There are many processes that you will come in contact with during life, some more than once, but if it’s your first time there is no shame in taking advice from the professionals. For instance, if you are currently in the market for your first home, some commercial real estate, or a vacation home, why wouldn’t you consult a real estate lawyer before you take on that stack of paperwork. Here are a few ways a real estate lawyer can make this process a little easier.

Buying or selling real estate can be a complicated web of issues, especially with the market still in the shape that it’s in. There are far more foreclosures and short sales available than just sale by owner, which require a lot of fine tuning before the final deals are made. What representations and warranties are made in the contract for sale? What if the seller wishes to remain in the house for a period of time after the actual closing date? Who bears the cost if the house is damaged after the buyer has made a down payment, but before the purchaser has moved in?

A real estate lawyer will check the sales contract and any other legal documents to ensure buyer protection. Different types of real estate can require particular sets of paperwork and forms for all real estate transactions. If paperwork isn’t filed correctly or within a certain time frame you could be delayed to the point of losing the property, not to mention the filing costs. A real estate lawyer can also help in negotiating the mortgage terms with the lender or bank. If you are like me, than asking for money, more or less, can be a difficult stance for you. A lawyer, particularly in real estate, will know what certain aspects of the property are worth. Other areas where real estate lawyers might be helpful to the buyer are overlooking inspection reports, purchasing insurance, helping the buyer understand survey reports, and overseeing all closing documentation. A seller’s lawyer address any title issues, prepare necessary documents, and arrange for the final payoffs for the existing loans. An attorney would also make sure the seller’s interests are well represented in all the contracts.

One thing buyers should be aware of is that a real estate broker and a real estate lawyer do not serve the same purpose. A broker is more likely to look after the interests of the person selling the property. A real estate lawyer will represent your personal interests, buying or selling. Not all real estate attorneys examine title, or check the chain of ownership for errors or potential liabilities. Some lawyers may outsource this activity to a title agency. Another third party that might need to be involved is a representative of the bank, if a mortgage loan is pertinent.

This post was written for Local Vector by Stephen K Hachey. Stephen is a Florida real estate lawyer at http://floridarealestatelawyer.org/ specializing in loan modifications, short sales, foreclosure and much more. He is also the owner of his own practice, the Law Offices of Stephen Hachey, PA. This article is for general informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please contact a licensed attorney in your state of residence. For more information on our services, please visit our website at www.floridarealestatelawyer.org/.