When do you need a real estate attorney?

There’s a huge “DIY” (“do it yourself”) movement in this country right now, in all things – from cooking, to construction, to music. In a lot of ways, this move towards DIY culture is a great thing!

And we definitely get it. After all, it can be tempting to go it alone and try to figure everything out on your own, whether as a way to save on costs, or to immerse yourself in a new experience.

But there’s one area where you’re really going to need some professional experience and insight – and that’s the field of real estate law.

Whether we’re talking about the property for your home or your business, the reality is that buying, leasing, selling, renting, or otherwise putting your money into real estate is among the most expensive and high pressure things that most of us will ever do. And no matter how much experience you have in these matters, the truth of the thing is that every situation is going to be different and unique, every time. No two experiences are alike, and the skills you learned one time may not necessarily carry over to your situation now.

Similarly, there are so many moving parts to each and every real estate matter. It can be incredibly difficult – not to mention expensive, stressful, and time-consuming – to keep all of these balls juggling at the same time, figuring out where and when to get the t’s crossed and the i’s dotted. It can be complicated to get the right paperwork in front of the right people at the right time. And it can certainly be challenging to know how to respond if you run into a wall, whether that’s a dispute, a mistake, or a price estimate that comes in well above or below your expectations.

Bottom line? Real estate is complex. But there are people out there who can help, including your experienced, local real estate attorney!

When might you need the services of a lawyer experienced in matters of real estate? Here are five common situations that may call for bringing in some help:

1.) You’re Buying or Selling Property

Here in Illinois, bringing on an attorney for real estate transactions is all but de rigeur – even if it’s not mandatory, strictly speaking. After all, an attorney is an invaluable partner to buyers and sellers. During a real estate sale, attorneys are involved in many different parts of the process, and perform duties that can make sure the sale is quick, painless, lucrative, and binding for all parties involved. Some of those efforts include:

  • Conducting title searches and examinations
  • Helping you understand and plan for financial matters
  • Reviewing contracts and other key documents
  • Leading negotiations (for contract changes, remedy requests, etc.)
  • Coordinating closing (and other meetings)
  • Processing records
  • Handling financial disbursements

2.) You Need to Review Critical Documents

Have you looked over your purchase documents or mortgage agreement recently, and realized that you don’t quite understand some element of the language? An attorney can help you review and understand all of your paperwork and documents, allowing you to parse the fine print and determine the best remedy for whatever situation you may be facing. Need a critical eye? Your attorney should also be able to review your title and other documents, in order to see if they’re written to comply with all local, state, and federal laws.

3.) You’re Facing Complex Issues

As we put it earlier, real estate matters are complex. There are all sorts of incredibly complicated matters that could arise. Writer Stephanie Reid points to a few over on the Zillow blog:

  • Oil and gas rights
  • Water rights
  • Easements
  • Adverse possession claims
  • Historical/landmark/preserved property
  • Zoning and land use

As she puts it succinctly:

“When any of these issues arise at the outset of a real estate transaction, working with an attorney will inevitably be more cost-effective than dealing with a major conflict or claim later.”

The reality is that these matters are complex and multifaceted, whether they occur early on in your real estate journey, or perhaps even years down the line. In many cases, it will only be an attorney who can address these issues, and provide actionable legal advice and guidance.

4.) You’re Facing a Dispute

Attorneys can help to step in and mediate disputes that may arise, such as disputes between a landlord and a tenant, or perhaps between a condominium owner and their homeowners’ association (HOA). If it comes to it, attorneys can also help consumers pursue litigation as a matter of recourse.  

5.) You Need a Sound, Impartial Third Party

Finally, bear in mind that real estate transactions and disputes can be incredibly high stakes affairs. As we’ve noted, there’s often a lot of money on the table in these matters. There’s also a strong emotional weight, as many people’s homes or businesses may hang in the balance. It’s easy for tempers to flare, and for strong emotions to lead to rash decision making. In many cases, if you have a question or a concern about some aspect of the real estate process, and need an impartial, reasoned opinion, an attorney may be a valuable resource to consult.

Looking for Assistance With Your Chicagoland Real Estate Needs?

Have any further questions? Looking to discuss your unique situation with an experienced legal professional? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the attorneys and staff of the Gunderson Law Firm.

The Gunderson Law Firm possesses unparalleled expertise and insight, reinforced by years of experience and long-term connections throughout Chicago’s real estate, finance, and insurance industries. Our full range of real estate legal services includes:

  • Purchases and Sales
  • Mortgage Conveyancing & Advice
  • Real Estate Litigation
  • Title Insurance
  • Title Examinations & Disputes
  • Asset Protection/Trusts
  • Estate Planning
  • Reverse Mortgages
  • Property Development
  • Condominium Law
  • Foreclosures

Drop us a line today to keep the conversation going.