documents for errors that have been made. In the event that an issue occurs during the closing period, your real estate attorney can provide you with counsel on whether the closing should continue. They might recommend that you back out of the deal, which could help you avoid making a bad investment. Once the sale goes through, they will also make sure that the deed is recorded correctly.
After the Sale of a Home
There are many things that a residential real estate attorney may be able to assist you with following the sale of the home. One of the more common issues that develops after buying a home is finding out that there’s a problem with the property that the previous owner didn’t inform you about. If the seller had a duty to properly expose these defects, a real estate attorney can handle any kind of litigation that occurs. The types of defects that might result in litigation include ones that relate to the driveways, grounds, and property.
If your investment property is being rented out, a real estate attorney may be able to help you by drafting lease agreements. If a dispute arises pertaining to the borders of your property, you can also retain the assistance of a real estate attorney to help you in this matter. In the event that a foreclosure is necessary, a real estate attorney can assist you in exploring all of your legal options, which can include everything from a mortgage modification to a short sale.
Why You Need a Real Estate Attorney as Part of Your Real Estate Investment Strategy
Real estate investment is already difficult when you’re just trying to find the right homes to invest in that will provide you with a significant return. This process can be made much more complicated if you’re left to handle the entire purchase of the home by yourself. As mentioned previously, there are many areas where a real estate attorney can act as a guide that will help you avoid making a costly mistake.
Among the more beneficial aspects of hiring a real estate attorney is that their services can be provided before, during, and after the purchase of an investment property. If a real estate attorney doesn’t help you by reading the initial sale contract, you could overlook poor terms that would make the purchase a bad investment. During the purchase of a home, an attorney can provide you with counsel on what to do when a problem develops within the closing process.
When you’re purchasing a property as an investment or to expand your investment portfolio, you’ll be better off with a real estate attorney because they can effectively guide you through every step of the process. This guidance should help you navigate any hurdles that arise and keep you from making mistakes that could cause you to later regret your purchase. Without a real estate attorney, the process of buying an investment property can be much more chaotic and may even last longer. However, it’s not enough to just decide to hire a real estate attorney. It’s also important that you find an attorney who will provide you with premium representation and has experience in handling legal matters pertaining to investment property.
Finding The Right Residential Real Estate Attorney
Now that you know how important it is to have a real estate attorney by your side when buying an investment property, it’s time to look at how to find an attorney who you can be confident will provide you with quality representation. It’s highly recommended that you begin searching for a real estate attorney at the same time that you start looking at potential investment homes to buy. If you have any friends, family members, or coworkers who have engaged in real estate investment in the past, ask for a referral.
It’s also easy to perform some online research before narrowing your list of potential attorneys down to 3-5 options. When you type an attorney’s name into a search engine like Google or Bing, you should be able to find reviews and online referrals pertaining to the attorney in question. This is also a great opportunity to identify any red flags that may push you towards choosing one attorney over another.
After you have narrowed your search, it’s time to conduct in-person interviews with the small list of real estate attorneys that you’ve created. During the interview, you might want to inquire about their fee schedule, the amount of experience they have, the number of real estate transactions that they’ve closed, and any possible conflicts of interest. You should also think about asking for a list of references that you can check before making your final decision.
*Disclaimer: The statements and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of AB Capital. AB Capital makes no representations, warranties or guaranties as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in this article. AB Capital is licensed by the Financial Division of the California Department of Business Oversight as a California finance lender and broker (DBO Lic. No. 60DBO-69427). AB Capital makes money from providing bridge loans. Nothing stated in this article should be interpreted, construed or used as legal, financial, investment or tax planning advice, or a substitute for thorough due diligence and the exercise of sound independent judgment. If you are considering obtaining a bridge loan, it is recommended that you consult with persons that you trust including but not limited to real estate brokers, attorneys, accountants or financial advisors.