A real estate attorney focuses their practice on assisting clients with real estate disputes, ranging from the purchase and sale of commercial spaces, fights over HOA rules, tenant-landlord issues, and facilitating the purchase of a single-family home. Real estate lawyers practice in a broad range of disciplines to assist their clients. Their experiences range from contract, entity, and tax issues and provide a comprehensive set of services to assist their clients.

Real Estate Overview

Real estate is a simple term that describes a complex set of arrangements to facilitate the transfer of real property between various parties. This involves agents and brokers for buyers and sellers to draft the contracts. It also involves escrow companies holding deposits and down payments while the buyer inspects and reviews the property to meet his or her needs. Real estate includes agents showing homes and soliciting potential buyers. Real estate also deals with other areas, such as commercial and residential leases, landlord-tenant disputes, insurance, homeowners’ association issues, and taxes.

Not every real estate lawyer can provide all of these services. While real estate deals with a variety of legal issues, the attorneys in this space typically focus their practices on a few areas to ensure that they have sufficient knowledge to protect their clients. Real estate attorney candidates should be screened before they are hired. A client may consider the following questions:

  • How long has the real estate attorney assisted in these deals?
  • How large are the deals on average?
  • Does it work with companies or individuals?
  • What is the attorney’s tax background?

The questions should focus on narrowing down the attorney’s experience. Have they handled a commercial transaction of this size before? If yes, how many? Do they litigate buyer-seller disputes? How many HOA disputes have they resolved? How many times have they appealed a parcel tax finding?

Real estate attorneys are an asset when there is something unusual happening in the transaction. For example, a rent-to-own agreement, purchase-to-rent agreement, multiple buyers, subdividing property, and similar exceptional circumstances. Real estate attorneys also anticipate problems and help resolve them before derailing the deal. Therefore, it is best to bring in an attorney early as possible. The earlier an attorney is involved in a complex arrangement; the less likely a mistake cascades into a severe issue.