Are You Dealing with a Real Estate Law Issue?
Dealing with a real estate matter can be stressful, confusing and complex. No matter if you are selling a property or you want to purchase a property, you should speak with an experienced Northampton real estate attorney. Your attorney will be able to help you with contract negotiations, avoid transaction disputes and possibly save time and frustration.
Different Types of Real Estate Cases
Real estate law covers a wide range of issues related to real property law. Some of these areas involve purchasing or selling real estate, renting real property and taxation issues associated to these activities. Bear in mind, real estate laws vary from state to state, so it is important to get the right information and guidance.
Whether you are buying or selling a home, this represents a substantial investment. It is important to protect your rights. Working with an experienced real estate attorney will guide you through the legal implications.
What does contingent mean in real estate?In a real estate transaction like the sale of a house, a “contingency” clause in the contract acts as a way to cancel the contract if a certain event were to happen. For instance, if you make an offer and the seller accepts it, you may negotiate a contingency that accounts for a poor housing inspection allowing you to back out of the deal. If you need to sell your home as well, you could negotiate a contingency that allows you to back out of buying the new home if you can’t sell your current one.
What is a short sale?A short sale is when the seller is selling the property for less than is owed on the mortgage. This could be a bank that repossessed the home in a foreclosure. In this case, the bank would sell the house, essentially hoping to get someone to buy the house, and the bank will forgive the difference that remains on the original mortgage. A short sale often presents a good opportunity to the right buyer who needs to save a bit of money.
Do I need a real estate lawyer or a real estate broker?A broker (also known as an agent or realtor) represents people in the home buying or selling process. But they may not be as experienced when it comes to contract negotiations as a real estate lawyer. While you may not need a real estate lawyer for your home sale, they can help you deal with any unexpected roadblocks to the sale process. Some states also require a real estate attorney for any contract signings. If you are unsure, you could schedule a consultation.
Top Questions to Ask When Hiring an Attorney
- How many years have you been practicing law? How long have you practiced law in the local area?
- How many cases similar to mine have you handled in the past?
- What is the likely outcome for my case?
In legal practice, experience matters. An experienced attorney will likely have handled issues similar to yours many, many times. Therefore, after listening to your situation, the attorney should have a reasonable idea of the time line for a case like yours and the likely resolution.
Tips on Approaching an Initial Attorney Consultation
- Use the consultation as a means of gaining a better understanding of your legal situation.
- Ask the attorney how many cases similar to yours he/she has handled. An attorney’s experience and knowledge can speak to their expertise (or lack of) in addressing your situation.
- Your attorney should be able to articulate roughly how long a case like yours will take to resolve and what sort of procedures to expect.
- Determine how comfortable you are working with the lawyer and/or law firm.
How much does it cost to hire an attorney?
In general, how much an attorney costs will often depend on these four factors: billing method and pricing structure, type of legal work performed, law firm prestige, and attorney experience. Depending on the legal issue you are facing, an attorney may bill you by the hour, settle on a flat fee, or enter into a contingency fee agreement. The type of legal work you need help with will also play a role in cost incurred.
Common legal terms explained
Affidavit – A sworn written statement made under oath. An affidavit is meant to be a supporting document to the court assisting in the verification of certain facts. An affidavit may or may not require notarization.