For many people, buying or selling a house is one of the most significant transactions of their life, and it stands to reason that you would want to turn to a professional rather than navigating the process on your own. If you are considering selling your house, your first inclination might be to enlist the help of a real estate agent. But while real estate agents can be a good option, you may be surprised to learn that a real estate lawyer might actually be the best option.
AGENTS VS. LAWYERS
Obligations to the client
A real estate agents obligations to his or her client are somewhat limited, and he or she may not necessarily be working in your best interest. For example, a real estate agent can represent both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction, or could even be the buyer, which obviously could leave you in a very vulnerable position.
Lawyers, on the other hand, have a very clear duty to their clients. The real estate lawyer-client relationship provides for a high degree of privacy and confidentiality, which does not exist in a real estate agent-client relationship. A real estate lawyer will be representing you and only you in the selling of your house, and a lawyer is not incentivized by increasing or decreasing the purchase price.
Furthermore, while it is typically advisable to hire an agent ( not specifically a real estate agent) for the marketing and advertising portion of the sale of your property, it is the real estate lawyers who should typically get involved during the transactional phase.
Compared to an agent, a real estate attorney will give you the best and most unbiased representation possible.
Real estate agents are usually paid by commission, which they will only receive if the transaction closes. If the transaction does not close, they are not paid. This means agents are motivated to seal the deal, which on the surface may sound like a good thing. But that motivation may cause an agent to push for a closing that might not be in your best interest.
A Lawyer, on the other hand, will be paid directly by you, and his or her fees will be made clear to you from the start. A lawyer will be motivated by the fact that he or she is your representative, not because of commission.
A sale and purchase agreement in relation to property is legally binding and should not be signed until your lawyer has reviewed the agreement.
Your lawyer is the professional when it comes to property law. and should be involved in the selling process from the start, to protect your interests and ensure the transfer of title progresses smoothly and to ensure you are not pressured into signing something you later regret.