Whether you are buying or selling a home, your team of advisors should include a real estate attorney as well as a realtor. Your realtor can help you find the right house, the right buyer and find a price and a closing date that will fit your schedule. Your lawyer can review all offers you either make or receive, and make sure that your personal rights are protected and your duties are clearly defined.
If you are prepared to make or consider an offer on a property, and you have not yet retained a Tampa real estate lawyer yet, make the offer contingent on the review of the proposal and property by an attorney before you sign a binder.
You will find that there are non-legal services that claim that they can do the same legal work that is needed for a real estate transaction. If the lure of save pennies is music to your ears, remember that an attorney is regulated with standards they must meet and insurance to cover damages if an error is made. A person is unable to seek the same kind of recourse when dealing with advisors outside of the Florida legal system. No part of a real estate sale or purchase really lends itself to a “do it yourself ” mentality.
You also need to understand that some title insurance companies and mortgage lenders require that you use a lawyer to verify that the title is good, there are no liens filed against the property and the deal will close on a proposed schedule.
The role of a Tampa attorney in your real estate purchase can be as broad as you like. If you are concerned that the investment is worthwhile, you can ask that the attorney explain the work that he intends to conduct and his total proposed fees before you proceed.
Please check back on Monday for our checklist explaining what to expect if a lawyer is retained for either the purchase or sale of a Tampa property.