The process of buying and selling residential and commercial real estate can be a challenge. Finding the right property or buyer is only part of the process. Even with the right property or buyer, it is still necessary to negotiate terms, prepare and examine documents, check the title and ensure there are no other legal issues. Real estate transactions are legal proceedings, and as with all legal proceedings, an experienced real estate attorney can be a real asset to the transaction.
Real Estate Transactions
Real estate law covers a wide variety of transactions regarding real estate. The knowledgeable real estate attorneys at Gilmartin Legal can assist with all types of real estate transactions, including:
- Residential and commercial closings. The closing is the final step in a real estate transaction when the property is official transferred from the seller to the buyer. At this time, the purchase funds will be paid and the deed will be signed over. There is a lot of paperwork that is signed at this time. While everything has been negotiated before this point, a real estate attorney can help the process go smoothly and make sure you understand every document that you sign.
- Residential and commercial leasing. Leasing involves signing a contract to agree upon terms for a certain amount of time. A real estate attorney can help negotiate the contract, provide advice about the terms and explain any documents that need to be signed. It is important to understand any contract that you will sign, and an attorney can provide invaluable advice especially since many contracts are long and detailed.
- Land use and zoning. An attorney can help navigate all types of land use and zoning issues, whether you need to understand current zoning laws or obtain permission to build.
- Banking and financial services. Real estate transactions often involve all types of financial legal documents and/or loan agreements. An attorney can help negotiate a loan, provide advice or explain/draft documents.
- Property tax appeals. Periodically cities increase property tax based on the value of your home. If you feel that the tax amount has been incorrectly assessed, the amount can be appealed. An attorney can guide you through the appeal process.
- Litigation. If you are involved in a real estate matter that requires litigation, you will need the help of an attorney. Your attorney will be your advocate in court and fight for your side.
Advice for Every Step
Each transaction involves several steps, and Gilmartin Legal also advises on every aspect of real estate law:
- Handling negotiations. Attorneys can help work with the other side to negotiate the terms of the transaction.
- Document preparation. Don’t use a generic form. Make sure the contract you sign does what you need it to do and fits your circumstances. Your attorney can prepare the correct documents and tailor them to your situation.
- Document examination. Never sign a document that you don’t fully understand. Most contacts are filled with legalese that you may not be familiar with. An attorney can go through each document, and ensure that it does what you need it to.
- Title examination. When purchasing property, you want to make sure there are no title issues to contend with. It is important to examine the title to ensure that there are no unknown liens against it.
- Zoning and special use issues. Each city has its own complex zoning laws. This will affect what your property can be used for and what, if any, changes can be made to the property. A local attorney will best navigate zoning and special use issues.
- Complex commercial, industrial and multifamily property issues. The larger the project, the more legal issues there are to consider. Keep ahead of any issues by consulting an attorney for any complex commercial projects.
- Residential home and commercial closings. Closings are legal transactions requiring quite a bit of paperwork. Some may feel that using a realtor is sufficient, but a trained attorney will look at the deal objectively, and be an advocate for your interest in the deal.
Do I need a real estate attorney?
Anytime you are dealing with a legal transaction, it is important to obtain the advice of an attorney. For many, purchasing a home is their largest financial transaction in their life. Seeking the advice of an attorney is always in your best interest because an attorney can provide objective guidance regarding the negotiations and contract. While many others involved in a real estate transaction, such as the realtor, lenders and title company have a vested interest in the outcome of the sale, your attorney is there to represent your interests.
How can a real estate attorney help?
Using a Top Chicago Real Estate Lawyer for a real estate transaction is a wise choice. Even with the help of a good realtor, you may still benefit from someone that can offer legal advice, which a realtor may not do by law. A realtor can only fill in spaces of a generic form, whereas a lawyer can draft a contract that best handles your unique circumstances. A lawyer helps by:
- Representing your interests. A lawyer is an advocate, which means, it is their job to work on your behalf. In any deal there are many people with different motivations, and you can be reassured that by hiring an attorney, you have someone looking out for you.
- Drafting documents. As stated above, a realtor cannot draft legal documents. Not every deal is the same and often, generic forms will not do justice to the transaction. A lawyer can draft original documents that address all aspects of the transaction.
- Providing legal advice. Buying and selling real estate is a big deal, with legal ramifications. Make sure you know exactly what you are agreeing to and what may occur as a result. While this may be the first time you are buying or selling real estate, and may not know exactly what to expect, your lawyer will have been through the process before and can provide valuable advice.
- Explaining documents. The one thing you can be sure of is that there will be many, many papers to sign. This can be a daunting task for first time home buyers, but a good attorney can explain the purpose of each document.
- Minimizing your risk. There is always the chance of risk when purchasing real estate. A lawyer can help you take steps to minimize or even avoid risk.
Advising about legal rights. In every contract, each side is agreeing to certain requirements. Your attorney can advise you about what your legal rights are, and what you agree to with the contract.
- Terminating an unwanted contract. While the hope in every real estate transaction is to conclude with a signed contract with both parties happy with the outcome, there are sometimes when circumstances change and you may find you need to get out of a contract. Your attorney can help you determine what steps need to be taken and what rights you have. Whether you need to revoke an offer after an inspection shows something unexpected, or you simply need to end a lease early, your attorney can help you determine how to proceed.
Get Advice Today!
Gilmartin Legal is a local real estate law firm with experience in many areas of law, including real estate transactions. If you are involved in a real estate transaction or are thinking about buying or selling some property, give us a call today to discuss your situation. We can be your advocate and help every step of the way.