Real estate agents and Realtors are very knowledgeable about many aspects of property. They often have insight on which neighborhoods are “hot,” and which upgrades and home renovations yield the largest return on investment. They are also entitled to execute very limited legal functions, including preparing offers and preparing purchase agreements.
However, real estate agents operate under a very significant limitation. Unless they are licensed attorneys, they are not allowed to provide legal advice, and they are not allowed to practice law. What are the implications of these limitations? Or to put things another way, what questions are real estate agents equipped to handle, and which questions should be referred to an attorney who practices in real estate law? The list below represents just a few of the types of issues that should be addressed by an attorney rather than a real estate agent or Realtor.
Mortgage documents are often filled with complex legal terminology. Changing even a few words can significantly alter the terms of a mortgage document. Therefore, anything other than adding minor punctuation (and perhaps even punctuation errors) should be handled by an attorney. It may seem extreme, but the truism “better safe than sorry” definitely applies.
Transferring ownership of a piece of property involves more than handing over the keys. An attorney can ensure that details, such as mortgage responsibility, or any underlying legal disputes, such as liens, are cleared, thereby allowing for unencumbered transfer of the property.
Property Line Issues
Feuding neighbors often resort to self-help measures such as installing a driveway over a disputed property line. Referring such matters to negotiation or arbitration through attorneys can dial down hostility levels and restore civility between the two parties.
If you have a legal question related to real estate, give us a call today.
Giddens & Gatton Law, PC