Buying and renting property can be pricey and time consuming, so having a real estate attorney on your side can speed along the process. If you’re thinking of hiring an attorney, you may want to learn more about what an attorney can do for you.

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What Does a Real Estate Attorney Do?

There are two types of real estate lawyers: commercial and residential.

Residential real estate lawyers can help you buy a home, deal with foreclosures, and resolve landlord/tenant disputes.

Commercial real estate lawyers deal with construction and development projects, as well as zoning issues. If you don’t own a business, you probably won’t ever have to deal with a commercial real estate lawyer.

How Do I Know If I Need a Real Estate Attorney?

If you’re starting a business or expanding your current one, you may want to consult with a commercial real estate lawyer. A commercial real estate lawyer can help make sure you have all the approvals you need to move ahead with your building.

If you’re buying a house, a real estate lawyer can help advise on the ins and outs of inspecting and then legally purchasing a house. Real estate attorneys should also be well versed in all landlord/tenant matters, and should be able to advise you in any disputes.

How Much Does a Real Estate Attorney Cost?

Most real estate lawyers use an hourly rate for complex matters that require a lot of time and fixed rates for drawing up or reviewing documents. If you’re buying a house, it’ll probably be a little more expensive than if you’re selling your house. The exact matter you’re dealing with and where in the country you live will determine how high your rates will be. Make sure to figure out how much you’ll be paying with your lawyer ahead of time.

What Should I Expect When Working with a Real Estate Attorney?

If you’re buying or selling your home, you can expect that the house will have legally changed ownership and you’ll either be the proud new owner or the relieved ex-owner of a new home. For any other disputes, in the end, you should come to a resolution where the party at fault likely has to pay the other.

In a commercial matter, you should expect that all land plot issues are squared away, and you’ll either be approved or rejected from building where you request.

In any case, a real estate attorney will use his or her knowledge to put you in the best position for a legal and speedy resolution.

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Get started Ask a Lawyer a Question You'll hear back in one business day.