One of the common questions that prospective Florida buyers and sellers have is whether to hire a real estate attorney or title company. Generally, the focus tends to lean toward the cost of the transaction. However, that leads to the misunderstanding that a real estate attorney costs too much money or may make the transaction more complex. Additionally, there is the misconception that the roles of a real estate attorney and a title company are the same; however, that is far from the truth. Although they both work to protect the interests of their clients, residential real estate attorneys can legally advocate for the clients while title companies cannot. If you are seeking legal advice regarding a real estate transaction in Florida, the experienced attorneys at Woodward, Pires & Lombardo in Marco Island and Naples are here to help.
Purchasing a Florida family home or even an investment property is often one of the most significant investments that someone may make. Additionally, when selling a home, there may be issues that arise with which homeowners need to be familiar. A qualified residential real estate attorney can help solve existing problems, prevent future issues that could occur after closing, and provide legal advice that title companies cannot. Although reputable title companies are generally familiar with all aspects of real estate transactions, title agents cannot provide legal advice to either party. Below are some practical ways residential real estate attorneys can help make a real estate closing less stressful for buyers and sellers.
Contract Preparation and Review
A successful real estate transaction begins with a good contract reflecting the material terms and conditions the parties negotiated. It may seem like a given that the parties read the contract thoroughly. Still, surprisingly, many real estate contract disputes start because one party claims that what they negotiated for is not reflected in the signed contract. Residential real estate attorneys can provide efficient contract reviews with a high level of attention to detail so that the buyer or seller can feel confident that they will be receiving that for which they bargained. Should you be purchasing or selling property and need contract review, contact our Marco Island Real Estate attorney.
Confirming Whether the Property is Fit for the Intended Use
Every real estate transaction is different and unique, and it is important that the buyer can use, change, or manage the property in the way they intend. A residential real estate attorney can research zoning and land use laws, review city or county regulations, and examine restrictions that may be in place by a homeowner’s association. A thorough review by the attorney helps provide the buyer with knowledge and peace of mind that there are no restrictions that affect their ability to make renovations or expansions, and they will be able to use the property as they envisioned.
Advising and Resolving Disputes
With the sale or purchase of a home, many factors can affect the purchase price. One of the major determinations may be revealed during a home inspection. Home inspections can find hidden risks on the property, such as repairs that are needed to meet building codes. Residential real estate attorneys can help negotiate what work may be required and how it will be paid.
Creation of Contract Addenda or Amendments
It is essential to understand that there is the potential in every real estate transaction for issues to arise that may call for corrective documents to be drafted and obtained. A title company is limited in what documents it can or cannot prepare. For example, a title company cannot prepare contract amendments; thus, if a problem arises where a contract amendment is needed, the buyer or seller will need to seek outside help. In most real estate contracts, time is of the essence, which means that it is crucial to stay within the time limits provided by the contract so that the buyer or seller does not breach them. Therefore, if the buyer or seller needs to seek outside help to draft necessary documents, it could potentially put them at risk of completing their obligations in the contract on time.
A Qualified Real Estate Attorney by Your Side
Purchasing or selling a home is an exciting but complex process, and ensuring you have the proper representation is paramount to the closing experience. Financially, there is little difference between having a residential real estate attorney handling your closing versus a title company. However, the benefits of having an attorney by your side, who can provide competent legal advice, can be invaluable to a buyer or seller.
If you are contemplating purchasing a home or listing your home for sale, consider visiting with one of the real estate attorneys at Woodward, Pires & Lombardo, P.A. in Marco Island or Naples. Hiring an attorney will help ensure your rights, including those related to Florida contract interpretation, the intended use of the property, dispute resolution, home inspections, and all other issues that may develop throughout the real estate transaction.
About the Author
Christopher R. Heflin is a Florida real estate attorney at Woodward, Pires & Lombardo, P.A. based in Marco Island and serving all of Collier County and beyond. He handles all aspects of residential and commercial real estate transactions and closings. Chris received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance at the University of Texas at Tyler in 2008. While pursuing his education, Chris began his professional career in the oil and gas title industry. After working in business for ten years, Chris attended Ave Maria School of Law in Naples where he received his J.D. in 2019. Chris was recently recognized in The Best Lawyers in America’s “Ones to Watch.”
Talk to Our Collier County Real Estate Lawyers
Learn more about how our Naples and Marco Island real estate law attorneys can help you through the Florida legal process. Arrange a consultation by calling Woodward, Pires & Lombardo, P.A. at 239-394-5161 or send us an e-mail today.