If you are trying to figure out whether you need to hire a real estate agent or a real estate lawyer, you may question what the difference is. They do seem quite similar. If you are not educated on what each professional does, you may even spend a lot of money on someone that either cannot help with your needs or is not necessary for the purchase or sale of your home. In an effort to help you know which you need to hire, here are a few key differences between real estate attorneys and agents:
Real Estate Agents
Real estate agents are professionals who have been trained on multiple different aspects of selling a home. From curb appeal and photographs to marketing and showing the home, your real estate agent will help you to get your home on the market and get it sold. When you receive offers your agent will likely advise you to take the biggest one since they are paid off commission.
Real Estate Lawyers
Real estate lawyers, on the other hand, are your hourly employees who can help you to answer legal questions and sell your home in an orderly manner. They are experts at filling out paperwork and giving counsel on your specific circumstances. For example, if you are purchasing a foreclosed home or selling a probate property, there will be extra paperwork and documents that need to be filled out in order for the purchase or sale to be legal. A run-of-the-mill real estate agent may not know how to appropriately handle these situations.
Additionally, your real estate lawyer can help you to investigate offers you receive and decide which one is the best for you. Since they are not paid based on commission, your attorney may advise you to go with a certain offer because of the paperwork, loan details, or circumstances, instead of simply which offer would have the highest commission for them. Sometimes buyers offer high in order to ask for leniencies later. Your real estate lawyer may be able to save you money in the long run by reading the fine print.
In conclusion, real estate agents are more salesmen while real estate lawyers can offer legal and financial counsel which may save you a big headache in the long run. If you have any legal questions in regard to your purchase or sale of a property, contact a real estate lawyer.