William Long Whitesell, L.L.C.

Why does Georgia require a lawyer for real estate transactions?

While the process for buying and selling property has become fairly standardized it can still be a confusing process for the inexperienced. Forms must be filled out in precisely the right way and there are specific processes that must be completed. Having a real estate attorney to oversee the transaction is not only required, but it benefits both the buyer and seller as well.

Many hands in the pot

Georgia law requires real estate closings to be handled by an attorney. A closing attorney focuses on the closing and any related documents and represents the lender, buyer or seller depending on the transaction. 

Your real estate attorney is equipped to handle any problems that arise during the purchase or sale process to ensure a legal and smooth transaction.

Proving their worth

Although many real estate transactions are straightforward, when the situations listed below apply it is best to have an experienced real estate attorney involved throughout the sale or purchase instead of just during the closing process.

  • The buyer or seller is from out of town: In this situation the out of town party may not understand the local real estate laws. A real estate lawyer will make sure the transaction is compliant with local laws.
  • The property is bank owned or part of an estate sale: When buying property that is a bank owned, such as in short sale or foreclosure, a real estate attorney will have experience buying and selling these types of listings in that local market. A real estate attorney can also perform a title search and make sure no one else has a potential claim to the property. Any issues, such as existing liens against the property, need to be addressed before closing.
  • The property is in a state of distress or has structural issues: These issues are often discovered during the home inspection. A real estate attorney can help negotiate different purchase terms, taking any repair costs into consideration.
  • The property is commercial: Commercial property sales have different requirements that the seller and buyer may be unfamiliar with. Also, commercial real estate is subject to different zoning policies and often connected to other properties. The purchase may involve other expenses for building and grounds maintenance. An experience real estate attorney will be able to navigate the transaction and highlight any potential problems.

Real estate law is nuanced and each transaction will have unique aspects. Purchasing property is a significant financial investment, one of the largest individuals will make in their lifetime. A real estate attorney will endeavor to make sure the sale is hassle free and compliant with state and federal laws so buyers and sellers alike are able to feel comfortable with the transaction.

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